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Catawba Nation Unveils Plans to Open Pre-Launch Facility Offering Slot Machines to North Carolina Residents

The Catawba Nation has unveiled plans to accelerate the opening of its Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort project by the establishment of a pre-launch facility featuring 500 slot machines in the summer.

As revealed by the Indian tribe, the pre-launch facility will provide future casino patrons with the chance to access the games with limited food and beverage options, plus some other amenities for the guests. The facility is set to be constructed using prefabricated modular structures, the tribe shared.

In a press release, the Chief of the Catawba Indians, Bill Harris, said that the tribe was willing to open the casino as quickly as possible to start bringing some economic benefits and new jobs to the region, especially at a time when its compact with the state of North Carolina is being renewed. Mr. Harris said that the Native American nation is working with its developer Skyboat Gaming and the consultant on the casino project to make the opening of the pre-launch facility possible this summer.

The newly-unveiled plans are not supposed to change the planned stages of the casino construction in any way. The introductory phase of the full casino is still on track and will feature an extra 1,300 slot machines.

The Construction of the Kings Mountain-Based Casino Resort to Proceed as Planned

According to Brian Hansberry, president of the gaming business of Delaware North, the establishment of the temporary pre-launch facility is a logical decision, especially considering the fact it will continue to operate during the casino introductory phase and, possibly, throughout the following phases of the construction. Such a facility will also provide a place to teach incoming staff before they start working at the planned casino.

The Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort is set to be hosted at a 17-acre site in Kings Mountain. The casino resort project, estimated at a total of $273 million, is expected to create 2,600 permanent jobs when it starts operation, as well as a large number of jobs during the construction period. According to Johnny Hutchins, a Commissioner from Cleveland County, the casino project of the Catawba Nation would provide the country’s residents with long-lasting and sustainable economic benefits.

The gambling contract (called compact) of the state of North Carolina and the Catawba Nation was signed in January 2021. Under its provisions, the state will be able to get a share in revenues generated by the new casino venue of the Native American tribe. Last month, the US Department of the Interior took the 17-acre piece of land into trust for the Catawba Nation in order for the tribe to be given the chance to establish its casino.

The decisions of the authorities that have paved the way for the Catawba Nation’s casino resort project are still being facing opposition from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The tribe explained that the approval received by the project from the Department of Interior’s original illegal act would help an unwanted casino enter North Carolina and it continues to challenge the decision in federal court.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.