The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission unanimously approved a development agreement today between the Hard Rock Casino and Sioux City for an $11 million parking ramp that will add up to 580 spaces and result in part of the casino being remodeled. Commission member Jeff Lamberti says the ramp helps the casino and city.

“We see it as being really good for both, to be able to provide that kind of parking — because it does matter you know when you get bad weather, I mean we have bad weather half of the year. Quality parking matters and certainly for the Tyson Center…it’s just a win-win for both,” Lamberti says. The commission met at the Hard Rock

and they also approved a 20-thousand dollar penalty for Harvey’s of Council Bluffs after an underage girl got onto the gaming floor. The girl’s parents distracted the casino security guard while her grandparents quickly sneaked her in. Lamberti says this is something that’s been tried at other casinos too.

“This is becoming a little more common. You know I’ve been on the commission now almost seven years and when I was first on I don’t recall where we were seeing family members and other adults really trying to facilitate or assist someone in breaking the underage gaming rules,” according to Lamberti. Lamberti says they commission members want to see everyone involved face a penalty.

“We have spent some time talking about it. We strongly encourage local law enforcement to charge not only the minor — but the family members that assist,” Lamberti says. The girl’s family has been barred from entering the facility following the violation.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)