‘I cry every time I think about it’: Asian woman says she was denied entry to Nevada casino in racial profiling complaint

  • Tammy Luu, a resident of Taylorsville, Utah, said she was denied entry to the casino of Peppermill Resort and Casino in West Wendover, Nevada, in early September due to an incident that occurred on Aug. 15.
  • Despite telling security that she had not visited Wendover in several years and suggesting that it could have been a mistaken identity case, they still insisted that she was banned after the head of security checked surveillance footage.
  • "He came back and he's like, 'Yep, Asian female,'" Luu recalled to KSL. "I'm like, 'Everything matches, like my name and address?' [He said,] 'Yep, everything matches. Asian female.'"
  • “This is traumatizing. I cry every time I think about it. This is very humiliating and it really hurts my self-esteem because I've worked so hard and we've tried to do a lot of good for the community here," Luu, who is the vice president of the Vietnamese American Community of Utah, added.

A Vietnamese woman said she felt humiliated and traumatized after a Nevada casino and its sister branch denied her entry in what she considers a racial profiling incident.

On Sept. 4, Tammy Luu, a resident of Taylorsville, Utah, and her husband reportedly drove to West Wendover, Nevada, to watch the Vietnamese variety show “Saigon by Night” at Peppermill Resort and Casino’s concert hall.

Luu and her husband went to the hotel’s casino after the show. After showing their IDs, four security guards — including the head of security, approached them and said she was banned from the establishment for an incident that occurred on Aug. 15, according to KSL.

Despite telling security that she had not visited Wendover in several years and suggesting that it could have been a mistaken identity case, they still insisted that she was banned after the head of security checked surveillance footage.

“He came back and he’s like, ‘Yep, Asian female,'” Luu recalled to KSL. “I’m like, ‘Everything matches, like my name and address?’ [He said,] ‘Yep, everything matches. Asian female.'”

After asking security how she could resolve the problem, they reportedly told her that she would have to contact the establishment’s human resources department on Sept. 6.

Following the incident at the Peppermill, Luu said she and her husband checked out of their room and went to the hotel’s sister branch, Montego Bay Resort and Casino, to have dinner. However, six security guards approached them and said they were trespassing.

The conflict was eventually resolved after a Montego Bay staff member helped out by asking security for more details. Luu was told that a mistake was made, and the establishment restored her account, gave her an upgraded room, refunded the room charges and gave her and her husband meal cards with a total value of $200.f

Luu filed a complaint at Montego Bay the following day and received a call from Peppermill’s assistant director of security on Sept. 9 informing her about the incident that occurred in August.

According to the assistant director, a group of Samoan women got into a fight in the casino that resulted in them being banned. A security guard purportedly identified the women as Asian and said they “cleaned out the casino.” The assistant director then told Luu that security tried to identify the group’s members, and a pit boss accidentally handed over her husband’s player card.

Luu told KSL that the story did not make sense since her husband’s card has his name, Danh Luu, on it.

I think they don’t even know the real story. That’s a sad part. So you don’t have nothing in hand — no proof, no nothing — but you’re going to just accuse someone?” Luu said.

Her husband was reportedly at the casino on Aug. 15, and he recalled seeing two Asian women at the table he was playing at. However, he could not recall seeing anything that could have gotten the women banned from the establishment.

Luu said that Michael Heward, the casino’s director of risk management, reached out to her and apologized for what happened. Heward also informed her that the person removed from the casino at the time of the incident had the same name that was used for Luu’s account. However, Luu noted that her account is under her husband’s name.

This is traumatizing. I cry every time I think about it,” Luu told KSL. “This is very humiliating and it really hurts my self-esteem because I’ve worked so hard and we’ve tried to do a lot of good for the community here.”

As for her complaint, the assistant director informed her that some individuals had already been reported after the incident.

I hope that others will never have to experience what we went through,” Luu, a mother of four, wrote in a recent Instagram post. According to her profile, she is also the vice president of the Vietnamese American Community of Utah.

 

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A post shared by Tammy Nguyen Luu (@tammyluu801)

 

Featured Image via Thatotherperson (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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