Catawba Indian Nation, located in South Carolina, has recently opened a temporary version of its planned casino across the North Carolina border.
Local and state government officials joined tribal leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the modular building with 500 slot machines just off Interstate 85 in Kings Mountain, approximately 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Charlotte, on Thursday. It’s a crucial step toward the tribe’s $273 million Catawba Two Kings Casino, which will create 2,600 permanent jobs and generate income.
Catawba members wanted to construct a casino in North Carolina, alleging historical and genealogical links to a property in the state, after being rejected by South Carolina in prior attempts to run a gambling business along with bingo in their home state. In early 2020, the US Department of the Interior agreed to put 17 acres in Cleveland County in the name of trust for the project.
Bill Harris, the tribal chief, said that for the Catawba Nation, the Catawba Two Kings Casino signifies the righting of historical injustice. But it’s also a lot more than that. It symbolizes a bright future for the Catawba Nation and the various communities that have taken up residence on Catawba traditional grounds.
In the month of January, the tribe and Gov. Roy Cooper agreed to the share revenue deal and were approved by the federal official in March.
Last year, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which owns two casinos in far western North Carolina, filed a federal lawsuit against the Catawba and the Interior Department to prevent the Kings Mountain casino from being built. In April, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Catawbas. The Eastern Band has filed an appeal against the decision.
By the end of this year, the construction of an introductory phase will begin in the full phase.