Iowa riverboat casino settles lawsuit for $1.5M
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The owners of a former Sioux City riverboat casino have agreed to pay $1.5 million to a nonprofit group that had filed a lawsuit over unpaid revenue-sharing funds.
The Community Action Agency of Siouxland and the Belle of Sioux City reached a settlement last month, the Sioux City Journal reported. Belle operated the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino.
The nonprofit sued Belle and Penn National Gaming Inc., the Belle’s parent company, in Nov. 2016 for monthly revenue-sharing payments that the companies withheld from the Missouri River Historical Development Inc. The MRHD collected and distributed the casino’s gambling profits to charitable and civic organizations.
Belle stopped making the payments, which were 3 percent of the boat’s adjusted gross revenues, in May 2013 after it sued MRHD for breach of contract.
“I feel this money was owed to our community, and I’m proud to have played a role in recovering that money. I think it’s going to make a big difference for some of (the nonprofit agencies),” said Jean Logan, executive director of the Community Action Agency.
More than 50 agencies can claim a $10,000 share of the settlement, Logan said. The settlement shares don’t have restrictions, so agencies have the freedom to decide how they spend the money, she said.
“It’s not very often that money comes to us as nonprofits without a lot of strings attached,” Logan said.
Penn National Gaming is pleased the matter has been settled, said Jeff Morris, vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations at the company.
The breach of contract lawsuit involving MRHD is pending in Polk County District Court.
Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com