November 25, 2015

Sioux City riverboat shuts down for last time

After months of legal battles, the Argosy Riverboat Casino in Sioux City shut down operations Wednesday. A team of agents from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and the DCI boarded the boat and oversaw the shutdown of the gambling machines.

Assistant City Attorney, Justin Vondrak, says the boat itself will leave Sioux City under an agreement with the city. He says the lease negotiations in January of 2013 say the lease terminates the day that gaming operations cease at the riverboat.

Penn National Gaming which operates the boat has two months to move it. “From that termination date, the Belle has 60 days to remove the boat from the docking facilities, which are owned by the city,” Vondrak says. The parking lot area used by gamblers on the boat also reverts back to the city.

Penn National has been fighting the closure in court and received several stays to keep it open before exhausting its options. The riverboat is being replaced by the new land-based Hard Rock Casino that opens Friday.

(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)


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