Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel in North Carolina will soon expand to house a poker room, if the state agrees to legalize live card games at the casino.
The casino is planning to complete parts of its $600 million expansion, which will include a new hotel tower and a 3,000-seat event center, by April. The resort will be completed by 2012.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians also plans to expand the casino floor to 150,000 square feet, and expects to establish a new poker room in the larger space.
Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court affirmed a law giving the Cherokees exclusive rights to offer gambling.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals last December struck down challenges to a state law that granted the Cherokee Indians an exclusive right to offer video poker.
A manufacturer of amusement devices, McCraken and Amick Inc., challenged the law.
It claimed that the state cannot create a gaming monopoly.
The appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that the state could create such a monopoly, citing cases such as the Supreme Court ruling in the 1985 case of Montana v. Blackfeet Tribe.