A lurid tale of a Saudi prince’s nine-figure gambling spree, during which he bet and lost several wives, turns out to have been too good to be true.
An online article making the rounds claimed that Prince Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud lost $359m over a six-hour gambling spree at the Sinai Grand Casino in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheik resort zone.
Adding to the prince’s woes, the reports claim he became so desperate for cash that he put up five of his wives in exchange for another $25m in casino credit, which he also lost, then left behind his matrimonial chattel when he finally exited the casino.
The report quoted casino director ‘Ali Shamoon’ saying that it wasn’t the first time that “a customer bets a living creature,” although Shamoon noted that this usually meant camels or horses. Upping the ante, the report then quoted Egypt’s actual foreign minister saying the wives would likely be returned to their homeland within a week, assuming the prince honored his marker.
Sadly, like a Fox News report celebrating President Trump’s competency, this story proved to be a hoax. Which people should have guessed based on the website that originally published it, World News Daily Report, which routinely features a disclaimer regarding “the satirical nature” of its articles.
There is an actual Prince Majed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and he did make lurid headlines in 2015 when he was accused of threatening to kill several female guests unless they had sex with him during an alleged three-day cocaine and booze bender at his $37m Beverly Hills crash pad.
The prince was originally arrested, charged with felony assault and released on $300k bail, but his charges were dropped, presumably in exchange for the prince forking over a wife or two, although, given the wife-for-cash exchange rate in the hoax story, he probably could have bargained the District Attorney down to a couple camels.