In North Carolina and the Catawba Indian Nation has reportedly announced that it is moving forward with its scheme to bring an almost $300 million casino resort to a 16.5-acre plot of land it owns near the small community of Kings Mountain.
According to a Saturday report from The Charlotte Observer newspaper published by local television broadcaster WBTV, the federally-recognized tribe is planning to hold a special ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday in hopes of being able to kick off operations at its new Cleveland County venue by the beginning of next summer.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Catawba Indian Nation is continuing with its dream of inaugurating a North Carolina casino even though the entire project could eventually be scuppered by a federal lawsuit filed by the rival Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. This second tribe purportedly operates the existing Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel and initiated a legal action in May amid allegations that its rival, which has been traditionally based in the neighboring state of South Carolina, was attempting to conduct ‘a modern-day land grab’ by encroaching onto its own territory.
The newspaper reported that casino gambling is illegal in South Carolina while the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians believes the land-into-trust decision regarding the Catawba Indian Nation’s site for the envisioned North Carolina casino resort, which lies only about 30 miles from the region’s largest city, Charlotte, should be invalidated.
However, The Charlotte Observer reported that this legal challenge recently suffered a major setback after Judge James Boasberg from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia refused to institute an injunction against the proposed project. This ruling purportedly led the chief for the Catawba Indian Nation, Bill Harris, to detail that his tribe would now be starting construction in hopes of being able to create local employment for its members and gain a slice of the estimated $32 billion aboriginal American gaming industry.
Harris reportedly declared…
“The Catawba Indian Nation is excited to get this long-awaited project moving forward. The project will have a huge impact on the Cleveland County region bringing much needed jobs as well as on the future of the Catawba Indian Nation.”