New casino would need North Carolina governor approval

by William Brown Last Updated
New casino would need North Carolina governor approval

A South Carolina-based Native American tribe has submitted an application to the North Carolina Governor to operate a casino in the state.

Yogonet reports that Governor Roy Cooper received the application for a new casino in Cleveland County.

A spokesperson for the Governor said a draft application was received from the Catawba Indian Nation, which has plans for a casino and resort on land in Kings Mountain.

Porter didn’t address additional questions asked Friday about the proposal.

Any proposal, if hammered out, would ultimately turn into a gambling compact that lays out what games would be offered and what revenues that state would receive.

A governor is usually tasked with working out such agreements.

Porter said a final compact will be made public and need approval from an agency within the US Department of Interior, which also traditionally seeks public input.

In March, the department gave permission for the Catawbas to use acreage near Interstate 85 for the casino, declaring that the tribe had a nexus to North Carolina with members and tribal services.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which is based in far western North Carolina and operates two casinos there, already has sued in federal court to challenge the department’s decision.

The Eastern Band says the land is Cherokee historic territory.

A Catawba tribal spokesperson didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment late Friday.

The land for the proposed sale is 56 kilometres northwest of the Catawba reservation in upstate South Carolina.

An economic development evaluation of the project cited in the Interior Department’s decision found the $273 million investment in the entertainment complex could generate more than 1,600 construction jobs and create more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs once built.

North Carolina native casino breaks ground despite protests

A new casino has broken ground in the United States after years of debate as to whether or not it would ever come to be.

Gaston Gazette reported in July that the Catawba Indian Nation broke ground on the Kings Mountain gaming facility in North Carolina.

“Work has begun toward more prosperity, increased opportunities, and a renewed bond between the Catawba Indian nation and the great state of North Carolina,” chief Bill Harris said.

A new February 2020 economic impact assessment from London & Associates shows the casino resort will provide a $273 million investment in Cleveland County.

Project construction activity will generate $311 million with the employment of more than 2000 people from the direct, indirect and induced effects.

Once operational, the facility will generate $308 million per year of direct economic activity and employ 2600 workers, the study projected.

An additional $77.3 million per year in indirect impact through purchases from local businesses is also anticipated, along with another $42.8 million per year in induced impact from employer expenditures.

The total effect is more than 3500 jobs attributed to casino activity.

The casino is expected to open by summer 2021, and will initially feature approximately 1300 machines, food and beverage outlets and entertainment.

The new casino will be operated by global hospitality company Delaware North.

Governor approval needed to all casino style gaming

While the Catawba Nation is eager to start work, there are still a few more hurdles that the South Carolina-based tribe must go through to have more than bingo and non-banked card games at their facility.

The Nation will need approval from North Carolina’s governor to go from a class II to a class III gaming facility, which includes all other forms of gambling, including casino style gambling.

“We are very optimistic that the negotiations will take place in the near future. We look forward to being an outstanding partner to the state of North Carolina,” legal representative for Skyboat Gaming Wally Fayssoux said.

The Catawbas can only operate class III games if they have an agreement with the state and approval from the federal government, according to the American Gaming Association.

“The Tribe has the right to engage in class II gaming without a compact,” said tribal administrator Elizabeth Harris.

“However, the Tribe believes very much in working in partnership with other governments, not only Cleveland County and Kings Mountain, but also the state of North Carolina.

“The Tribe looks forward to negotiating a compact with the governor so that the great state of North Carolina can fully benefit from this important economic development project.”

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