November 23, 2014

Judge rules against Sioux City riverboat operator

A Polk County judge has denied an attempt by Penn National Gaming to withhold funds from the non-profit group that holds the license for the Belle of Sioux City riverboat casino. Missouri River Historical Development has been collecting monthly checks from Penn based on three percent of the riverboat casino’s adjusted gross receipts.

Penn Gaming stopped paying MRHD in June after MHRD decided to partner with another company — Sioux City Entertainment — to build a Hard Rock Casino on land. Judge Robert Hanson ruled that Penn Gaming and the Belle failed to show they would me materially injured or impaired by paying funds to MRHD and the judge denied the motion to appoint a receiver for the funds.

Penn Gaming’s Karen Baily says the company is reviewing the judge’s decision and has not comment at this time. MHRD’s Mark Monson also declined to comment on the decision.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)