The closure of Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resorts will extend an additional two weeks from the initial March 18 through April 1 period, the casino announced March 26. While two weeks from April 1 would put the expected reopening at April 15, a press release announcing the closure extension left the reopening plans vague.
When Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill last July legalizing sports betting on Cherokee land, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos expected to have the new offering up and running by late fall. But now it’s mid-winter, and sports betting is still not available at the casinos in Cherokee and Murphy.
Sports wagering is now legal in casinos on the Qualla Boundary following Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature on Senate Bill 154 Friday, July 26. Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos is hoping to open sports betting areas at both its Cherokee and Murphy facilities by late fall.
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.
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.
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.
Now nearing its third birthday, the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy is seeing strong numbers as it heads toward the July 23 launch of its first addition since opening in September 2015 — a 41,000-square-foot entertainment area featuring bowling, arcade games and a full-service restaurant.
About 100 people piled into the exhibit hall at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds the evening of Monday, Nov. 6, to tell Tribal Council members what they think about expanding alcohol sales on the Qualla Boundary. The consensus was clear: the tribal members filling the room wanted a referendum, and they wanted to see alcohol sales stay siloed on casino property.