A Touch of Luck Founder
1966 – 2016
ATOL was founded in St. Louis, MO in 2006 by entrepreneur and poker player Joe Galloway. Prior to founding ATOL, Joe enjoyed a successful career in IT where he managed teams and projects all over the world for multinational technology companies. He also founded and ran his own IT consulting company based out of the UK that serviced clients throughout Europe. Eventually, Joe sold his IT business and returned to the US and settled in St. Louis where he became a regular in the town’s casinos and poker rooms.
Joe was a true student of the game of poker but his knowledge extended far beyond the table. As a lifelong player of accomplishment who traveled extensively, Joe had developed a deep knowledge of the business side of the gaming industry and had professional gaming connections all over the world.
In 2004, the “while-you-play” casino massage industry was still in its infancy. Most casinos that had the service were in Las Vegas and many of the first casinos to experiment with the offering either tried (and failed) to provide it themselves using their spa staff or engaged therapists in the community on a one-off basis for special events.
During his travels, Joe had the opportunity to sample “while-you-play” massage while he played and immediately realized the benefits it brought to both the player and the casino. Whenever Joe was able to get a massage while he played, he immediately felt stress relief, refreshed, and stayed and played longer than he would have under the same circumstances without a massage.
Sensing an opportunity to merge his love of gaming and entrepreneurial abilities, Joe decided to seize the moment and formed A Touch of Luck with the goal of introducing “while-you-play” casino massage to St. Louis. For 2 years he laid the groundwork for his new business by learning everything he could about the massage industry and refining his unique business model. His guiding philosophy was simple; use only the best, licensed therapists, continually train and educate them on the gaming environment, and organize and support them within a corporate structure that gave them the best opportunity for long-term success.
In 2006, ATOL began providing “while-you-play” massage service at Harrah’s St. Louis. The service was an immediate hit and Joe soon thereafter expanded the business to Horseshoe Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Hammond. Both Horseshoe properties remain serviced by ATOL to this day (unfortunately we can no longer service Harrah’s St. Louis due to the Missouri Gaming Commission no longer allowing third-party vendors to operate on the gaming room floor and in the poker rooms.)
In 2010 Joe married his best friend, a massage therapist named Deana, who worked alongside him day in and day out with ATOL and helped him to continue to grow the business while supporting the existing therapists.
In 2010, celebrity poker professional and fellow St. Louisan Dennis Phillips joined Joe as partner and co-owner of ATOL in an effort to further expand and strengthen ATOL’s operations. Dennis, an accomplished businessman and veteran of the poker circuit, had just come off his historic 2008 WSOP Main Event finish and was at the top of the US poker world.
Joe and Dennis’ combined experience, contacts and resources ushered in a new era of expansion for A Touch of Luck. Over the next 5 years the company added locations across the Midwest and to the East Coast, while growing internally by adding additional back office staff, managers, and business development professionals.
On April 11, 2016, Joe Galloway had a stroke and suffered extensive brain damage and paralysis. As he bravely fought for his life in the ICU, Deana and ATOL were inundated with cards, notes, flowers, wishes, and visits from ATOL therapists, casino personnel and fellow players from across the country.
Against all odds and doctor’s expectations, Joe battled for 6 heroic weeks before passing away peacefully from complications related to his stroke.
Although we will always mourn his passing and our loss, Joe’s ambition and indomitable spirit survives in our organization as we continue to push ATOL to new heights and success.