Catawba Indian Nation to Fast-Track North Carolina Casino Opening

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The Catawba Indian Nation announced on Friday that they will “fast track” the opening of part of its $273M North Carolina casino.

According to tribal leaders, a facility for a “pre-launch” will open this summer at their project site off Interstate 85 at Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain, about 35 miles west of Charlotte. The temporary site will have 500 slot machines.

The announcement came after the Catawba tribe received confirmation of the approval of their revenue-sharing agreement with the state.

Said Catawba Chief Bill Harris in a statement on Friday:

With the completion of our compact with the State of North Carolina, the Catawba Nation is eager to open the casino as quickly as possible to begin bringing economic benefits and jobs to the state and region. We’re working with Delaware North, our consultant on the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort project, as well as our developer, Skyboat Gaming, to make that happen by opening what we are calling a ‘pre-launch’ facility this summer.”

Revenue Agreement Gets Federal Approval

Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs concluded its 45-days review and approved the revenue sharing agreement that the Catawba Tribe forged with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in mid-January.

In a letter dated March 19th, Bureau of Internal Affairs director Darryl LaCounte informed the Catawba Tribe and Gov. Cooper that their pact complies with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and other provisions of the federal law. The approval takes effect when the approval notice has been published in the Federal Register.

The 17 acre North Carolina casino, which will be dubbed as Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort, is expected to create thousands of construction jobs. Once it is fully operational, state officials say that 2,600 permanent jobs will be generated.

Prelaunch Facility and Introductory Building

Harris said that the pre-launch facility will be made up of prefabricated modular structures and will offer limited food and beverage options plus other guest amenities. An introductory phase of the North Carolina casino is also planned and will feature and additional of 1,300 slot machines.

That “introductory” building will be part of the permanent structure that will form part of the full casino and will take one year of construction to complete. While this introductory phase building is under construction, the “pre-launch” facility which will open this summer will remain open.

Both the pre-launch facility and introductory building are expected to teach incoming staff while also accommodating people from the region who are anxious to start gaming as soon as possible.

Catawba Nation Reveals Name and Logo of North Carolina Casino

North Carolina Casinos

The Catawba Nation announced last Friday that the name of their gaming project in Kings Mountain, North Carolina will be Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. The name and the casino’s logo were unveiled last August 28, 2020 at a private event attend by citizens of the Catawba nation, casino partners, city officials of Kings Mountain.

Said Catawba Nations chief Bill Harris:

“Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort celebrates our rich history and hopeful future in our ancestral lands in North Carolina – where our people were established hundreds of years ago, as the names Catawba River, Catawba County and Catawba College suggest. The name pays tribute to the 18th century Catawba Chief King Hagler and to the City of Kings Mountain, which will be home to the new casino resort. It also symbolizes the unique relationship that the Catawba people have historically had – and will continue to strengthen going forward – with fellow residents of the region.”

Tribute To King Hagler

King Hagler was the Catawba Chief from 1750-1763. Under his rule, the Catawba Nation forged a peaceful relationship with the American colonists in the region while also strongly defending the rights of his people. The Catawba tribe helped protect the colonists during the Revolutionary War, French War, and Indian War. In return, the Catawba got the support from them.

The logo of the proposed casino depicts King Hagler against a representation of Kings Mountain. The logo was developed in consultation with Delaware North. The New York-based hospitality and entertainment company is an adviser of the Catawba in the ongoing project.

First Phase Opening in 2021

Last March, the Catawba Nation received approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior to use 15.76 acres of land from Dixon School Road and I-85 to build the casino. The project has gotten disapproval from local groups and other counties in the state. In July, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians filed a lawsuit to stop the construction. But a week after the case was filed, the Catawba broke ground with the goal of opening the first phase of the casino in 2021.

The proposed casino’s gaming area is expected to have more than 1,700 electronic games and 54 gaming tables. The resort will also have a 940-seat restaurant space plus a service area/player’s club in the main gaming area.