An Oak Flats hotel that told a Berkeley woman they would not honour her accommodation booking because she was a local have since said the booking was refused under its gambling policy.
Stephanie Fahy booked one night at the Lakeview Hotel Motel for Sunday, October 15, intending to stay there with a friend to take a short break from everyday life.
However, when Ms Fahy arrived to check in that day and handed over her licence, she was told a policy was recently put in place that locals were not allowed to stay at the hotel.
Baffled, the disability and aged care worker returned home and eventually got in contact with the licensee, who first told her via email that it was because the hotel did not take bookings from local residents due to the "safety of staff".
But in a later email, he told her it was because she had excluded herself from the hotel's gaming area.
However, Ms Fahy said she stayed at the hotel without incident twice in September.
A spokesperson for the Lakeview Hotel Motel, which was recently renovated and reopened, said it regretted that Ms Fahy was told that her booking was cancelled "due to a legacy policy that is no longer in place".
"We can confirm that we upheld our decision to decline her booking as part of our gambling harm minimisation procedures," the spokesperson said.
On Friday, Ms Fahy said she was still waiting on her refund and her booking did not appear to have been cancelled on Booking.com, the third-party website she had used.
The hotel spokesperson said her refund was processed on the day the booking was cancelled, but because she had made the booking through a third-party site, it could take five to 10 days.
"We apologise for the miscommunication and any inconvenience the customer has experienced," the spokesperson said.
"We are committed to creating a fun, enjoyable and safe entertainment environment for all our guests, including our valued local patrons."
When Ms Fahy shared her experience on a social media page, at least two other people commented that they too had been denied a booking at the same venue because they were locals, one just earlier this month.
"I've never heard of this happening," Ms Fahy said.
"There are so many reasons why a local person would want to stay."
Ms Fahy said she and her friend did not book a stay elsewhere because they didn't have the money.
"I'm just really disappointed," she said.
Had she been told straight up that it was because she was self-excluded from the gaming area, she said she would have respected that.
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