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Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort name new CEO

15 February 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort, enterprises of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, announced the appointment of John Dinius as President and Chief Executive Officer. The news comes following an extensive national search by the Salt River Enterprises Gaming Board of Directors and the retirement of Dennis Leong, a much esteemed leader who held the position for 13 years.

“The depth and breadth of John’s experience make him the ideal CEO to take Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort to the next level,” said Bernice-Cota Gann, Chair of the Salt River Enterprises Gaming Board of Directors. “His appointment comes at an exciting time for our properties as we ready ourselves to mark many milestones in the weeks, months and years to come. Among them, a major renovation at Talking Stick Resort as well as the 25th anniversary of Casino Arizona.”

Dinius brings more than two decades of experience in gaming at casinos across California. Most recently, he served as CEO of Table Mountain Casino Resort in Fresno, Calif. Under his leadership, the property opened a new multi-million dollar casino-resort.

Prior to his time at the Table Mountain properties, Dinius, spent over 20 years with Sycuan Casino Resort. There, he started as a bingo pull tabs clerk working his way up, holding positions at nearly every level within the casino. Among those jobs included slot attendant, operations manager, slot director and more. Eventually, Dinius was appointed general manager helping the property set an array of records and achievements. As general manager, he increased visitation at Sycuan Casino Resort and made significant innovative changes to the property such as growing the casino’s loyalty player program by increasing the amount of cash back to its highest levels. He also established the largest non-smoking gaming area, long before the pandemic led many to end smoking in casinos. Playing a key part in these large-scale initiatives and his wide-range of experience has given Dinius unique insights into the inner workings of the gaming and hospitality industries.

“I am honored to join Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort. The properties have stellar reputations within the industry and are market leaders within the State,” said Dinius. “My goal is to help each property grow and evolve, while maintaining their position as the standard bearer for gaming and hospitality. All of this with the purpose of supporting the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.”

Dinius replaces Dennis Leong following his retirement at the end of 2022. Leong served as President and CEO for Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort for 13 years.

“Dennis brought professionalism and elegance to Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort,” said Cota-Gann. “He has served our Enterprise loyally, guiding us through times of hardship and great prosperity. We are grateful for his leadership and wish him all the best.”

Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort are two of the leading attractions in the Valley. Together, they are home to 2,500 state-of-the-art slot machines, numerous table games and keno. This year, Casino Arizona will celebrate its 25th anniversary and recently opened a new bingo hall and taqueria.

Since opening in 2010, Talking Stick Resort has become the epicenter of entertainment in Scottsdale. It is home to 497 luxurious guest rooms, three pools and 10 premier restaurants and lounges. Last year, the Resort opened a new ARENA poker room, the largest one in Arizona. Talking Stick Resort has also announced an exciting lineup of new events and partnerships. In February, the Resort will host Superzona, a weekend of superstar performances from Snoop Dogg, Diplo, 21 Savage, Lil Jon, Machine Gun Kelly, The Chainsmokers and more. The Resort will also enter into the second year of partnerships with WM Phoenix Open and the Arizona Diamondbacks. And last week, the Resort announced a naming-rights agreement with Live Nation for its iconic outdoor venue in the west valley, now called Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre.

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