A Tale From The Caribbean Via The Hard Rock Casino

May 17, 2018 Ryan
A Tale From The Caribbean Via The Hard Rock Casino thumbnail

Hey, Ryan here with a short tale from our recent trip to the Caribbean.

Picture the scene.

There we were in the Hard Rock Casino in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.

Dubbed as one of the biggest casinos in the Caribbean, it’s 45,000 square feet of ringing bells, flashing lights and cigar-toting Americans ‘whooping and hollering’ at the tops of their lungs.

God bless America.

We’d been celebrating Hollie’s birthday and we were feeling great.  We were on top of the world and surely it was going to be our turn to win big on the tables or at the machines.

We just had a feeling.

We didn’t have any of the local currency, the peso, but that hadn’t mattered anywhere we’d been to yet.

EVERYONE has US dollars.

Well, everyone except the Hard Rock Casino that is…

I queued at the window with my credit card in hand excitingly anticipating my withdrawal. Turns out they can’t advance me any cash from my credit card. I’d need to go to the lobby and use the cash machine over there.

It’s only a couple of minutes to stroll there so off we jaunt.

That cash machine only gives pesos.

The fruit machines in the casino, of course, only accept dollars.

Mercifully they’ll exchange my pesos for dollars, the assistant cheerfully informs us.

Of course, she negates to mention that they’ll be offering the worst exchange rate in the history of currency exchange!

So off we go to the cash machine in the lobby and withdraw our pesos.

Then BACK to the window again to change them up.

Turns out now that we can only do that with a Hard Rock Players Card.

Which we don’t have.


So we now need to go to another different desk to sign up for one. It’s free but they request a truck load of personal information and a copy of my ID which I’m hardly thrilled about.

All just to play a few slot machines!

I’m not trying to withdraw $10,000 here or anything – we’re only talking hundreds and not tens of thousands!

Eventually we complete the sign up and it’s back to the window again to finally get some US dollars.

Well, sort of.

They won’t actually give me any in cash form – only US dollar equivalent slips to put into the machines or chips for the table.

We take the slips and off we go to gamble.

Far less excited that we were twenty minutes or so prior to the whole ordeal it must be said.

Borderline drained in fact – way to kill the moment, Hard Rock!

Here comes the lesson….

The moral of the story here is to make it simple for your clients to spend money with you.

It was almost as if the Hard Rock were intentionally making it as difficult as possible for us and putting as many obstacles in our path as possible.

Surely in a tourist resort mostly frequented by Americans they’d expect people to have, or want, dollars?

At least have some warning on the website so I could load up at my own hotel first.

I don’t know if they are trying to retain as many US dollars as possible and hold as little peso as possible, whether they just want to make money on the exchange rates or what’s going on.

All I know is that it all makes for a customer experience which stinks.

And it all seemed so very avoidable.

Look at your own sales process. Are you making it easy for people to spend money with you or are you complicating your sales process unnecessarily?

The easier you make it for people to give you money the more they will give you. It’s that simple.


P.S. – In case you were wondering we lost the dollars!  

P.P.S. – But had a lot of fun in the process… eventually!

Click here to read Ryan’s second Caribbean blog; Good Habits vs Bad Habits.