Two Kings Casino Now Under Full Tribal Ownership With Acquisition from Catawba Nation

Catawba Nation has acquired ownership of the Two Kings Casino Resort and its surrounding land in Kings Mountain.

As Chief Brian Harris announced, the tribe has secured the purchase of the surrounding property and parking area from Sky Boat. With this move, the tribe gains access to prime real estate in Kings Mountain.

The timeline for completion of the permanent Catawba Two Kings Casino begins with a groundbreaking in early 2024 and completion in 2026/2027.

Tylee Tracer-Anderson, communications director for the Catawba Nation, tells NCSharp that while this acquisition does not impact the estimated completion date it will “influence the timeline” along the way.

When the finished Catawba Two Kings Casino opens, it will represent the closest North Carolina tribal gaming option for the majority of the state.

Catawba taking steps toward self-sufficiency

The Greenville, South Carolina-based Sky Boat Gaming was instrumental in operating the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain.

The move marks a crucial step towards economic self-sufficiency for the tribe. It will now have complete control over the resort’s future development and expansion. The acquired land will help the Catawba Nation continue its planned growth in and beyond Kings Mountain in North Carolina.

The casino could use the purchase to enhance the visitor experience at Two Kings Casino Resort. The funds will allow the tribe to develop additional entertainment and accommodation options.

Adding other amenities will help the property attract non-gaming visitors. These amenities will prove vital to the casino’s success, particularly if the state eventually legalizes commercial casinos. As recent commercial casino legislation has proposed, the development of any commercial North Carolina casinos would include larger “entertainment districts” aimed at community revitalization. This type of non-gaming entertainment space would attract wide audiences, become a destination space and increase tax revenue in underperforming North Carolina communities.

The deal marks a significant step ahead for the tribe. Legislative hurdles have marred its casino since its launch in 2021.

Two Kings Casino impact on local economy

The purchase will have an overall positive impact on the local economy. The Two Kings Casino Resort significantly contributes to the region’s economic development. Its expansion will create job opportunities, attract tourists, and generate additional tax revenues.

Complete ownership of the Two Kings casino will fall under Catawba Nation. These economic benefits will help the 2,800-member strong tribe gain a stronger foothold in the local business ecosystem.

For tribe members, purchasing the land surrounding Two Kings underscores the significance of tribal sovereignty. With complete autonomous control over the resort, the tribe has asserted its right to decide on its development and revenue-generating initiatives without compromising its cultural traditions and centuries-old economic practices.

Lengthy Catawba legal battle comes to an end

In October 2023, the Catawba Nation announced it wished to withdraw from a deal with Sky Gaming, citing various issues. In a press conference, the tribe described the offer they received from Sky Boat Gaming as “exorbitant.”

The old offer consisted of a one-time payment of $125 million and another $6 million annually. The deal included access to the parking lot, which almost caused it to fall through.

At the time, the Catawba Two Kings Casino operated out of a trailer park at a temporary site in Kings Mountain. Despite being launched in 2021, the project faced a series of regulatory issues that did not allow for a smooth transition to complete tribal ownership.

The NIGC (National Indian Gaming Commission) found multiple violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and federal regulations. In its statement, the NIGC said: “The investigation found the Nation allowed Sky Boat to manage in part the expansion of Catawba Two Kings Casino without an approved management contract.”

At the time, the tribe accused Sky Boat Gaming of holding its casino project “hostage.” In an October 2023 interview, Chief Brian Harris stated that he did not wish to have any further dealings with Sky Boat. Additionally, he pointed out a series of misunderstandings with the gaming company that caused the violations.

Accordingly, the latest development marks a significant step forward for the tribe. The new deal gives it complete autonomy from Sky Boat Gaming and also gives the opportunity to consolidate its position in Kings Mountain.

About the Author

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro is a sports betting writer at NCSharp. With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specializations include soccer, football, basketball, tennis and esports betting.