Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which already owns half of Iowa’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City, plans to acquire the remaining 50 percent from Warner Gaming in a transaction announced on Friday.
If approved by regulators, Los Angeles-based Peninsula Pacific will purchase the remaining half from Las Vegas-based Warner Gaming for an undisclosed price.
The transaction is scheduled to be completed during the second quarter of 2020, according to the Sioux City Journal. No layoffs are anticipated under the change in ownership, Peninsula Pacific said in a statement.
Originally, M. Brent Stevens, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment’s chairman and managing partner, and Bill Warner, Warner Gaming’s CEO, formed a partnership in 2013 to apply for a license for the Hard Rock Sioux City proposal. The pair additionally partnered with Missouri River Historical Development, a local group that holds the Hard Rock Sioux City’s gaming license, the Journal said.
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission narrowly approved the Hard Rock proposal in April 2013. The $128.5 million Hard Rock property opened the following year.
Other companies that tried to capture the Sioux City gaming license included Penn National Gaming and Ho-Chunk.
Peninsula Pacific Wants to Grow Iowa Investment
“We have a long history with Hard Rock and in Iowa communities, and we are excited to continue to grow our community engagement and investment in Sioux City,” Stevens said in a statement. “Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City is a highly successful property.”
Warner added that “Moving forward, the property is in great hands with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and thrive.”
Warner Gaming also operates other venues, such as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.
Sports Betting in Iowa
Iowa approved wagering on pro and college sports earlier this year. It took effect on August 15.
Since offering sports betting, the state’s venues saw an increase in gambling on casino floors, Wes Ehrecke, president of the Iowa Gaming Association, told the Quad-City Times.
Beyond a new sportsbook, the Hard Rock Sioux City features more than 800 slot machines and 26 table games. There are also three restaurants, a 54-room hotel, as well as outdoor and interior entertainment spaces.
In October, the Hard Rock opened a $10.9 million, four-story garage. It has some 15,000 square feet of retail space, which has yet to be leased.
Peninsula Pacific also operates del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York, DiamondJacks Hotel and Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent, Virginia, and Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Richmond, Hampton, and Vinton, Virginia.
Hard Rock has 11 other casinos. They are in Hollywood and Tampa, Florida, Biloxi, Mississippi, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wheatland, California, two in Canada (one of which is still being developed), and one in the Dominican Republic. Hard Rock was also selected recently to run a proposed $250 million casino in Bristol, Virginia.
Hard Rock and Spectacle Entertainment are also ready to move forward on a $300 million, land-based casino in Gary, Indiana. Another Hard Rock casino is proposed for Rockford, Illinois.
The Seminole Tribe of the Florida-owned company also runs numerous hotels, cafes and Rock Shops.