In September, Penn National Gaming claimed the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission's August vote not to renew the Argosy Casino's gaming license was "illegal". A judge agreed with Penn's claims the Argosy would suffer "irreparable harm" if construction of the Hard Rock was completed, and the Argosy had to close.
Additionally, the judge sided with Penn on two other factors, including raising the public's interest in the licensing process.
The judge added that stopping construction would also advance the public's interest in maintaining gambling revenues while avoiding the loss of jobs.
Penn has claimed more than 300 workers at the Argosy will lose their jobs when the riverboat closes.
Penn spokeswoman Karen Bailey said the company is grateful to the judge for granting the stay. She says the move is a "very welcome relief" to Argosy employees."
MRHD president Mark Monson hadn't read the ruling, and said he's prefer to comment tomorrow.
We also reached out to Sioux City Entertainment CEO Bill Warner. “We are reviewing the court’s ruling,” said Warner, President of Sioux City Entertainment. “We continue to respect Iowa’s judicial and regulatory processes, and are confident that the correct outcome will prevail.”
A judge will hear arguments on Penn's civil suit against the IRGC in December of 2014.
And, don't forget, the Hard Rock risks a $53,000 fine for each day that it's not open after March 31 of 2015.
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