Shock as Hemsby taxi man is banned from Yarmouth casino

PUBLISHED: 10:44 06 January 2012

Carol and Derek Dickerson. 
Derek has been barrred from the Palace Casino in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: James Bass

Carol and Derek Dickerson. Derek has been barrred from the Palace Casino in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A MAN who complained about the customer service at a Great Yarmouth casino discovered he was banned when he arrived for a pre-booked family meal.

Derek Dickerson had arranged for his wife Carol, son and daughter-in-law to eat in the in-house restaurant at the Palace Casino but was told on arrival that he was not allowed inside - saying he was blacklisted.

However, he claims staff said the rest of his family were still welcome to eat at the casino, which he and his wife had been attending since it opened.

It comes after Mr Dickerson wrote to the managing director describing the “excellent value” of their restaurant, but raising concerns at the “rudeness” of his staff.

The casino, on Church Plain, have refused to comment on why Mr Dickerson was banned and said it was a manager’s right to bar individuals at their discretion.

Mr Dickerson, of Repps with Bastwick near Potter Heigham has now vowed never to step 
foot inside the Palace again and has even been in touch with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to try and clear his name.

The 68-year-old retired owner of Hemsby Taxis said: “I feel embarrassed by the whole experience. I would never go back there again.

“I wrote to the Citizens Advice Bureau because I felt something should be done for defamation of character.”

Mr Dickerson felt the casino should have written to him informing them of the ban, before he turned up for the meal in December with his family.

“I just feel bitter - I have been going to the Palace since the day it opened.”

Mr Dickerson first sent a letter to the casino on September 8 outlining his wife’s concerns at what she thought of the standard of customer service.

He wrote: “My wife and I have been regular visitors of both the casino and restaurant, the latter being excellent value for money.”

But the letter continued, criticising some members of staff. In a responding letter, Patrick Duffy the managing director of the Palace Casino said he was “hugely disappointed” with the letter’s contents and would be “investigating the matter”.

He also asked Mr Dickerson to pinpoint the specific times incidents occurred.

And in a reply, Mr Dickerson wrote: “On the last visit to your casino I think there may have 
been a management meeting because as my wife and I were leaving the casino your staff were ‘I assume’ having their break outside the main doors of the casino, and not one of your staff acknowledged us or said a simple ‘goodnight’.”

Mr Dickerson found out he had been banned since September 23, when he turned up for the meal, and had still managed to book a table for the restaurant for December 22.

A spokesman for the Palace Casino, owned by Palatial Leisure Ltd, said: “We are allowed to refuse entry to anyone.

“We are not allowed to discuss individual cases due to data protection.”

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