Last week, the WinnaVegas Casino Resort, a tribe-owned brick-and-mortar casino located to the west of Sloan in Iowa, launched its brand new live poker room. Its officials said that it is likely to be the only place where players can play poker games legally in the town.

A riverboat casino in Argosy Sioux offered poker games for a long time, but this casino is now struggling to survive. This month, a judge in Iowa is going to declare for certain if the casino has to shut down because it lacks a gambling license issued by the state.

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On August 1, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City will be launched. The casino’s gaming area, which spreads over 30,000 square feet, will feature a wide range of table games, but not poker.

On the other hand, the new live poker room at WinnaVegas will have eight poker tables. Travis Morgan, the marketing director for WinnaVegas, hopes that this will attract a larger number of players to the room. He said: “We recognized there is a poker boom still going on. Is it as big as it was eight years ago …? Probably not, but it’s still very, very big.”

WinnaVegas’ new live poker room occupies a space that formerly held slot machine games. It will offer a variety of poker games based on Seven Card Stud, Omaha, and Texas Hold’em. Morgan says that the casino plans to introduce large buy-in live poker tournaments with enormous prize pools in the near future.

One of the aims of the new poker room is to host a World Poker Tour (WPT) stop as large tournaments have the power to attract hundreds and thousands of players to the venue. In case this happens, the casino will introduce extra tables in its events center, which has the capacity to seat 2,500 people.  WinnaVegas also plans to launch a Poker Players’ Club

In April 2012, WinnaVegas launched a hotel with 78 rooms and a bistro, introduced more slots games, and renovated the bingo area. There are plans to construct a water park similar to the ones found in Omaha and to launch in the next year or two.

Blackhawk, the chairman of the tribe that owns WinnaVegas, said that the casino is making all the required preparations to deal with competition from the Hard Rock, which will be launched next month and will obviously be “a novelty.”

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