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A Perfect Holiday Destination

Sophie Behan chats to Ricky (F.) Tromp, Director of Casino Operations at Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino and Chairman for the Aruba Casino Association

When did the Casino first open and who opened it?

The Casino first opened on November 12, 1990 and was inaugurated by our GM Mr. Carlos Cabrera, nowadays SVP - All Inclusive Operations Regional Operations.

Have you met many famous and/or interesting people that have visited the casino? If so who? What, if any, memorable moments do you have of that time?

We had the honour to host many famous soccer players from the Netherlands, as well as celebrities from the USA. On an annual basis we support and sponsor several music festivals, such as Soul Beach Music Festival, Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival and Summer Festival that bring many celebrities to the destination.

Do you receive many VIPs?

We host many high end players that visit our Casino a couple of times a year.

Do you find there is a high level of competitiveness from other casinos in the area?

There is a high level of competitiveness with Casinos on the island due to the fact that the larger Casinos tend to offer the same product. However, we stand out due to the excellent service we offer our guests, among which many are repeat customers.

Do you provide a training school?

We provide training so that our dealers can become experts in a variety of games. Furthermore, we do offer casino clinics on a daily basis to our customers. Our Happy Gaming Hour became very popular with a very low bet of $1 on Black Jack and $0.50 Roulette every day from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

What is your favourite part of working in this casino and its location?

The best part about working in our casino is that I am able to be on the floor, where I have the opportunity to engage with the customers and work alongside our employees.

Our casino is in an excellent location right on the Palm Beach strip, which is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, lounges and shopping malls that receive a lot of foot-traffic.

As you are based on an island, are your customers mainly tourists or locals?

Our customer base consists of both tourists and locals.

What type of customers do you get coming in to the casino?

Our customers are a mix of leisure travellers and incentive groups.

And where are the tourists mainly from?

The majority of tourists travelling to Aruba come from the United States, with the northeast being our top market.

How many employees do you have?

We currently employ 116 people at the casino, which consists of dealers, guest service agents, servers, bartenders and more.

Are your employees mainly from the area/island or are there many that come from abroad?

All our employees are from Aruba as our island gaming legislation only permits local residents to be employed in casinos.

How many different games do you offer?

We have a great variety of slot games, table games such as black jack, American roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Three Card Poker and Let It Ride.

How many tables do you have?

We currently have 13 tables.

How many slots do you have and which type are the most popular?

We currently have 240 slot machines, and the most popular games are the Bally 88 Fortune penny slot machine, Bally Quick Hits and Konami Selexions.

Do you have a Progressive and if so what is the largest pay-out recently.

We have many progressives, Caribbean Stud Poker, and several other slot machines. Our recent large pay-out was $125K on the Caribbean Stud Poker followed by $55K on Bally U-Spin slot machine.

Do you offer many Promotions or Competitions and what type of players take advantage of this?

Currently our promotions are considered the best and very popular amongst in-house customers and locals. We also draw a lot of players from other resorts, due to our aggressive marketing campaigns. We have special deals with other properties with no casino, offering their guests at check-in an incentive to visit our casino and become a member with benefits.

In the last few years, Aruba has experienced a severe double dip recession that is currently recovering. Do you feel that this has had a big impact on the overall performance of the casino?

We were slightly impacted by the recession, but we managed to rapidly recover mainly due to our popular customer loyalty programme which allowed us to maintain its overall performance.

Do you have any plans for expansion and how are you making people more aware around the world to come and visit your casino?

Our plans include the addition of a sports book lounge where our customers can place bets and watch their favourite sports. We are also revamping our junket programme in order to attract more players.

What makes your casino different?

Our Casino is pretty unique. The service is top-notch and our convenient location on Palm Beach is excellent for attracting customers. We also offer daily promotions and live entertainment.

What do you see Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino evolving into during the next couple of years?

Excellence is our key to success, and we strive to maintain our position as the best Casino on the Island. By offering innovative and attractive promotions, we are able to add another element in standing out from other resort casinos. Currently, we are the only casino on the island with a non-smoking slot area, and continue to look for ways to stand out from the sea of casinos and offerings on the island.


We will start offering innovative and attractive promotions that will allow us to continue differentiating ourselves from the sea of other casino offerings on-island.

Expansions and awareness for new customers?

We do not have any expansions planned for 2018, however we will continue to enhance our product for 2017/ 2018.

When did you start working at The Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino?

I started with the Hyatt in October 2008.

Why did you choose a career in the Gaming industry?

I was about to graduate as an architect, when I was offered a part time job during the summer school vacation in a Casino as a chip racker. I had an instant attraction to the industry and I was given an opportunity to grow my career in this field.

What parts of the industry do you enjoy the most?

The most enjoyable part of this industry is the ability to work and engage with people.

What brought your attention to the Gaming Industry to make you want to get into the Gaming business?

The ability to interact and create a bond with customers in a fun and interesting workplace.

What are your inspirations and future prospects?

My inspiration is to continue to grow with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.

What have been the best highlights whilst working as general manager in the Hyatt Casino?

The highlight of working here has been that I’ve been able to restructure the casino and make it more profitable.

Finally, in one sentence – what would you say to people and potential customers to entice them to come and visit Aruba and your casino?

Come to Aruba for an unforgettable experience and discover one of the top luxury resort casinos - Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino.