Penn National, Ho-Chunk, Inc. react to casino license decision - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Penn National, Ho-Chunk, Inc. react to casino license decision

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Groups of Hollywood Casino supporters gather at the April 18th IRGC meeting in Council Bluffs, IA. Groups of Hollywood Casino supporters gather at the April 18th IRGC meeting in Council Bluffs, IA.

With the license going to the Hard Rock Casino, where does that leaves the two other proposals?

In the eyes of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission there could only be one winner.

"Obviously very disappointed at the decision today. I'm also concerned about the implications for our shareholders as well as our employees," said Karen Bailey, Vice President for Public Affairs with Penn National Gaming.

Employees like Taylor Medina, who's worried about losing his job.

"Obviously a lot of families were affected. Me and my wife both work at the Argosy and we got a $900 house payment," said Medina, Argosy Employee.

Penn National Gaming, the current owner of Sioux City's Argosy Casino, was looking to build one of their two proposals, a Hollywood Casino in downtown or near Salix.

That wasn't the only plan shuttered on Thursday.

So was Ho-Chunk, Incorporated's proposal to build a Warrior Casino and Hotel downtown.

"Everything was professional. Everything was fair. It just came down to a contest at the end, and I think we got second, but that doesn't mean much in this game," said Lance Morgan, Ho-Chunk, Incorporated President and CEO.

Ho-Chunk, Incorporated President and CEO Lance Morgan says he's not sure whether renovating the Warrior building, even as a hotel, is possible without the revenue from gaming.

"I think this was the Warrior, Davidson's big chance to be honest. I'm not sure that the cost associated with renovating is viable," said Morgan.

But no matter what lies ahead, both Penn National and Ho-Chunk say they're happy with the support they received during the process.

"Very thankful for all the support that we have received from the community, all of the support that was given to us by our QSO, non-profit partners. They've done a tremendous amount of work," said Bailey.

"I just really want to thank everybody who supported us. It's touching, and it makes me feel very positive about our future," said Morgan.

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