Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is the oldest, biggest and best-known casino in North Carolina. Poker players know Harrah’s Cherokee as the host of many World Series of Poker Circuit series. Meanwhile, many who enjoy slots, table games, and sports betting have made Harrah’s Cherokee a destination, as well.
Not only is Harrah’s Cherokee the largest casino in North Carolina (by far), it is the largest in the southeast part of the country, excluding Florida. And with no casinos in neighboring Tennessee, South Carolina or Georgia, Harrah’s Cherokee has become popular among casino goers from many miles around.
Tucked away in the scenic mountains of western NC, Harrah’s Cherokee also has a lot to offer non-gamblers, with many restaurants, shops and an entertainment venue, plus other amenities. Read on for a full overview of everything Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort has to offer.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort details
- Address: 777 Casino Drive, Cherokee, NC 28719
- Operator: Caesars Entertainment (owned by EBCI Holdings)
- Phone: 828-497-7777
- Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Minimum gambling age: 21 years old
- Casino games: Slots, video poker, table games, sports betting
- Sportsbook: Yes
- Poker room: Yes
Casino games at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino
With more than 150,000 square feet of casino space, Harrah’s Cherokee offers a wide selection of games. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect:
Harrah’s Cherokee has the most slots of any North Carolina casino with approximately 3,400 slot machines. These include both traditional reels and video slots, with several electronic table games and video poker machines also in the mix.
You’ll find many popular slot titles at Harrah’s Cherokee, including 88 Fortunes, Bier Haus, Buffalo, Cleopatra II, Crystal, Monopoly, Triple Double Diamond and Wheel of Fortune.
In addition to slots, Harrah’s Cherokee has over 160 table games from which to choose. These include the following:
- Craps (including “crapless craps”)
- Crazy 4 Poker
- Criss Cross Poker
- High Card Flush
- Mississippi Stud
- Pai Gow Poker
- Spanish 21
- Three Card Poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
As noted above, you’ll also find electronic table games at Harrah’s Cherokee, including versions of electronic blackjack, craps and roulette.
Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel & Casino Resort has one of only three retail sportsbooks currently available in North Carolina. Caesars Sportsbook opened at the casino in March 2021. You can wager on major professional and college sports, with many bets available for each.
Located adjacent to the casino floor, the sportsbook features seven ticket windows and 10 self-serve kiosks. The centerpiece is a 90-foot game wall with multiple HD and 4K television screens and plenty of comfortable seating. There are also special “fan caves” that can be rented that feature widescreen TVs and access to betting stations for private parties.
Hours at the sportsbook are as follows, although you can access the kiosks at any time:
- Monday to Thursday — 10 a.m. to midnight
- Friday — 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Saturday — 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Sunday — 9 a.m. to midnight
WSOP poker room
The casino’s World Series of Poker-branded poker room is a destination for players not just from North Carolina but surrounding states, as well.
The room is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m. and features 32 tables. Cash games are always running, especially $1/$3 and $2/$5 No Limit Texas Hold’em and $1/$2 and $5/$5 Pot Limit Omaha. You’ll sometimes find a $4/$8 limit hold’em table, as well. There are daily poker tournaments at various buy-ins, including $80 and $140 during the week and $250 on the weekends.
Note that Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort additionally hosts World Series of Poker Circuit tournament series on a regular basis, sometimes as often as four times per year. These series typically run for two weeks and attract thousands of players, which means big fields and large prize pools. When the WSOP-C comes around, the casino opens its entertainment venue to house tables and handle the crowds.
Amenities at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
The amenities at Harrah’s Cherokee start with the hotel, which is in fact now four separate hotel towers featuring over 1,100 rooms (including many suites). Many of these rooms afford spectacular views of the Western NC mountain landscape.
Guests can spend time at two pools on the property, featuring a dozen outdoor cabanas and a pool bar. They can also visit the Mandara Spa and attached salon or go golfing at the nearby Sequoyah National Golf Club, where they receive preferred access.
There are 15 restaurants on the property. Options include the Gordon Ramsay Food Market, which includes a full-service restaurant plus additional “cuisine concepts” that provide a range of light fare up to fine dining. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is another popular location for high-end diners. You’ll also find Guy Fieri’s Cherokee Kitchen, Selu Garden Café, BRIO Italian Grille and other choices, as well as a Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Earl of Sandwich and other on-the-go options.
There are plenty of non-gambling activities at Harrah’s Cherokee, too. These include visiting the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, which features a 24-lane bowling alley, an arcade and another restaurant. Also in the center is the ESports Zone, where you can play tournaments and more.
Nightlife options for adults include the Myst Bar, where musical acts perform each Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile, the whole family can take in musical performances, comedians and other entertainment at the 3,000-seat Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center.
The property features more than a half-dozen retail locations where you can shop for clothing, accessories, gifts, decorations, and more. The property also has copious space for meetings and conventions for those wishing to mix work with play.
Caesars Rewards program
Harrah’s Cherokee is a Caesars Entertainment property, which means those who visit and gamble there can participate in the renowned Caesars Rewards loyalty program. Members earn both reward credits and tier credits every time they spend money at Harrah’s Cherokee or any other Caesars property.
There are a number of ways to redeem reward credits at Caesars locations. One is to use them for free play in the casino at a rate of $1 for every 200 reward credits. You can also use them for discounts on hotel rooms or when shopping or dining on the property. And you can use them when you purchase tickets to shows at the event center, play games at the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, visit the Mandara Spa, the pools or the nightclubs, or in other ways.
Tier credits, meanwhile, determine your tier level in the program. As you ascend through the tiers, the number of perks and amenities you receive will increase. These can include free hotel stays, presale access to shows, discounts when dining and shopping or when playing at the Sequoyah National Golf Club, and other VIP perks and special customer service. The tier levels are as follows:
- Gold: 0 to 4,999 tier credits
- Platinum: 5,000 to 14,999 tier credits
- Diamond: 15,000 to 24,999 tier credits
- Diamond Plus: 25,000 to 74,999 tier credits
- Diamond Elite: 75,000 to 149,999 tier credits
- Seven Stars: 150,000 tier credits and above (invite only)
Tier credits reset to zero every Jan. 1, which means starting over and moving back up the tiers again each year.
In addition to Harrah’s Cherokee, the Caesars Rewards program is available at any of the other 50-plus Caesars properties in the US and internationally. Also, when you earn credits at other properties, you can use them when at Harrah’s Cherokee.
History of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians first opened a small gambling facility in the early 1990s featuring electronic bingo, video poker and pull-tab machines. A legal challenge soon followed, and the Cherokees had to scale back their offerings to bingo only.
In 1994, however, the Cherokees and the state of North Carolina agreed to a tribal-state compact to allow the federally recognized tribe to offer Class III casino games on its land in western North Carolina. Once the compact received federal approval, the tribe partnered with Harrah’s Entertainment to build Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, its first casino in the state.
Despite being located deep in the state’s mountainous region and a significant drive from North Carolina’s larger cities, Harrah’s Cherokee was a hit from the start.
When it first opened on Nov. 13, 1997, the minimum age for gambling at Harrah’s Cherokee was 18 years old. That changed to 21 in 2001. There was no hotel on the property until 2002, when a new 252-room venue opened. Three years later, in 2005, a second tower opened that more than doubled the number of rooms to 576.
The casino also expanded in 2005 to 88,000 square feet of gambling space. Then came another big multi-year expansion culminating in 2013 with the addition of another tower of 500-plus rooms and the casino space expanding again to about 150,000 square feet.
Other changes helped build business at Harrah’s Cherokee, including first being able to serve alcohol in late 2009. In 2012, an amendment to the compact allowed the casino to offer live table games for the first time, and soon the casino opened its World Series of Poker-branded poker room. Later, in 2019, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to approve sports betting in North Carolina, and in March 2021 Harrah’s Cherokee opened its Caesars Sportsbook.