Nevada Peppermill Casino Visitor Claims Asian Racial Profiling Left Her Traumatized

A woman, originally from Vietnam, was prevented from going onto the gaming floor at the Peppermill Resort and Casino in Wendover, Nev. last month. It turns out security staff mistakenly confused her with another Asian.

Danh Luu, left, and Tammy Luu in front of the Peppermill Casino
Danh Luu, left, and Tammy Luu, pictured above in front of the Peppermill Casino. She claims the Peppermill Casino racially profiled her. (Image: Tammy Luu)

Tammy Luu, who now resides in Taylorsville, Utah, said she was humiliated and traumatized from the Sept. 21 incident. Security staff identified her as “the Asian female” and she remains upset over her treatment.

On that day, Tammy Luu and her husband, Danh Luu, went to see “Saigon by Night.” a Vietnamese show at the Peppermill’s concert hall. After the show, the couple headed to the casino floor. They gave IDs to get membership cards.

That is when the head of security and three guards approached them.

Luu was told her she was banned from Peppermill and its affiliated casinos. Also, her account was closed. It was all due to an Aug. 15 incident. But she was not there that date.

Luu told them they mistakenly misidentified her. She asked them to double check.

The chief of security took her ID. He went somewhere apparently to check and when he came back, he said: “Yep, everything matches. Asian female.”

I cry every time I think about it,” Luu was quoted by KSL, a Utah TV station. “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.”

Banned at Two Casinos

She could not get onto the casino floor. The couple then drove to the Montego Bay Resort and Casino, which is affiliated with the Peppermill Resort and Casino.

They were going to eat dinner. But before getting to a restaurant, six security guards stopped them in a parking lot.

They told the couple they were trespassing.

I started crying and then all of this fear overcame me,” Tammy Luu said.

Security Admits Error

Eventually, security staff admitted they made a mistake. The couple’s account was reopened.

I’m like ‘I don’t care about my account. I’m very humiliated. I’m very upset that you would treat a person, a human, like that,’” Luu said.

The guard and security chief never really apologized to her. The couple was simply told, “We made an error.”

The casino refunded room charges, upgraded their room, and gave the couple meal cards.

Several days later, a security official told Tammy Luu that on Aug. 15 several Samoans were banned following a fight. Some Asians were implicated.

In an effort to ID individuals, a pit boss gave them Danh Luu’s player’s card by accident, the security official said. Danh Luu was at the casino that day.

But Tammy Luu said the story fails to make sense.

This is bigger than me. This is my community, these are my people and I’ve been with the community for so long and I just want to set an example,” Tammy Luu told KSL.

There is a lesson for others from the incident.

“Don’t let people disrespect you. Don’t just let things go. If it’s not right, you should say something,” Tammy Luu said.

Luu is also the vice president of the Vietnamese American Community of Utah.

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