UPDATE: Public shares casino picks with IRGC - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Public shares casino picks with IRGC

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? For about three and a half hours people stood up and spoke for their favorite project. ? For about three and a half hours people stood up and spoke for their favorite project.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

This is it. One of four proposed casinos will replace Sioux City's Argosy. The decision is in the hands of Iowa gaming officials. They'll award a gambling license, next month.

But before they do, the public got to weigh in, Tuesday afternoon.

People turned out by the hundreds, anxious to tell the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission which casino proposal is the best bet for Woodbury County.

Folks supporting Penn National Gaming's Hollywood pitches said, with Penn, success isn't a gamble.

"They can fund this deal out of their own cash flow, their own profit every single year. I believe they've built three casinos in the last four years, they've all been successful," said John D'Auguste.

Penn's employees at the Argosy said they're on board because their jobs will be guaranteed.

"You can save over 300 current Iowa jobs, and you can also create 150 more," said Argosy employee Jamie Foster.

When it came to Sioux City Entertainment's Hard Rock...

"There's three very important elements of this casino, as with any landmark, location, location, location," said Ellen Christoffersen.

Local business owners chimed-in and said the brand name "rocks" so "hard" it'll boost business.

"I've already got people drooling over having a Hard Rock come to town. If they come to see the Hard Rock, they're going to come see our store," said owner of ACME Comics, Fran McGarry.

Ho-Chunk Inc.'s Warrior project has historians happy, especially those who'd hate to lose the historic hotel.

"I am here as an individual citizen, who for 40 years has watched Sioux City knock down historic buildings. This is our one shot, friends," said Sioux City resident Howard Wanned.

Supporters said the Warrior would bring people to the heart of downtown. The project's pull even got one man to face his fears.

"I'm sorry. I'm not a public speaker. In fact, public speaking scares the daylights out of me. But this project is so important for the future of downtown," said Siouxland resident, Tal Kovarna.

The IRGC has the final say on the proposals. A tough choice, made tougher.

"We heard from people supporting all of them, very passionately. That's good, we want to know that. But, on the other hand it makes it a very difficult decision," said IRGC Chair Jeff Lamberti.

It's up to each commissioner as to how much weight to give Tuesday's hearing. The IRGC will make their final pick April 18th. Only one gets the gaming license up for grabs.

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