DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) -
Sioux City's Argosy Casino won't close July 1st. After being scheduled to shut its doors next Tuesday, a Polk County, Iowa judge granted a reprieve to the riverboat casino.
Thursday, Judge Eliza Ovrom issued a temporary stay to the Argosy's imminent closure July 1st. Belle argued for permission to keep the casino operating at least until the Hard Rock Casino opens on August 1st. After hearing arguments from Argosy's operator, Belle of Sioux City, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, the Missouri River Historical Development, and Sioux City Entertainment, she ordered an additional hearing on July 10th, and said the casino could continue to operate until then. "I was hopeful we were going to get a decision today," said Mark Weinhardt, Belle of Sioux City Attorney. "I didn't want this to go until 11 o'clock at night on June 30th. Given that there was really no harm to anyone from keeping the Argosy open into July, I was hoping that would be a decision that the judge would not have too much trouble getting to."
In April, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted not to renew the Argosy's license and ordered the boat to close on July 1st. That's a month before Sioux City Entertainment is expected to open the Hard Rock. Sioux City Entertainment counters that it is illegal for the Argosy to operate without a licensed non-profit partner, and that Judge Ovrom cannot assign that partnership under Iowa law. "She understands that the Argosy has been operating at the good graces of the IRGC by operation of law to save jobs," said Guy Cook, SCE Attorney. "But, they eventually will close, and shall close, since that's what the order of the IRGC is."
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