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Ho-Chunk Inc. Finalizes Purchase of Atokad Downs Horse Racing Track

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Ho-Chunk, Inc., the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s economic development corporation, announced May 7 it has completed its purchase of Atokad Downs, the pari-mutuel thoroughbred race track in South Sioux City, Nebraska, from the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, reported the Sioux City Journal.

The sale includes the grandstand seating structure, horse stable and other buildings.

Atokad Downs has operated since 1956 and for decades was considered a success. Then riverboat casinos began opening in neighboring Sioux City, Iowa in the 1990s, and gamblers flocked to their slot machines and table games. Today, Atokad attracts only 40 to 50 bettors on a typical weekend. The track simulcasts every day except Christmas, and will continue to do so through September 1.

Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, which owns all five horse tracks in Nebraska, sold Atokad to generate funding to replace its existing racetrack in Lincoln.

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Investing in the Atokad property made since to Ho-Chunk, because two of its subsidies, HCI Construction and Heritage Express, are located nearby the racetrack. “We are in the process of developing a long-term strategy to determine the optimum usage for the property in conjunction with our other business enterprises, the adjacent property owners and the local communities,” Morgan said in a statement.