Penn National Submits Two Proposals for Iowa Casino

Penn National Gaming Inc. has submitted to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission (IRGC) two proposals for a new gaming and entertainment destination in the Hawkeye State, it announced last week.

With a $160 million price tag, the first proposal is for the Hollywood Casino Sioux City in downtown Sioux City, Iowa. Totaling 100,000 square feet, it would feature a 33,000 square-foot casino floor with 750 slot machines, 20 live table games and a five-table poker room, as well as a fine-dining steakhouse, casual grill, casino bar and sports pub. In addition, plans call for a 6,000 square-foot multi-purpose event center with a 500-seat concert venue. For an additional $40 million, a second phase of development would include a 150-room hotel and space for an additional 50 slot machines, five table games and five new poker tables, as well as additional food and beverage options.

Penn National's second proposal, the Hollywood Casino Siouxland, would cost $167 million and would be similar in size and scope to the Hollywood Casino Sioux City. Its location, however, would be in Woodbury County, south of Sioux City. Also, it would include a 150-room hotel as part of phase one of construction, instead of phase two.

"We are prepared to work immediately with the IRGC and other local leaders to develop whichever of these facilities is deemed to be the most attractive and beneficial to the city and state of Iowa," said Penn National Gaming Chairman and CEO Peter Carlino. "We believe our Sioux City proposals are the best way forward for the community given our long-term record of operation in the community and proven track record of developing first-class gaming and entertainment resorts in urban locations, including most recently Toledo and Columbus in Ohio. Our proposed facilities, if approved, will … create 800 new construction jobs as well as 400 jobs at the facility upon opening within approximately 18 months following approval from the IRGC."

Carino said Penn National will develop either facility using funds from its existing operations. "Given the number of proposed gaming projects in recent years that have not been completed, we believe the importance of the financial strength of the operator and our ability to deliver on the commitments we've made are critical distinguishing factors," he said. "Penn National requires no financing to move forward with our proposals and can fund either of these projects with cash flow from existing operations."

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