SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT | A Saudi prince lost 1.350 Billion Riyals ($359 Million) in six hours as well as five of his nine 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, but his latest betting frenzy is quite exceptional even for him.
Spending the week at the renowned Sinai Grand Casino, 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. We often have camels and horses, but 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, probably in Yemen or Qatar.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said his government would do everything it could to facilitate the Saudi women’s return to their homeland, as soon as their husband’s debt will be paid.
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.
This time, however, the prince is believed to have lost the vast majority of his fortune, so he may finally calm down and adopt a more conservative lifestyle.