The new gambling agreement will allow the tribe to offer Las Vegas-style gambling at a proposed resort in Kings Mountain.
US.- The Catawba Indian Nation and the governor of North Carolina have signed a gaming compact that takes the tribe a step closer to opening a new casino.
While the compact has been signed by North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, it still requires federal approval. However, Gov. Cooper’s signature allows construction work on the property to begin.
The Catawba Nation’s Chief Bill Harris said in a statement: “With work on the compact completed, we will advance the project from the site preparation phase to vertical construction of an introductory casino gaming facility to open this fall.”
The resort off Interstate 85 in Kings Mountain will cost US$273m. The casino is expected to house 54 table games, 1,800 electronic games, a hotel, retail outlets and several restaurants over 195,000 square feet.
The temporary casino could be completed by early summer 2021. The full resort is expected to be finished 18 months later.
Opposition to the Kings Mountain casino
The proposed casino received opposition from the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, which voted 6-1 against its construction.
The Commissioners rejected the project due to fears that it would impact on the investments and jobs provided by two casinos run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee tribe in western North Carolina.
Principal Chief Richard Sneed of the Eastern Band said Cooper’s signing of the agreement with the Catawbas was “disappointing”.
He added: “This compact changes nothing. We continue to believe the courts will affirm the illegality of this casino and when that happens, the Catawba agreement will be nothing more than a worthless piece of paper,” added Sneed.