One of London’s most exclusive gambling venues has let its millionaire members racially abuse black croupiers, according to a recently filed claim by an affected employee.
The allegations were leveled against the Crown London Aspinalls private members gambling club. The property is located in the heart of Mayfair and is frequented by wealthy high rollers.
Semhar Tesfagiorgis, who has worked as a dealer at the club for more than a decade, has filed the racial abuse claim with the London employment tribunal.
In her complaint, Ms. Tesfagiorgis said that Crown London Aspinalls managers allowed casino patrons to refer to black gambling chips as “n***** chips” and that black croupiers were kept away from certain customers because of their skin color.
The recently filed claim also features allegations that club members regularly compared black employees with gorillas and requested “white, whiter, or lighter-skinned” dealers.
According to tribunal papers seen by The Times, Ms. Tesfagiorgis described an incident on her second day at work at the exclusive Mayfair casino back in 2007 that involved a wealthy Turkish gambler who called a black team member a “n*****”. The customer was not barred from playing at the gambling hall.
Two years later, a similar incident took place at the casino involving the same gambler and the same employee. The incident was recorded on the property’’s CCTV. Ms. Tesfagiorgis alleged that the wealthy player shouted “that f****** n*****; that f****** dirty woman . . . you better get that n***** girl out of here otherwise I am never coming back to this casino” at her colleague.
The wealthy patron was not barred once again, while her colleague was removed from dealing with him.
Claim Details Multiple Other Racial Abuse Incidents
In her filing, Ms. Tesfagiorgis details multiple racial abuse incidents that have taken place throughout the years in her presence.
She said that she was removed from a certain gambler because “he does not like chocolate.” In another incident, another gambler called a colleague of hers a “stupid black girl” and asked for a “lighter dealer.” Casino managers consented to that request.
Ms. Tesfagiorgis said that she complained to casino’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Branson, that she and her colleagues have been subjected to racial abuse. Mr. Branson allegedly told the croupier that request made by customers to have fair-skinned dealers was the result of “pure superstition” and not of racism.
Ms. Tesfagiorgis also noted that the casino’s COO asked her if she expected him to “turn away a million-pound punter.”
In addition, Ms. Tesfagiorgis claims that white staff members were given time off to look after their children, while the casino refused to accommodate her own requests for time off. The casino employee said that she has unsuccessfully tried to “reason with the management” over the years.
Crown London Aspinalls declined comment on the matter as there are ongoing legal proceedings.
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