READY TO ‘ROCK’ Gaming panel picks Hard Rock for Sioux City
In a 3-2 vote, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Thursday awarded a state gaming license to the developer of a Hard Rock-branded casino and hotel.
The $118.5 million project, centered on the historic Battery Building in downtown Sioux City, beat out three other land-based bids.
They included two from Penn National Gaming Co., which owns and operates the Argosy Sioux City. The gambling boat will be replaced by the Hard Rock, most likely in summer 2014.
Penn, which had offered a downtown or rural site for a Hollywood-themed casino, becomes the first Iowa operator forced out of a market through competitive bidding since the state legalized casino gambling in 1989.
Peter Carlino, CEO of Penn, the nation’s second-largest gaming company, called the IRGC decision a “mystifying and actual shameful development” in a conference call with investors.
While all the prospective Woodbury County developers offered strong, viable proposals, the three IRGC members in the majority said the Hard Rock plan offered the best option to grow casino revenues, tourism and economic activity in the state and local community.
“I just felt there was a slight edge on the overall economic impact for Hard Rock,” IRGC Chairman Jeff Lamberti said after the meeting, at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
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Source: Nate Robson (2013). READY TO ‘ROCK’, Gaming panel picks Hard Rock for Sioux City, sioux city journal.com http://siouxcityjournal.com/casino/gaming-panel-picks-hard-rock-for-sioux-city/article_0214e5e1-9343-5aca-9590-b410902f7d17.html?published Apr 18, 2013. Viewed Apr 22, 2013,