The Catawba Nation and the state of North Carolina have signed a gambling compact that could clear a major hurdle as the proposed Kings Mountain resort prepares to offer Las Vegas style gambling.
The Two Kings Casino Resort, which has been the subject of much debate, has seen the revenue sharing agreement signed by Governor Roy Cooper, with federal approval now sought.
Located in the city of Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, the tribe held a ground breaking ceremony in July 2020 for the venue, with the casino expected to open by summer 2021 and will initially feature approximately 1,300 slot machines and food and beverages outlets, as well as entertainment.
The compact is said to be similar to that of the Cherokee Compact, held by the state alongside the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which will include a fee of $191,000 to offset costs associated with regulated sports betting.
In exchange for the right to offer table games, the state will receive a percentage of the activity’s revenue, with the tribe projecting that this figure could reach $5m-$10m per year.
Furthermore, the venue will also transfer funds to a foundation for the benefit of the Catawba, as well as other state and federally recognised tribes, which will initially begin at $1m per year but could reach $7.5 upon full development.
“On behalf of the Catawba Nation, I sincerely thank Governor Roy Cooper and his team for their thoughtful collaboration in creating this compact, which is the key step in bringing economic benefits and thousands of jobs from our casino project to the citizens of North Carolina,” said Bill Harris, Catawba chief.
“I would also like to thank secretary of state Elaine Marshall and attorney general Josh Stein for their review and signoff of the compact. With work on the compact completed, we will advance the project from the site preparation phase to vertical construction of an introductory casino gaming facility to open this fall.”
The new casino, which will be operated by global hospitality company Delaware North, represents a $273m investment in Cleveland County. Officials state that project construction activity will generate $311m, with total employment of 2,347 from direct, indirect, and induced effect.
Once operational, the Catawba facility is expected to generate $30m per year of direct economic activity and employ 2,600 workers, as well as creating an additional $77.3m per year in indirect impact and $42.8m in induced impact.
Scott Neisler, mayor of Kings Mountain, added: “Kings Mountain will become a major economic engine in North Carolina. We look forward to creating thousands of good jobs for our hardworking local people. We thank the Catawba Nation for extending their hand of partnership in making this dream a reality.”