IRGC: Non-profit files for gaming license for Argosy Casino site - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

IRGC: Non-profit files for gaming license for Argosy Casino site; community could have two licenses


DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV)- A non-profit organization, in Sioux City, has applied to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for a second gaming license in Woodbury County.

If the new application is approved IRGC Administrator Brian Ohorilko says, in theory, Sioux City could have a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the Argosy Casino riverboat.

The IRGC is responsible for awarding gaming licenses to a gaming company, and its non-profit partner. For as long as the IRGC has been around, Woodbury County has only been allowed one license, meaning only one casino. But, based on information obtained by KTIV from IRGC officials, a new Sioux City nonprofit has turned in an application for a completely separate gaming license meaning Sioux City could have two casinos. "Currently there is no restriction or moratorium on gaming licenses, and we have another application on file from the nonprofit entity GSIA. They're requesting a license to conduct gambling games at the Argosy location," Brian Ohorilko, IRGC Administrator said.

The non-profit entity, Greater Siouxland Improvement Association, filed the application prior to January. Bob Knowler with GSIA said he could not comment publicly on the matter at this time, but did confirm the submitted application, and said more information about it would be released in the near future. But, officials with Penn National Gaming, the company who owns the Argosy Casino, aren't involved with this new application process, right now. "It's news to us that they're processing an application, so I double checked to make sure that's exactly what they said, because that's not what they've communicated to us. The most recent actions with the IRGC have nothing to do with a new license, it's restating the fact that we have the license, and we're once again trying to remedy the situation," Karen Bailey, spokeswoman for Penn National Gaming said.

Penn National spokeswoman Karen Bailey says discussing the potential for two casinos in Sioux City isn't relevant right now with all of the litigation surrounding the one gaming license issued in Woodbury County. "We're not even at that stage at this point in time. We still need to settle the matter over the current license. So it's a moot point at this juncture," Bailey said.

The IRGC makes all decisions regarding applications and potential gaming licenses at their public commission meetings. The next meeting will be held March 5th and 6th, in Altoona, Iowa, but whether or not the GSIA's new application will be on the agenda is yet to be determined.

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