In Iowa, a long-running legal dispute between the owner of the former Argosy Sioux City and the shuttered riverboat casino’s past operator, Penn National Gaming Incorporated, has finally been given a court date following the resolution of a separate lawsuit in May.
According to a report from the Sioux City Journal newspaper, Penn National Gaming Incorporated had run the Argosy Sioux City via its Belle Of Sioux City subsidiary until the Woodbury County venue closed on July 30, 2014. But, it had reportedly stopped making revenue-sharing payments on behalf of owner Missouri River Historical Development some 16 months before while moreover filing a breach of contract lawsuit claiming that the license holder had schemed to replace its subordinate with another operator prior to the expiration of their 20-year deal.
The newspaper reported that the pair had previously been unable to agree a long-term contract extension, which saw the Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission take the unprecedented step of putting Woodbury County’s sole riverboat casino license up for grabs and begin accepting proposals for an alternate land-based gambling enterprise. This eventually resulted in Missouri River Historical Development partnering with SCE Partners to open the nearby Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Sioux City two days after the Argosy Sioux City closed.
The Sioux City Journal reported that the state-licensed and non-profit Missouri River Historical Development subsequently countersued Wyomissing-based Penn National Gaming Incorporated for allegedly interfering with its attempts to secure an operator for its Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Sioux City while the breach of contract portion of the matter is now due to be heard by Polk County District Court Judge Lawrence McLellan from February 12.
Penn National Gaming Incorporated had moreover filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission for its decision to allow the Woodbury County casino license to be moved although this failed in May after the Iowa Supreme Court denied an application to review an earlier ruling from the Iowa Court Of Appeals that had upheld the relocation option.
The newspaper additionally reported that Penn National Gaming Incorporated and Belle Of Sioux City are also to be defendants in a lawsuit filed by the Community Action Agency Of Siouxland that is seeking the withheld revenue-sharing payments. State law dictates that casino operators must partner with a licensed non-profit organization to collect and distribute 3% of their adjusted gross revenues to charitable and civic groups and the plaintiff is set to allege that it and up to 54 other concerns are owed approximately $1.8 million in unpaid disbursements.