Live dealer gambling in Cherokee wins approval

Published 5:57 pm Thursday, May 24, 2012

Live, Las Vegas-style dealer games may be coming to Cherokee, N.C. in the near future. The N.C. Senate approved an agreement negotiated between N.C. Governor Bev Perdue and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to allow live dealer games on the Cherokee tribal lands in Western North Carolina.
In exchange for granting exclusive rights for live dealer gaming in five counties west of I-26, the Cherokee tribe agreed to give the state a small percentage of the additional gaming revenue. The funds for the state, expected to amount to about $2 to $3 million annually, would be earmarked for schools, although the money could potentially be used for other purposes in the future.
The 30-year agreement gained approval by a 33-14 margin in the Senate, but now must get through the House to be finalized. It’s unclear whether the House will back the legislation. Some legislators have questioned whether the small amount of revenue for the state is enough to allow live dealer games.
Under the agreement approved by the Senate, the Cherokee could conduct live table gaming, such as blackjack and roulette, at up to three casinos, including the tribe’s existing casino. The revenue allocated to the state from live table gaming would rise from 4 percent of gross receipts during the first five years to 8 percent during the last 10 years of the agreement.
If approved by the N.C. General Assembly the agreement will go to the U.S. Department of the Interior for approval.
– source:, 5-16-12; N.C. Governor’s Office
A circuit court judge ruled against the Catawba Indian Nation and its attempt to build a casino on its reservation in York County, S.C. Judge Ernest Kinard said the tribe gave up its gambling rights in a 1993 settlement agreement with state and federal governments.
The tribe, which contends the agreement permits gambling on the reservation, filed a lawsuit in January against South Carolina and State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel for disallowing gambling. However, Judge Kinard sided with the state, noting that the tribe “bargained away its sovereignty for purposes of gaming rights, and thus its gaming rights and those of other citizens are the same under state law.”
The state currently prohibits gambling in any areas controlled by the state, although it did pass a law in 2005 to allow gambling cruises to depart from S.C. ports. Gambling is not permitted on the cruises until they reach international waters.
The Catawba Indian Nation says it plans to appeal the circuit court judge’s decision and continue its “quest for justice.” The tribe, which has 2,600 members with a current per capita income of $11,000 per years, says a casino, along with two proposed hotels, would bring needed economic development to the reservation in Rock Hill.
An economic study included in the tribe’s lawsuit estimated the casino and hotels would create more than 4,000 jobs and generate $259 million in annual revenue and nearly $110 million in gaming fees and taxes for the state.
– source:, 4-25-12
Legacy Paddlesports said it plans to hire twice as many people as originally expected at its new manufacturing facility in Fletcher, N.C. The company said initially that it planned to hire 50 workers for the plant, which is expected to begin full production in September.
However, Legacy Paddlesports CEO Bill Medlin says the company now expects to hire as many as 100 employees at the start of full production. Legacy says it expects to hire an additional 18 to 26 workers in both 2013 and 2014, and likely will add more workers as it continues to grow in the future.
– source: Hendersonville Times News, 5-21-12
Buncombe County will gain some 42 new jobs when Plasticard Locktech International expands its Asheville operation.
The company, headquartered in Asheville, is the world’s largest manufacturer of hotel keycards, but also makes a range of specialty plastic and paper products, including gift cards, membership cards, door hangers, magnets, poster and display banners. The company currently has about 200 workers at its Asheville plant and recently opened a global distribution center in The Netherlands.
Similar facilities are planned in Hong Kong and other areas of the world, according to the company.
For information about jobs at PLI, visit
– source: N.C. Department of Commerce, 5-24-12
Estimates of North Carolina’s natural gas supply have been sharply reduced as the state begins consideration of new laws related to fracking. Industry proponents previously estimated the state could tap a 40-year supply of natural gas that would significantly grow the state’s energy industry and economy. However, recent estimates put the state’s natural gas reserves at closer to a five-year supply. The actual amount of natural gas in the state won’t be known until gas com panies begin installing test wells.
State legislators currently are considering legislation to allow fracking in North Carolina. Fracking is the term for hydraulic fracturing of rock to flush out natural gas deposits in shale rock formations. State geologists say they believe most of the state’s supply is around Lee, Moore and Chatham counties.
– source:, 5-22-12
The first-ever Zipping for Autism fundraiser, benefiting the Autism Society, is scheduled for June 3 at the Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventure. The urban zipline, next to Crowne Plaza Resort, will host the first-of-its-kind benefit with all money raised going to support services provided by the Autism Society of North Carolina. The society provides advocacy, training and education and other services for the state’s autism community.
Participants in the inaugural event can sign up as teams of 10. The event was created by the Sheena and Jeff Greiner, owners of Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventure. The Greniers have a son, O’Reilly Greiner, who was diagnosed with autism at age 3.
– source: Asheville Citizen-Times, 5-14-12
A new marathon is coming to the Biltmore Estate next year. The Biltmore has announced plans for the event, called the Asheville Marathon, on March 3, 2013. The race will be held on paved and dirt roads and pass by the Biltmore House, the lagoon and through vineyards on the estate. More information about the marathon on a “gently rolling to flat” course will be available after June 1 at, and online registration will be at
– source: Asheville Citizen-Times, 5-21-12

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