Tribal Council approves plan for
Cherokee County casino
New facility could
bring 800 jobs
By Joseph Martin
Thursday, April 11, 2013 1:20 PM CDT
Cherokee - The Eastern
Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council voted almost unanimously
Thursday morning to approve a casino to be located on the Palmer tract
of land behind Snap-on, just outside of the Murphy town limits. In an
11-1 vote, Painttown Rep. Terri Henry, who wanted the issue to go to a
referendum vote, was the lone vote cast in opposition.
County/Snowbird Rep. Diamond Brown said he worked to get a commitment
from the state to build a bridge over the Valley River to access the
Palmer tract from U.S. 74. The tribe does have such a commitment, he
"Now we can go and start putting it up on that
property," Brown said. Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise board members, in
a push to place a gaming property in Cherokee County, have argued the
location would be close to one of its biggest feeder markets in Atlanta.
It also would increase revenue for the tribe and per capita payments to
Most who wanted to see a casino in the county
have argued the need for jobs. Cherokee County has endured high
unemployment rates for the past five years, and the area has seen an
economic decline over several years after manufacturing plants started
New Cherokee Tribe Casino near Andrews NC ?
Cherokee County focus for casino
after live dealers approved
Casino could create up to 1,000 local jobs
By DWIGHT OTWELL -
Cherokee Scout, Murphy NC
Raleigh – After the N.C. General
Assembly approved legislation Wednesday that will
allow live dealers at Harrah's Cherokee Casino, the
tribe is focusing attention on bringing a casino to
"We have had a number of folks out there [Cherokee
County] several times in the last month or so
looking at land," said Michell Hicks, principal
chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
They are looking at land in Marble that the tribe
purchased, although there are still some issues with
trust land, Hicks said Thursday.
"Cherokee County is our first [priority] on
expansion," he said.
The new 30-year compact allows the tribe to have up
to three casinos, including the existing one on the
Qualla Boundary. The tribe will have exclusive live
table gaming rights west of Interstate 26.
A Class III facility that would be smaller than the
casino in Cherokee, but basically have the same
types of gambling, including live dealers, is the
obvious choice, Hicks said.
Adam Wachacha, who holds one of the two tribal seats
for the Snowbird/Cherokee County area, said the
change to live dealers is estimated to bring 400
jobs to Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel. They have
talked to the casino general manager and asked him
to be ready for the July 4 weekend with live
dealers. The U.S. Department of the Interior must
still approve the measure.
Wachacha said they have been talking about what type
of building they will have in Cherokee County. They
expect a local casino to attract people from
Chattanooga, Tenn., and Atlanta.
The land issue is still in negotiation with families
trying to decide whether to sell trust land where a
casino must be located.
"We could create 1,000 jobs in the next year if we
build [a casino] in Cherokee County," Wachacha said.
"Tribal Gaming Enterprise is talking about trying to
do something in the next few months and by next year
The state will get a share of revenue from live
gaming for education for classroom teachers, teacher
assistants, classroom materials or supplies or
textbooks. The state's share of revenue will range
from 4 to 8 percent.
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