Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina has signed a “gaming compact” agreement with Gov. Bev Perdue, which will see the arrival of Las Vegas-style card dealers.
Leaders in the House and Senate have said they would support the deal – which will see 400 new jobs at the casino, and (hopefully) millions of dollars more in profits. However, lawmakers must make changes to the state’s gambling law in order for the deal to go through.
In a report by The Citizen Times, Principal Chief Michell Hicks, who has been working on the deal for eight years, said: “It’s definitely a burden lifted. It’s just been sitting there for a long time, so it feels great know we have finally pushed the ball to a new level.”
The gaming compact, which was realised after months of negotiations between Perdue and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will last for three decades and is said to be and economic benefit to the tribe. It will also give the tribe exclusive rights to operate the casino.
But why is the governor so keen on the deal? The tribe will give part of the profits to the state, with a cut of the new games starting at 4% for the first five years – increasing to 8% for the last five years.
According to Perdue, this money will go to a yet-to-be-named “education initiative”. But allocating the gambling money is something that Democrat and Republican leaders disagree on, with some lawmakers preferring it to go to the state’s general fund.
Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger told the tribe in a letter in November that the General Assembly would approve the new gambling agreement during the government’s “final session of 2011”, which started late Sunday night. So we’ll have t wait and see if they stick to their word.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is said to be worth $380 million, accounting for 8% of all wages and 5% of all jobs in the two-county area surrounding the Cherokee Indian Reservation, so an agreement of this type is a pretty big deal for the casino and the people who live in the area.