Catawba Nation’s Casino Resort Plan Gains Federal Support
The United States House of Representatives gave the Catawba Indian Nation’s $273 million casino resort that is planned for the state of North Carolina a massive boost.
The Charlotte Observer newspaper reported that House Resolution 1619 was overwhelmingly passed by the 435-seat body on Monday. This reaffirmed an earlier move from the Department of the Interior of the United States that sited a 16.5-acre plot of land near the small community of Kings Mountain into a trust for the tribe that is federally recognized.
House Resolution 1619, also known as the Catawba Indian Nations Act, was reported by the newspaper to be sponsored by South Carolina representative Jim Clyburn backed by the support from North Carolina counterparts David Price, George Butterfield, and Alma Adams. This was an attempt to stop the planned tribal casino development from being cancelled.
The Catawba Indian Nation penned a revenue-sharing gaming agreement with the state of North Carolina in January and would like to have the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort opened by the end of 2023. However, the whole scheme could supposedly be derailed by a federal lawsuit that seems to have been filed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Charlotte Observer reported that they operate North Carolina’s only existing pair of casinos.
The Cherokee Indians are allegedly challenging the plan, and claim that the Catawba Indian Nation should not have been given the right to bring a casino resort to North Carolina in the first place as their ancestral territory lies roughly 34 miles away in the gambling-unreceptive state of South Carolina.
The Chief for the Catawba Indian Nation Bill Harris told The Charlotte Observer in an interview that the United States Department of the Interior’s action in ‘reaffirming’ the legislation in recognizing the ‘ancestral and historical’ the Catawba tribe has to North Carolina.
He also revealed that his tribe opened a temporary site of the coming Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort in July that features a collection of about 500 slot games and has to date welcomed over 80,000 patrons. Construction on its more permanent location is still scheduled to begin before the end of 2021.