An elite casino lost a race discrimination lawsuit after it allowed its multimillionaire clients to abuse blackcroupiers and fulfill their demands for “white female dealers only”

41-year old Semhar Tsfagiorgis has accused Crown London Aspinalls that it allowed Mayfair’s high roller clients to use racist language, and that management would’segregate black employees’ if directed.

The Eritrean-born mother to two children won a part of her direct race discrimination case. Her other claims of sex discrimination harassment and victimisation were dismissed.

She claimed her managers, two of whom are also listed as respondents in the suit, diminished the racist remarks like use of the slur ‘n****r’, ‘stupid black girl’, and ‘blackie’ by calling them ‘mistakes’.

Semhar Tesfagiorgis, 41, (pictured) had accused Crown London Aspinalls of allowing its Mayfair high-rolling clients to use racist language and that management would 'segregate' black employees out of their eyesight if directed

41-year old Semhar Tsfagiorgis (pictured), had accused Crown London Aspinalls that it allowed Mayfair’s high roller clients to use racist language, and that management would segregate’ black employees if directed

Ms Tesfagiorgis explained that requests for fair-skinned dealers from wealthy clients in the south east were not accepted because of ‘pure superstition.

She also claimed that a manager told them after she complained, did you expect us to turn away a millionaire punter?

The croupier, who was employed at the den for 13-years before taking voluntary redundancy last spring due to the pandemic of 2001, stated that she was first black person to be hired into gaming and that black men were effectively forbidden from being hired into client-facing positions.

She continued: “On 4/12/2019, a patron Mr Pravech Tattanapian insisted on having a fair-skinned broker.”

‘This was communicated to the first respondent’s Marketing Team who then asked for the front of house management’s attention to the request.

“Accordingly, the request for a meeting was accepted as a legitimate request. It was not denied as it was in violation of the club rules or first respondent’s policies by any marketing or management member prior to my shift.

Crown Aspinalls tried to defend the claims by stating that the reason was because of the 'perception that it was necessary to accommodate patrons' requests, no matter how unreasonable, in order to further the interests of the business'

Crown Aspinalls attempted to defend the claims by stating the reason was due to the ‘perception it was necessary to accommodate patrons’ requests, no matter what they were, in order to advance the business’s interests’

“The patron refused to allow a black female dealer, Ms. [Selina] Miebaka. Miebaka.

‘No one warned patron about the inappropriateness of his racist, insulting request. He was not warned that his membership could be suspended.

“Instead, I had to be kept at arm’s reach and separated from the area where this patron was gaming, because I was a black female.”

She complained to Michael Branson, managing director, and Laura Attrill (human resources supervisor), who were also named as respondents in the tribunal.

She claimed that Mr Branson had said to her that the patron’s request for fair-skinned dealers may have been ‘pure superstition.

She said that he said, “Did I expect him to turn aside a million-pound punter?”

He had to manage customer expectations. He had had many similar discussions. Patrons are not willing to accept that he was speaking to them.

“I was devastated after this meeting and found it extraordinarily hostile. It was obvious that the respondents would not take steps to protect my from patrons’ racist or discriminatory conduct or treat me fairly when it came up.

“Instead, they would add insult to injury only by compounding the egregious discrimination further through their own discriminatory acts or omissions, and continue to segregate my fellow black women.”

Tina Elliott, Employment Judge, stated that the claimant was on duty. She was not brought on to make a deal because she was not white.

A remedy hearing where Ms Tesfagiorgis is expected to be awarded a cash sum will take place at a later date

A remedy hearing in which Ms Tesfagiorgis will be awarded a cash sum is scheduled for a later date

‘Mr Hennessy’s notes of the incident identified two other females on duty, including the claimant. They decided to send a white male dealer instead.

“The accommodation of this request was direct racism of the claimant because, but for her race, she would have been asked by the patron to deal with her.

“The managers did not give that request the same treatment because of race.

“The patron was not informed of the inappropriateness in his request for fair-skinned females.

They didn’t try to convince the patron to accept a dealer of color.

“Mr Hennessy said that it would have been incendiary of me to confront the player right away.

Crown Aspinalls attempted to defend the claims by stating the reason was due to the ‘perception it was necessary to accommodate patrons’ request, no matter what their unreasonableness, in order to further the interests the business.

Employment Judge Elliott stated, however: “We find that it was discrimination. The reason the claimant was not brought on was because she was of African descent.

Ms. Tesfagiorgis stated that it was a long and difficult journey of David and Goliath proportions after the tribunal.

“I took on the might and power of a multibillion-pound business that has exploited rich patrons to detriment of its hardworking staff for far too many years.

“I tried for years to open a dialog about the racism I and others were often faced, but I was either shut down or ignored each time.

“I was not the victim of overt racism until my time in the casino industry, when it became so common that my white colleagues began to normalize it.

“The direct race discrimination I and my black colleagues experienced was not isolated.

“Although the Tribunal couldn’t rule on past events because of time limitations, they have acknowledged that this was the case. Crown Aspinalls will finally have to do the same. For this, I am grateful the Employment Tribunal.”

Shazia Khan represented the croupier and said that she was pleased with the Tribunal’s decision and that it will allow for a root and branches reform of the Casino and Gaming Industry to address racist and sexist conducts that drove my client away from a job she loved.

“The judgment ruled that Crown Aspinalls failed to drive a coach with horses through the Equality Act 2010 and sent a clear message that there is absolutely no place for racism or misogyny at work and that no one is above and beyond the law, no matter their wealth.

Ms. Tesfagiorgis is likely to be awarded a cash sum at a later hearing.

MailOnline reached out Crown London Aspinalls to provide comment.