The Eastern Bank of Cherokee Indiana made an appeal last Friday contesting a federal ruling that allowed the Rock Hill-based Catawba Indian Nation to build a North Carolina casino.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Principal Chief Richard Sneed said that the tribe continues to believe that the U.S. Department of Interior violated the law in approving the Catawba casino. According to Sneed, the appeal is just “the next step in the process to ensure that justice is done”.
The Catawbas have started constructing a temporary gaming facility on the site and it is expected to open this fall. Eventually, the $273M Two Kings Casino resort will be build in the property and it is expected to create 2,600 jobs and bring an estimated $308M in economic activity.
The Cherokees’ Argument
The Cherokee have argued that there is no precedent for the federal government to take land into trust that isn’t connected to and is located across the state lines from existing tribal lands. Meanwhile, both the Cherokee and Catawba claimed that the property in question is located one their ancestral lands and that the other tribe has no claim over it.
In its case to state and federal representatives, the Cherokee Bank of Indians also stated that the planned Catawba casino would strike a big blow to their thriving casino business. The Cherokees estimated that the new Catawba casino would lead to a potential revenue loss of $100M per year.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are a federally-recognized Indian tribe based in West North Carolina. They own the only other casinos permitted by the state, with both casinos located in the North Carolina Mountains.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino operates west of Asheville, near Maggie Valley which is three hours west of Charlotte. Meanwhile, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino is near Georgia and Tennessee and is a four-hour drive from Charlotte.