Only hours until IRGC picks Argosy's replacement - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Only hours until IRGC picks Argosy's replacement


What started as a contract dispute almost a year ago, has lead us here. Thursday, state gaming officials will choose who replaces Sioux City's Argosy casino by awarding a new Woodbury County gaming license.         

Go back to June of 2012, Argosy owner Penn National Gaming and nonprofit MRHD were negotiating a new operating contract. They couldn't agree on how much casino revenue Penn would give and MRHD would take.
"We want the best deal we can get for Woodbury County, and the people who live here," said Missouri River Historical Development President Mark Monson.
The two reached an impasse, so the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission stepped in. They promised to keep the Argosy open and it's about 300 employees working until a land-based replacement was running.
"We feel like we gave sufficient time to Penn and MRHD to work something out and we need to work this out for the folks of Woodbury County, and also for the state of Iowa," said IRGC Chair Jeff Lamberti.
The IRGC's search yielded four potential results. You know them well. Partnered with MRHD, Sioux City Entertainment looks to build a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino out of the Battery Building.
"We think we have one killer of a proposal. It's just good as gold," said Monson.
Ho-Chunk Inc., with nonprofit Siouxland Strong, wants to renovate the Warrior and Davidson buildings, turning them into the Warrior Casino and Hotel.
"I think we have a chance to do something special with an older historical building and to make something that's really Sioux City's calling card," said Ho-Chunk CEO Lance Morgan.
And Penn, partnered with nonprofit Greater Siouxland Improvement Association, offered two options. A Hollywood casino either downtown, or off I-29 near Salix.
"We are not requiring any type of taxpayer financing or any type of taxpayer subsidies in order to build," said Penn Spokesperson Karen Bailey.
The IRGC will vote Thursday morning at their scheduled meeting in Council Bluffs, IA. The decision is number 14 on their agenda.

IRGC officials say a proposal will need the vote of at least three of the five commissioners to be approved.


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