A Saudi prince lost 1.970 Billion Riyals ($525 Million) in few hours as well as three of his seven wives while playing poker at the casino.
Prince Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is well-known around the world for both his drug and gambling habits. Spending the week at the renowned Sinai Grand Casino in Egypt, the Prince spent six hours at the “unlimited stakes” poker table and had an incredible losing streak.
In one evening, he lost hundreds of millions of dollars and was even forced to give up five of his spouses to cover part of his debt.
According to the director of the casino, Ali Shamoon, the prince pawned his wives in exchange for $25M in credit and left them there after he lost.
“This isn’t the first time that a customer bets a living creature. Usually, the customers pay to keep them. This is the first time that a player leaves his wives after he loses.”
Pawning or selling women is rather rare practice but it is still legal in several Middle Eastern countries. The high profile of these particular women appears to embarrass both the Sinai Grand Casino and the Egyptian government, however, and a diplomatic solution remains quite probable.
It is still unclear what will happen to the Prince’s wives and if they will be able to return to Saudi Arabia, and most experts believe that other members of the Saudi Royal family could buy them back discretely over the next few weeks. If not, they will likely be sold at auction in a few months.
This isn’t the first time that Prince Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attracts attention for bad reasons.
In 2015, the Saudi Arabian prince was accused of a having sexual relationship with a male aide, taking cocaine and threatening to kill women who refused his advances – as well as sexually assaulting a maid.
A few days after the facts were revealed by the media, Los Angeles County prosecutors announced that they would not be filing charges against the prince and he was allowed to leave the country.