Ho-Chunk Inc. makes a case to join Penn National lawsuit against - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Ho-Chunk Inc. makes a case to join Penn National lawsuit against IRGC

DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - Ho-Chunk, Incorporated wants to join the Belle of Sioux City's claim against the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

The claim came after gaming regulators denied an extension of the Argosy Casino's gaming license. Lawyers for Ho-Chunk officials believe the license bidding process that followed the IRGC's decision was flawed.

Some lawyers are calling it untimely that Ho-Chunk Incorporated now wants to get involved with Belle of Sioux City's lawsuit against the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. "We feel they should have filed for judicial review at the time Belle did, which would have been proper last May," said Nicole Jensen-Harris, Sioux City City Attorney. "If they're allowed to get into this, it opens the flood gates of other people that want to get in," said Guy Cook, lawyer for Sioux City Entertainment.

Lawyers representing Ho-Chuck's "Warrior" project say the case is still in its infancy and they discovered their may have been some flaws in the bidding process. "Warrior expended $1.3-million on its application, as well as 1,000 man hours in putting that application together," said Benjamin Maxwell, lawyer for Ho-Chunk, Inc.

Maxwell say by getting into this lawsuit Warrior is protecting its own interest. If the result is that the matter is remanded to the IRGC, and a new license is awarded, Warrior could still have a chance at their casino. Although they may be competitors, lawyers representing the Argosy welcome Warrior's involvement. "We're happy to have other people shooting at the IRGC besides us," said Mark Weinhardt, Argosy Lawyer.

Both the Argosy and Warrior want the end result to be a new bidding process.

Lawyers representing Ho-Chunk say it could be 30 days before they hear whether they'll be included in the lawsuit. If the judge doesn't include them, Ho-Chunk's lawyers say they'll consider filing their own lawsuit against the IRGC.
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