The Iowa Supreme Court has temporarily stayed an order by a Polk County judge issued on December 10th that blocked the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s decision to award a new gambling license for a land-based casino. Penn National Gaming, which operates the casino riverboat in Sioux City, sought to block the license process after losing out in its own bid to build the land-based casino.
Sioux City Entertainment won the new license awarded by the IRGC, and is the process of building a Hard Rock Casino in the downtown area. Although the Polk County ruling put a hold on the gambling license, the IRGC administrator said Sioux City Entertainment could continue with construction on the building with the risk that they may not get a license.
Sioux City city manager, Bob Padmore, says the work has not stopped on the project. “We’ve received no indication to date that they’re going to cease construction at this point. I’m sure they’re continuing to monitor the situation, but we’ve heard nothing that they are going to stop anytime soon,” Padmore says. The land-based casino was scheduled to open in July and replace the riverboat — but the Polk County ruling was not scheduled to be heard until December of next year.
Penn National now has until December 24th to respond to the Supreme Court action in the case.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)