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Ho-Chunk Inc. to Purchase Horse Racing Track

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Ho-Chunk, Inc., the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska's economic developing corporation, has reached an agreement with Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to purchase the pari-mutuel thoroghbred racing track Atokad Downs in South Sioux City at the end of four months, reported the Sioux City Journal.

A Ho-Chunk spokesperson declined to comment on the pending sale or plans for the property to the Sioux City Journal. Indian Country Today Media Network is awaiting a reply.

Still, truck auction firm Taylor & Martin has until Friday to match Ho-Chunk's offer, said Greg Hosch, vice president of racing operations for Omaha Exposition and Racing, which manages Atokad for the horsemen's group.

The horse track has operated since 1956 and for decades reaped success until riverboat casinos began opening in neighboring Sioux City in the 1990s. Gamblers flocked to those slot machines and table games, hurting Atokad's business that nowadays attracts 40 to 50 bettors in a typical weekend. The track simulcasts everyday except Christmas, and will continue to do so through September 1.

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The horseman's association, which owns all five horse tracks in the state, plans to sell Atokad to generate funding to replace its existing racetrack in Lincoln.