Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos Economic Impact Includes $355 Million to Local Community

Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos released its 2022 Economic Impact Report with details on how the two North Carolina casinos impacted the community and the economy in Western North Carolina. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos has two properties in North Carolina — Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy. 

Throughout the year Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos made sponsorship donations to local nonprofit organizations, as well as having team members volunteer at various organizations. The casinos provide economic impact to the area through wages and benefits as well as donations to suppliers. 

In 2022, they made $160 million in payments to vendors, $187.2 million in team member salaries and wages, and $7.5 million to the Cherokee Preservation Fund. All of which were higher than the 2021 totals. 

According to Harrah’s Cherokee report the Cherokee Preservation Fund supports revitalizing the Cherokee downtown district. It also established grants that help local organizations ensure long-term sustainability, improve and expand their programming, and make their business more culturally authentic. 

Community Impact

Harrah’s Cherokee founded a company called H.E.R.O. (Harrah’s Employees Reaching Out) to allow team members to volunteer and help with various local organizations. In 2022, team members logged a combined 117,490 volunteer hours. 

H.E.R.O. currently works with 11 organizations in Western North Carolina: 

  • MANNA Food Bank
  • NC Beautiful 
  • Cherokee Hospital
  • Western Carolina University
  • No Barriers
  • Young Harris College
  • WNC Communities
  • Blue Ridge Pride
  • K-9 for Warriors
  • The Giving Spoon
  • PAWS Animal Shelter

The company also supports local non-profits with cash and services donations, for 2022 the donations totaled $425,000.

Community Events

Throughout the year Harrah’s Cherokee also hosts various events that benefit the community and many non-profit organizations. 

  • Folds of Honor — Held a six-week fundraising event that raised $70,000 and funded 14 education scholarships. 
  • 3 Doors Down & The Better Life Foundation — Raised $484,000 with a charity concert, motorcycle ride and raffle, and silent auction.
  • Make-A-Wish Western & Central NC — raised $184,000 which included a $43,000 donation from the company. The money supported 25 wishes for kids in Western North Carolina. 
  • NRT Charity Donations — Supported organizations like Meals on Wheels, Make-A-Wish, Cherokee Cancer Support, and Blue Ridge Health. Raised over $92,000 from guests donating change on ticket redemption kiosks. 
  • Giving Tuesday — On Giving Tuesday the company matched donations to Lunchbox Heros made by team members with the donation equaling $18,109. Lunchbox Heros provided lunches to local students in Swain, Jackson, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Macon, and Clay counties. 
  • Giving Month Recognition — Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos received $8,000 in gift cards to be donated to local non-profit organizations after being recognized by Caesars for having the highest donation to Meals on Wheels. 

Missing the boat: What amount of sports betting revenue is North Carolina missing out on?

About Harrah’s Casinos

Harrah’s Casinos are part of the Caesars lineup. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort was the first casino to open in North Carolina in 1997. It is a hotel but it also has a retail sportsbook, many restaurants, 3,000 slots, more than 160 table games, a spa, a golf course, and more. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel opened in 2015. The casino has 300 hotel rooms, a sportsbook, table games, slots, and restaurants. 

Given that Caesars Entertainment operates the casinos, an online casino operated and branded by Caesars would be a natural fit to partner with the facility if North Carolina ever adds online casinos.

About the Author