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Hollywood Casino site

Karen Bailey, vice president of public affairs for Penn National Gaming, is shown December 2012 near Salix, Iowa, at the site of a proposed Hollywood-style casino. Bailey has left Penn to start her own public affairs firms, but will continue to serve as a spokeswoman for the firm, which is her first client.

SIOUX CITY | Karen Bailey, a familiar name and face to many Siouxlanders, has stepped down as the vice president of public affairs for Penn National Gaming Co. to start her own public affairs firm.

Bailey, though, will continue to serve as the chief spokeswoman for the nation's second-largest gaming company, whose properties include the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino. 

"Over the past few months I've been working to put this project in motion and could not have done it without the help of many friends, family members and especially with the help of Penn National Gaming," Bailey said in an email Tuesday to her contacts. "While I have officially departed my post at Penn National, I am not leaving them far behind as they have signed on to be my very first client. My responsibilities with Penn will shift with me to this new role."

Bailey's new Washington D.C.-based firm is called kb advocacy, llc. As part of the transitions, has relocated to the DC area, where she worked in the fields of public affairs and government policy before joining Wyomissing, Pa.-based Penn six years ago.

In the last two-plus years, the Journal has quoted Bailey in multiple stories involving Penn's fight to keep operating in Woodbury County. She also has traveled to the community, including a December 2012 visit during which Penn showcased its then-proposals for a Hollywood-style, land-based casino.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission instead awarded the land-based license to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City. Last month, the IRGC ordered the Argosy to close by July 1, a move Penn will try to vacate or reverse in the courts.

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