Governor Considers Expanding Cherokee Casino Gambling Options
Special Report - December 8, 2005
Over the last several months, representatives from Governor Mike Easley’s office have been meeting with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to discuss the possibility of bringing live dealer gambling to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in western North Carolina, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. Since April, the Cherokees have been negotiating possible modifications to the tribal-state compact that regulates what forms of gambling are permissible on the tribe’s reservation. The proposed revisions would allow live dealers to conduct such games as poker, craps, and blackjack. Currently, the casino is limited to offering bingo, raffles, and video based games. According to the Citizen-Times, Governor Easley told reporters during a question-and-answer session this week that the Cherokee Indians would have to offer a suitable amount of funds to North Carolina before the state would consider granting the tribe the ability to conduct live gambling. This practice has become more common as states across the nation have sought a share of casino gambling revenues in exchange for entering into or expanding gambling privileges with federally recognized Indian tribes.
The original compact between North Carolina and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was signed in 1994. Since then, three revisions have been made to the compact, each of which expanded the tribe’s gambling privileges. No modifications have been made since 2002, although the tribe has contacted the Governor’s office several times with proposed revisions that would permit the Cherokee casino to offer live games.
To read more about the the possible expansion of gambling on the Cherokee reservation and its impact, download the NCFPC's policy paper entitled Expanding Indian Gambling: Could Harrah's Casino Become N.C.'s Atlantic City? For more paper on the topic of gambling, click here.
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