ROBINSONVILLE, Miss. — Rarely a week goes by that Alexus Tate isn’t feeling lucky, which means a lot of trips to Gold Strike Casino in Tunica County.
“I go every week, every Sunday, every holiday,” Tate said.
Tate said she was there the day after Thanksgiving when a trip to the bathroom made her question everything.
“The security guard stops me and says, ‘You don’t belong in there,'” Tate recalled.
Tate, who was born a man, said she went to the women’s restroom as she’s done for the past six years that she’s identified as a woman.
Upon leaving the bathroom, Tate said a security guard demanded to see her ID.
“In front of everybody literally holds up her hand and goes like this to me. No! That’s not how it goes.”
Tate said a janitor at the casino confided in her about what the security guard was saying while she was in the bathroom.
“As you were walking in the bathroom, she stopped me and said, ‘Why is it in there?'” Tate said the janitor told her.
Tate said she immediately went to other casino employees.
A friend who accompanied Tate to Gold Strike that day corroborated her account. Tate also provided WREG a voice message from the president of Gold Strike Casino in which he said the casino was investigating.
It was one of several phone calls she said she exchanged with the casino before they stopped calling in December.
In their last phone call, Tate said a casino representative was apologetic but told her the security guard wouldn’t be fired.
“She offered me some free plays, some hotel. I’m like, I already get all of that stuff,” Tate said.
What she wants more than anything else is the respect she thought she already had.
“I couldn’t sleep,” she said. “I’ve never been embarrassed like that before.”
“Tears started falling down my eyes because it’s like, it just hits me,” she added.
Gold Strike’s owner MGM Resorts sent WREG the following statement:
“Inclusion is a core value for MGM Resorts, and all security officers are trained on our company’s policy of allowing guests to utilize public restrooms based on the gender with which they identify. Unfortunately, the security officer involved in this incident did not respond appropriately. The security officer in question was immediately corrected, the policy was clarified to the guest by a supervisor at the time of the incident, and the security officer involved was disciplined accordingly. We sincerely regret this incident and have apologized to the guest. We hope for the opportunity to make up for her poor guest experience.
“This incident does not represent our values or the conduct of employees across our company. Our employees train extensively on our policies, and we will continue to reiterate and emphasize our commitment to inclusion and our focus on treating guests appropriately. Our goal, as always, is to ensure all guests feel welcome and have a safe and enjoyable experience.”