Catawba Nation

Cherokees Spend Big In NC Politics

Oct 4, 2013

North Carolina Republicans announced this week they will hold their 2014 convention at the state's only casino, operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians high in the Smoky Mountains.

The decision is of particular interest since many of the state's top Republicans – including House Speaker Thom Tillis and Governor Pat McCrory – have recently come out against plans for a competing casino two and a half hours away. That proposal comes from the Catawba Indians of South Carolina.

The Cherokees worry the competition would hurt their own casino profits and they have considerable clout with North Carolina politicians.

Julie Rose

The Catawba Indians want to build a $340 million casino and resort in Kings Mountain, North Carolina – which is 45 miles northwest of their reservation in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  They've applied for federal permission to make the land a sort of annex to their reservation. 

They may also need approval from North Carolina's governor and General Assembly – but both are cool to the concept. So why not just build a casino on the tribe's existing reservation just off I-77?