It's been a mainstay of the Missouri riverfront in Sioux City since 2003, but that won't be the case for much longer.After closing its doors at 5:00 pm, the Argosy Casino has 60-days to remove the boat and adjacent barge from town. "The city entered into an amended development agreement with the Belle of Sioux City, which is the Argosy, in January of 2013. This allowed for them to dock at the riverfront for an initial 12-month period and at the end of the 12-month period they did exercise an additional optional period of 18-months. However, the agreement provided for a termination date when the ceased to conduct gambling activities," said Nicole Jensen-Harris, Sioux City's Attorney assigned to the case.
The day brought with it much emotion as loyal Argosy patrons entered the riverboat one final time.
"Well, I think it's sad. I was in favor of them building a land based casino and in favor of having 2-casinos here, if they could both survive. I hate to see the boat go," said Argosy guest Roy Semon.
The battle in the courts will resume in September to determine if the I-R-G-C's decision to grant the new Hard Rock Casino Hotel Woodbury County's sole gaming license was fair.Regardless of the ruling, it won't affect the riverboat's relationship with Sioux City.
"No, our agreement is independent of anything they might be challenging with the I-R-G-C. It's just specifically linked to whether or not gaming ceases on the boat," said Jensen-Harris.Sioux City's new land based Hard Rock Casino Hotel holds its grand opening Friday, August 1st at 8:00 pm.