The economic development arm of the Siouxland Chamber has commissioned a Nevada research company to compare the four land-based casino plans proposed for Woodbury County.
On the table are the proposed Hard Rock Casino-Hotel in the Battery Building, downtown, the Warrior Casino-Hotel in the historic Warrior Hotel, downtown, and two proposals from Penn National Gaming... a "Hollywood Casino" in downtown Sioux City, and another near Salix, Iowa.
The analysis, done by Wells Gaming Research put the proposals side-by-side, and compared ownership, management, revenue, and amenities. What could be key to taxpayers, and residents, alike, are the estimates of each proposals' revenue, taxes, and contribution to each casino's QSO, or "qualified sponsor organization." That's the non-profit that holds the casino's gaming license, and distributes the revenue in the community.
A look at the numbers shows Wells Research says the Hard Rock proposal would generate the most revenue, $82.3 million in the first year. That's compared to $75.8 million from the Warrior, $69.2 million from the Hollywood Casino Sioux City, and $60.4 million from the Hollywood Casino Siouxland.
In the fifth year, Hard Rock would generate $92.9 million in revenue, which is still the most out of the 4 proposals. That's compared to $85.5 million from the Warrior, $78.5 million from the Hollywood Casino Sioux City, and $68.1 million from the Hollywood Casino Siouxland.
But, Wells Research says only one of the four proposals would meet, or beat, their own estimated revenue in the first year... the Warrior. By year #5, all of the casinos overestimate the revenue estimated by Wells.
Turning to estimated taxes paid to the city, county and state, Wells Research shows the Hard Rock proposal will pay the most... at $18.2 million dollars in the first year of operation. That's compared to $16.8 million from the Warrior, $15.4 million from the Hollywood Casino Sioux City, and $13.4 million from the Hollywood Casino Siouxland.
Wells says the Hard Rock will also pay local governments the most in taxes by with $20.6 million. That's compared to $19 million from the Warrior, $17.4 million from the Hollywood Casino Sioux City, and $15.1 million from the Hollywood Casino Siouxland.
When it comes to the amount of money casinos would give their non-profit partners-- to reinvest in the community-- Wells estimates Hard Rock would contribute the largest percentage... 4.25%. That works out to more than $3.4 million dollars a year, or more, every year for the first five years of operation.
Chris McGowan, the president of "The Siouxland Initiative", says the reason T-S-I commissioned this study was "to better understand the pros and cons of each of the various land-based casino proposals."
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