The Haywood Healthcare Foundation relies on its annual Casino Night fundraising event to be able to support the many unmet healthcare needs in the community, but new legislation passed by the North Carolina General Assembly this year could put a stop to it.
In his first public statement on a bill he cosponsored in March, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., wrote an op-ed published in The Charlotte Observer June 19 decrying the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ opposition to legislation that would pave the way for a Catawba Indian Nation casino in Kings Mountain.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, an economic powerhouse that employs 5 percent of the workforce in the seven western counties and provides hundreds of millions of dollars each year to the tribe’s government and citizens, first opened its doors in 1997.
Political leaders in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are optimistic following a recent congressional hearing on legislation that would pave the way for the Catawba Indian Nation to open a casino in Cleveland County’s Kings Mountain, an effort that the EBCI opposes.
Towns and counties across Western North Carolina are considering resolutions to oppose a Congressional bill that would pave the way for a casino to be built in Cleveland County, likely delivering a blow to profits at Harrah’s Cherokee casinos in Cherokee and Murphy.
A pair of bills now working their way through the state House and Senate would legalize sports betting on tribal lands, bringing to fruition a possibility that’s been discussed ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the subject in May 2018.
A bill currently in the United States Senate that could clear the way for a new North Carolina casino is already seeing stiff opposition from local governments in the vicinity of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ two Western North Carolina gaming facilities.
Tribal members received the largest per capita distribution ever released from casino profits when payments of $7,007 were released Monday, Dec. 3, bringing the yearly distribution for 2018 to $12,559 before taxes.
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