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Opening Daze

Troy Hall • Slot Director, Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment, West Valley

Opening Daze

Say hello to Mr. Energy.

From slot technician to slot magician, Troy Hall has fashioned an electrifying journey in roughly two gaming decades. The Shreveport, Louisiana native, who entered the casino world after a naval career in which he’d worked on multimillion-dollar weapons systems, has been prolific.

There have been seven—count ‘em, seven—property openings for this effervescent director of slot operations at Desert Diamond West Valley casino outside of Phoenix. His ledger includes the late 2019 scheduled transformation of Desert Diamond West Valley into a major industry player. Early in 2018, Hall was lured to Arizona from Maryland Live!, where he’d guided slot operations for the state’s top-earning slot floor for more than five years.

Hall has performed his duties in Hollywood Casino in Shreveport, Delta Downs, the Isle of Capri Casinos in Pompano Park, Florida and in Natchez and Lula, Mississippi, among others. He juggled two openings at one time, with two properties launching within six months. After that came Maryland Live! and finally, his first tribal property.

“I love installs,” he laughs. “Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. There is an allure and a satisfaction of going from a construction environment into an operational environment. You are making sure you have the right pieces in place, the right slots mix, all the internal controls, etc. I’m really excited about this one because we are in a primo location. We are sitting in Glendale with a huge market and bustling entertainment district nearby (along with professional sports teams). We are ready to set Phoenix on fire.”

The Desert Diamond West Valley casino is being built adjacent to the temporary facility the Tohono O’odham Nation opened in 2015 as a full Class II facility, and is just one piece of the tribe’s plan to transform its 135-acre property into a full-scale casino, resort and spa.

The new $400 million casino will have table games along with slots—both Class II and Class III. It will be much larger than the temporary casino, with a 75,000-square-foot casino floor compared with the 30,000-square-foot floor at the temporary location. It also will offer live bingo and have five restaurants.

Hall taps into the versatility of the slot sector and his own management talents. Besides 1,136 machines on this project, Hall conducts the transformation from the project management side.

“What’s great about this is you don’t see the same thing every day,” he says. “Over the last 20 years, the different levels of data we have access to now is phenomenal. It allows us to get that unique look at a customer, tailor our service to that person and market to that customer. We have the integration of multiple systems data in one hub and we continue to find new ways to entice our guests.”

Hall has encompassed the technical, corporate, operational and project-management realm of a changing business. During his career, slot machines went from coins and handle-pulling into TITO, screens to enable food orders, show tickets, tournaments and reward redemption. His family also has evolved, moving several times. Hall’s wife Katrina had a 15-year career in the casino cage before their marriage, and thus understands this industry’s demands, he says. The couple has four children.

Casino Connection Sports Editor Dave Bontempo is an award-winning sports writer and broadcaster who calls boxing matches all over the world. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs, as well as numerous PGA, LPGA and Seniors Golf Tour events, and co-hosted the Casino Connection television program with Publisher Roger Gros.

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