The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission today refused a request for a long-term agreement for the current operator of the Sioux City Argosy riverboat casino and set a timeline for accepting proposals for a new land-based casino.
Current operator Penn National Gaming and the non-profit Missouri River Historical Development, which holds the license for the casino have been at odds over the contract.
Penn National wanted a contract extension through March of 2015, but the Commission unanimously approved an extension just through March 31st of 2013.
Penn officials said they would not accept a one-year contract, but Commission chairman Jeff Lamberti said the commission's action will not be to blame for closing the casino:
MHRD chairman, Mark Monson says they were just hoping to get an agreement approved.
The Racing and Gaming Commission is now taking applications for the land-based casino in Sioux City and says those applications are due November 1st.
They will then begin the selection process and hope to make a final decision by April 18th of next year.
Penn National has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the commission from opening up the process for a new land-based casino in Sioux City. Lamberti talked about that suit.
Lamberti says the indications are there's going to be a lot of interest in a land-based facility in Woodbury County, He calls the chance to build the new casino a big opportunity.