When a projected $273 million building project is held up, it tends to make headlines. That is precisely what is happening as the Two Kings Casino permanent casino project has been stalled while it is under federal investigation, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
There are several important things to go over as to what it means for the casino project that will also house the third retail sportsbook in North Carolina.
What is the Investigation About?
For the Catawba Nation, based in South Carolina, to open its casino, it needed 17 acres of North Carolina land. When the Catawba Nation got the land, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tried to sue the federal government over it. Several politicians helped the Catawba Nation avoid the lawsuit.
According to the WSJ’s report, James Clyburn — the Democratic Whip in the US House — sponsored a bill that prevented the Cherokees from suing the federal government. One of the stakes in the North Carolina casino is owned by Clyburn’s brother John B. Clyburn.
Many of those politicians are connected to a Kings Mountain Equipment Supply Company. That company gets 20% of all profits from the Two Kings casino. The problem with that is the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that requires the Indian tribe to be the Primary Beneficiary of any gambling entity.
To summarize, there is concern that the primary beneficiary would not be the Catawba Nation. The situation is also clouded by politicians who helped ease the casino opening, potentially profiting from it.
The future of North Carolina online casinos
While online sports betting is on the way to the growing North Carolina gambling market, North Carolina gambling laws prohibit online casinos.
There are talks of expanding the options of physical casinos in the state. But as for online casino legislation, which would allow NC visitors and residents to play slot machines, table games and other games on their phones through platforms like BetMGM Casino, there has been no real movement.