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Area Casinos Concerned About Future

May 14, 2010, 9:52 PM by Erica Johnson

Area Casinos Concerned About Future
SIOUX CITY, IA - Competition is part of any business but for those in the gaming business, news of a vote to allow a casino in Sioux Falls' backyard has other area casinos on edge.

Fifteen years ago, the Argosy Casino in Sioux City opened its doors. The casino has worked hard over the years to draw in customers from both directions on Interstate 29. It's a job that's gotten harder during this economy.

“When you look at it on the heels of the John Morrell plant closing, the Terex acquisition, it's additional economic headwood in a community that doesn't need any additional challenges at this time,” Director of Marketing at the Argosy Tom Teesdale said.

Teesdale says a study from the National Gaming Commission finds a casino in Lyon County could take away a minimum of 4½ percent of the Argosy's revenue.

“It's going to be a challenge because it's going to be a very nice facility and it's going to be very convenient for the people of Sioux Falls because it's just short drive,” Teesdale said.

For some customers, the idea of a bigger casino close to home holds more appeal, even for loyal Argosy customers.

“We go to Sioux Falls about as much as we go to Sioux City so we're expecting to go there, probably be the first ones,” Mary Jensen from Elk Point said.

“I think it's great. I think they should have it and I'm glad they voted for it and I'll be there folks,” Dorothy Richer said.

It's those attitudes that are leaving Teesdale and the Argosy scrambling to keep their customers, and Sioux City's gaming industry, afloat.

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