Warrior Entertainment LLC, the development group that includes Ho-Chunk, the Winnebago Tribe’s economic development division, along with the tribe and other investors, filed a petition March 13 in Polk County, Iowa District Court to enter Argosy’s lawsuit against the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The lawsuit involves the IRGC’s award of a state gaming license to Sioux City Entertainment last April to build the $128.5 million Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, now under construction in downtown Sioux City. But in court documents, the IRGC, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City developer, SCE Partners and the city of Sioux City all objected to Warrior Entertainment LLC’s petition to intervene in the case.
In its motion to resist, IRGC attorneys argued that the Warrior group, after missing the deadline to file its own judicial review suit, is now attempting to “impermissibly piggyback” onto the Argosy suit. The Warrior’s “speculative and indirect interest” does not warrant participation in the suit, the IRGC argued.
In a statement, Ho-Chunk President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Morgan said he understands why there were objections. “We are like an uninvited guest at a party,” he said. “But we feel that we obviously have an interest in the proceeding and no one but us can adequately protect our interests.”