Polk County Judge Gives Hard Rock Permission to Proceed

A judge in Des Moines has reversed an earlier ruling that temporarily suspended the state gaming license of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City.

Penn National Gaming, the operator of the current Argosy Casino riverboat, has launched numerous legal challenges.

It's trying to overturn a decision by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to grant Woodbury County's only gaming license to the new Hark Rock Casino.

In December a judge had issued a stay or "hold" on granting that license, but the Iowa Supreme Court sent the ruling back for reconsideration.

The ultimate decision on whether the license can go to the Hard Rock is still down the road. That's because Penn has also sued the non-profit license holder, Missouri River Historical Development, alleging MHRD breached a contract by meeting with other, potential casino developers.

That court case is ongoing, with no trial date set. The president of Sioux City Gaming, Bill Warner, is thanking the court for what he says is its "fair assessment" of the situation, and he says the company is committed to opening the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Siouxland.