South Carolina Tribe Hoping To Open Casino In North Carolina
There has always been a friendly rivalry between North and South Carolina. Now that rivalry is heating up within the gaming industry where a South Carolina tribe is attempting to open a new casino in their neighbors to the north's state.
The Catawba Indian Nation has announced that they will be filing an application with the federal government to build a new casino resort in North Carolina. The Catawba's are attempting to cross the border and bring a casino to the gambling-starved state of North Carolina.
"There is precedent for this type of casino expansion around the US," said analyst Greg Lamars. "Tribal nations are protected by their sovereignty, and that adds to the intrigue of a cross-border war. Legislators in North Carolina are going to fight this until the end."
North Carolina already has a tribal casino in the western part of their state that is operated by the Cherokee Indians. Despite the Cherokee's having their application approved by the federal government, it is not certain how the government will rule on the Catawba application.
While state lawmakers are opposed to casino expansion in North Carolina, Cleveland County, where the casino would be built, is welcoming the idea of a new gaming facility. Cleveland County has been dealing with a substantially high unemployment rate, and the Catawba tribe has guaranteed thousands of new jobs associated with the opening of the casino.
"The county has lagged the state in its recovery efforts," said Michael Chrisawn, Cleveland County Chamber President. "We see this as a very significant candidate for relieving some of those lost jobs."
Even if the federal application is approved, the Catawba tribe would have to strike a deal with North Carolina lawmakers in the form of a compact to operate full scale gaming casinos. North Carolina law currently prohibits such gaming.