New Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City reports $7.2 million in gambling revenue during 1st month



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SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The new Hard Rock Casino in Sioux City reported $7.2 million in revenue during its first month of operation.

The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1wcARRC ) state regulators said Friday the new Hard Rock easily surpassed its predecessor's typical August results.

The former Argosy Sioux City casino reported revenue between $3.9 million and $5.3 million in the past 10 Augusts. The Argosy closed July 30 after losing a court battle to remain open.

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Brain Ohorilko said the increase is similar to what other communities experienced after older riverboat casinos were replaced with land-based casinos.

The newer facilities offer larger gambling floors and more amenities. The Hard Rock has a 30,000-square-foot casino floor offering 839 slot machines and 25 table games.

"We're definitely pleased with the figures that we've seen in the first month," Ohorilko said. "We're cautiously optimistic we'll continue to see those numbers."

But officials expect the numbers to decline a bit as the newness of the Hard Rock wears off.

The early success is good news for the Missouri River Historical Development nonprofit, which distributes 4.25 percent of the Hard Rock's revenue to local charities. That translates to $304,000 for August.

"We had great expectations, but I think our expectations were far short of really what has gone on in the first month," Mark Monson, president of Missouri River Historical Development. "I think we will see some phenomenal numbers for the first few months."

The state report said that more than 214,000 people visited the Hard Rock casino floor in August. That's roughly double the attendance at the casino's nearest competitors in Iowa: the Grand Falls Casino Resort in Lyon County and Harrah's Casino in Council Bluffs.


Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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