North Carolina Casino in Hot Water After Indian Gaming Commission Issues Notice of Violation

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) recently issued a notice of violation to the Catawba Indian Nation’s Two Kings Casino located 35 miles outside of Charlotte. The notice was issued due to the findings of a year-long investigation that revealed that the Catawba Nation allowed developer Sky Boat Partners LLC to manage, in part, the casino’s expansion efforts without an approved contract from the NIGC. 

Depending on the action the NIGC takes, the casino could be temporarily shut down and face civil penalties of up to nearly $58,000 a day. The casino is no stranger to controversy, having faced backlash around slot-machine leasing contracts and past lobbying efforts before opening its doors in 2021. Whether or not the past impacts the present is unknown, but the commission has taken a stern stance in correcting the latest mishap.

Indian Gaming Commission Not Taking Enforcement Lightly

“Based on an exhaustive investigation and analysis of the circumstances, we issued a Notice of Violation to both enforce regulatory compliance and ensure the Nation is the primary beneficiary of its gaming revenue,” Commission Chair E. Sequoyah Simermeyer said. “We do not take this enforcement action lightly but do so to preserve the integrity of the industry and protect the valuable tool Indian Gaming represents for many Tribes as codified in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.” 

The casino is one of only three in the state with a retail sportsbook. If shut down for any amount of time, it could significantly reduce the sports betting options in North Carolina since online sports betting isn’t legal in the state yet. The Catawba Indian Nation has 30 days to appeal the ruling, and they appear ready to do what it takes to avoid any major disruption in service at the Two Kings Casino. 

“The Catawba Nation is committed to resolving the issues cited by the National Indian Gaming Commission regarding the lease agreements for our casino resort project with Sky Boat Partners. The issues don’t involve current casino operations,” Bill Harris, the elected Catawba chief, said in a written statement.

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Additional Gambling Locations in North Carolina

Whether or not the Two Kings Casino will be forced to close its doors is to be determined. Fortunately for North Carolina residents, there are additional options to gamble if it does come to fruition. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

The Book at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is about three hours west of Charlotte. It has a Caesars Sportsbook on site that provides sports betting options for all major American sports and professional leagues. Another great benefit of this casino is its proximity to Tennessee, where online sports betting is legal. It’s less than 30 minutes away from the state line and an hour away from Gatlinburg, Tenn. You’ll have plenty of options to place a wager if you choose this location. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River

The second and last option other than the Two Kings Casino is also owned by Harrah’s. There is also a Caesars Sportsbook on-site at this location that offers the same wager opportunities as its sister property. The Cherokee Valley River Casino, which is undergoing a $275 million expansion, however, is even further away from Charlotte than the Cherokee Casino Resort. If you’re up for the four-hour drive, this is an additional option in the state to place a sports wager. 

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