North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said the Catawba Indian Nation, based in South Carolina, is using a loophole to try to open a casino in the state. “I don’t agree with the loophole that the Catawbas are using to gain traction on that effort,” McCrory said. “It would be a loophole for the whole gaming industry where they would find islands within our state for casinos, to jump borders and form a new island of gaming.”
McCrory added he’s concerned that a Catawba casino would “take away” economic benefits from the Charlotte region.
The 2,800-member Catawba tribe announced earlier in September it has applied to the U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs for permission to build a $600 million casino in Kings Mountain, Cleveland County. The facility would offer 220,000 square feet of gaming space and 750 rooms in two hotels. Catawba officials said the project would create 5,000 jobs.
In the meantime, the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Council in Robeson County would prefer federal recognition over operating a casino. Actually, a bill in Congress precludes the tribe from building a casino. Said Lumbee Tribe member Pearlean Revels, “There are other things we could be looking forward to, instead of a casino, which would make the situation, I think, worse than it is right now.”