As the proposed Kings Mountain resort prepares to deliver Las Vegas style gambling, the Catawba Nation and the state of North Carolina have signed a gambling compact that could clear a big hurdle.
The Two Kings Casino Resort has seen the revenue sharing agreement signed by Governor Roy Cooper, which has been the subject of much discussion, with federal approval now sought.
Scheduled to open by summer 2021
The tribe held a groundbreaking ceremony for the location in July 2020, located in the town of Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, with the casino scheduled to open by summer 2021 and will initially feature approximately 1,300 slot machines and food and beverage outlets, as well as entertainment.
The compact is said to be close to that of the Cherokee Compact, retained by the state alongside the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which would include a $191,000 charge to cover the regulated sports betting costs.
The state would receive a share of the activity’s income in return for the right to sell table games, with the tribe estimating that this amount could hit $5m-$10m per year.
Transfer of funds to a Catawba foundation
In addition, for the benefit of the Catawba, as well as other state and federally recognised tribes, the venue will also pass funds to a foundation, which will initially start at $1 m per year but may exceed $7.5 upon full growth.
Bringing economic benefits
Bill Harris, Catawba chief said: “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.
“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.”
$273m investment in Cleveland County
The new casino, which will be operated by Delaware North, a multinational hospitality group, represents a $273m investment in Cleveland County. Officials state that $311m will be generated by project construction operation, with total employment of 2,347 from direct, indirect, and induced effects.
When operational, the Catawba facility is projected to produce direct economic activity of $30 million per year and employ 2,600 employees, as well as create an additional indirect effect of $77.3 million per year and an induced impact of $42.8 million.
Scott Neisler, Kings Mountain’s mayor, 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.”