The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission today approved a Pennsylvania company’s purchase of the company that owns the Sioux City Belle. Penn National Gaming is buying the Belle and casinos in several other states with the acquisition of Argosy Gaming.

Penn president Kevin DeSanctis says they hope to get approval in all states by next month. He says they started off with 13 approvals necessary and he says they are going to receive 12 within June and the other looks like it will fall into July. DeSanctis says the employees in Sioux City won’t notice any major changes.

He says, “For anyone that’s followed Penn, the actual transition is somewhat anticlimactic.” He says the local property management will stay in place. DeSanctis says the company lets the local people run the business. He says the corporate office looks at four things, profitability, custom satisfaction, employee satisfaction and regulatory compliance. And he says as long as the casino hit their goals in those areas, they let the local people run the casino.

De Sanctis says the employees will in 2007 come under the Penn benefits plan. He says the plan gives them more efficiency from a cost standpoint. He says the benefits will be about the same or a little bit improved. The commission approved Penn’s purchase today at their meeting in Johnston.