Casino News

Grand Villa Casino Burnaby Allegedly Discriminated Black Woman

Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby, British Columbia recently became the scene of alleged racial profiling. Siobhan Barker was on her way out of the restaurant adjacent to it when she claims she was racially profiled and prevented from leaving the building upon refusing to allow the security guards to check her purse.

The Black woman has filed a human rights complaint claiming that the color of her skin is the reason why she was detained and she could not leave the premises of the casino complex for about 40 minutes. Security guards wanted to look inside her bag for alcohol or weapons she might be in possession of.

Gateway Casinos & Ent.

When Ms. Barker refused to allow them to check the bag, they told her to wait right there until more security personnel made their way to the casino complex. All of them waited between 20 and 45 minutes until those individuals arrived and the Black woman claims that the entire thing was an example of racial profiling.

Prior to the incident, she was attending an event at the restaurant area of the Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby and she was on her way out. Her vehicle was parked at the parking garage and she was trying to get to it. The event in question took place on June 18, 2019 positioning it almost a year ago on the timeline. Ms. Barker decided she should file a human right complaint now and seek the protection of her rights.

This is going to happen with the help of a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is the casino operator overseeing the Burnaby casino hotspot where this incident took place last summer. The human right complaint targets the gaming corporation seeking justice for Ms. Barker. She pointed out that she considers herself to have been racially profiled by the security guards.

Black Woman Detained

Last summer, only days after the incident had taken place, Ms. Barker wrote a letter to the Grand Villa Casino management seeking some acknowledgement and explanation. General Manager Lisa Mak said that purses should be checked only in some cases. She also disagreed that the woman was detained by the security guards for 45 minutes.

The Black woman is of mixed ancestry and she works as a consultant on issues of diversity and inclusion. Thus she is well-acquainted with her rights as a Black person and she decided to file the complaint citing discrimination on the basis of her color, race, as well as her ancestry. In response to that, Gateway Spokesperson Tanya Gabara pointed out that no comment will be issued at this time.

However, she stated that the casino operator does not endorse racial discrimination or any other kind of unfair treatment of its casino patrons of casino staff members. It could be recalled that back in November 2018, rapper Drake used his Instagram account to reveal that the Parq Vancouver casino’s staff prevented him from playing at the venue. The rapper blamed the casino for profiling him and called Parq Vancouver “the worst-run business” he had ever seen.