Aspinalls Wins Case Against ‘Too Drunk to Gamble’ Nightclub Owner

Posted on: August 8, 2023, 06:33h. 

Last updated on: August 9, 2023, 11:28h.

A wealthy gambler who claimed he was plied with 54% proof “Chinese firewater” at a swanky London casino must pay the £600K he lost playing double chance baccarat on the night.

Aspinalls casino, Lester Hui, London
Lester Hui claimed he drank three and a half bottles of wine or champagne and up to 10 shots of “Chinese firewater” before losing at baccarat. A London judge cast doubt on his claims last Friday. (Image: Champion News)

Nightclub owner Lester Hui, a longtime VIP member, visited the casino in February 2016 to celebrate Chinese New Year.

He alleged the VP of International Marketing at Aspinalls private members casino ordered a bottle of Maotai and suggested they play the drinking game “liar’s dice.” Hui lost the game and had to drink a shot, which made him “blackout drunk,” he claimed.

Check Bounces

Hui claimed he had already drunk three and a half bottles of wine or champagne. He subsequently consumed “at least four more shots and as many as 10” of the powerful distilled Chinese liquor before hitting the gaming tables, according to court documents.

He lost $400K in just over 20 minutes, blowing £589,724 on the night in total.

I have a memory of the beginning of the evening, but after the games and drinking the Maotai, I was totally out,” he told the judge, as reported by The Daily Mail.

Hui wrote out a blank check, which bounced, and the casino sued him in March.

Hui alleged that Aspinalls took advantage of his drunken state and should have prevented him from any further gambling.

Drove Bentley Home

In a ruling on Friday, High Court judge Mr. Justice Cotter determined that Hui “significantly exaggerated the amount of alcohol he consumed” and had not been plied with booze by staff.

“I am satisfied that whatever Mr. Hui did drink – which is probably very significantly less than he claims he drank – it did not have a readily observable effect upon him such that members of staff noticed, or should have noticed,” wrote the judge.

He noted that Hui drove his Bentley 20 miles home on the night, suggesting he was not “blackout drunk.” The businessman later accepted Aspinalls’ offer of a trip to Finland to drive another Bentley on a frozen lake, indicating he did not feel wronged by the casino at that time.

Cotter found Hui liable for the debt and ordered that steps must be taken for it to be repaid, plus interest.

“I am satisfied that the staff did not know, and there are no adequate reasons to support the proposition why they should have known, that Mr. Hui was sufficiently intoxicated that he should not be allowed to gamble,” Cotter concluded.