In a deal revealed on Friday, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which already owns half of Iowa’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City, plans to buy the remaining 50 percent from Warner Gaming.
If approved by regulators, Peninsula Pacific, based in Los Angeles, will purchase the remaining half at an undisclosed cost from Warner Gaming, based in Las Vegas.
According to the Sioux City Journal, the deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2020. Under the change in ownership, no layoffs were planned, Peninsula Pacific said in a statement.
In 2013, M. Brent Stevens, Chairman and Managing Partner of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, and Bill Warner, CEO of Warner Gaming, formed a partnership to apply for a licence for the Sioux City Hard Rock project. The pair have collaborated with Missouri River Historical Preservation, a local group holding the gaming licence of the Hard Rock Sioux City, the Journal said.
In April 2013, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved narrowly the Hard Rock plan. The next year opened the $128.5 million Hard Rock property.
Penn National Gaming and Ho-Chunk included other companies that tried to capture the Sioux City gaming licence.
“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.”
Certain locations such as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas are also run by Warner Gaming.
Iowa approved earlier this year’s wagering on pro and college sports. which came into effect on 15 August.
The state’s casinos have seen a spike in gaming on casino floors since launching sports betting, Wes Ehrecke, Iowa Gaming Association president, told the Quad-City Times.
The Hard Rock Sioux City has more than 800 slot machines and 26 table games in addition to a new sportsbook. Three restaurants, a 54-room hotel and outdoor and indoor entertainment spaces are also open.
The Hard Rock opened a four-story garage for $10.9 million in October. It has a retail space of about 15,000 square feet that has yet to be leased.
Peninsula Pacific also runs the Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York, DiamondJacks Hotel and Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, New Kent, Colonial Downs Racetrack, and Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Richmond, Hampton and Vinton, Virginia.
Hard Rock has an additional 11 casinos. They are in Hollywood and Tampa, Florida, Biloxi, Mississippi, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wheatland, California, two in Canada (one of which is still being developed), and one in the Dominican Republic. More recently, Hard Rock was chosen to run a $250 million casino in Bristol, Virginia.
Hard Rock and Spectacle Entertainment are also willing to move forward on a ground-based $300 million casino in Gary, Indiana. Rockford, Illinois, is planning another Hard Rock casino.
The Florida-owned company’s Seminole Tribe also owns several restaurants, cafes, and rock shops.