The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 5-0 to deny a renewal of the gambling license for Penn Gaming, which operates The Belle of Sioux City gambling boat. Penn has been at odds with the non-profit license holder Missouri River Historical Development or MRHD and that led the commission to award a license to a new company to move the casino operation to land. Racing and Gaming Administrator, Brian Ohorilko (Oh-rill-koh) says the commission felt Penn was not eligible for a license.
Penn filed suit after the commission awarded a license to a group that plans to open a Hard Rock Casino on land in Sioux City. It also stopped making payments to MHRD, which has linked with the new land-based developer. The commission did not set a time for closing down the riverboat operation.
Ohorilko says the perfect situation would have little down time for the casino operations before the opening of the new Hard Rock Casino in downtown Sioux City.