Nation | Tribe: Catawba Indian Nation
538 Kings Mountain Blvd.
Kings Mountain, NC 28086
The Catawba Indian Nation is developing a new casino resort named "Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort" in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, a small suburban city near the stateline with South Carolina and 33 miles west of Charlotte. The location is near the Kings Mountain Boulevard interchange at I-85 Exit 5.
Artist Rendering of Completed Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort
Artist Renderings of Catawba Two Kings Casino
Native American tribes require federal recognition and federal approval before building a casino under the Indian Gaming Regulation Act. The Catawba received federal recognition in 1993 and is the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina.
In September 2013 the Catawba tribe took its first major step towards building a casino when it filed an application with the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs for a land trust and casino rights on 16 acres near Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The ancestral homeland of the Catawba stretched from South Carolina, through North Carolina and into southern Virginia.
Since the Catawba Indian Nation filed its application in 2013, there was five years of delays and no action by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). This prompted South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham to introduce the bill in March 2019 to bypass the BIA and approve the application by an act of Congress. Read the news story "New Hope for Catawba Casino at Kings Mountain NC" (below).
The U.S. Department of Interior finally granted federal approval for the Catawba Two Kings Casino in March 2020.
The Catawba casino plan was initially estimated to cost $273 million for the casiino, hotel, entertainment center, restaurants and stores. A temporary slots casino opened July 1, 2021 to operated during the construction period of the permanent casino.
The U.S. Department of Interior granted approval for the Kings Mountain casino project on March 12, 2020 by the . See details.
The Catawba Indians held a groundbreaking ceremony July 22, 2020. Construction began construction the next day. See details
On Jan. 22, 2021 the Catawba Nation annouonced the signing of a gaming compact with the state governor that will allow Class III gaming at the casino. Class III are "house-banked" slot machines and table games. Without the compact the Two Kings Casino would be limited to Class II gaming, which is non-banked casino games played against other players. See details
A temporary casino with 500 slot machines opened July 1, 2021. It later expanded in 2021 to accompodate 1,000 slot machines. The facility will operate until construction is finished on the permanent Two Kings Casino Resort in 2023. See details
Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort opened a temporary casino on July 1, 2021 to operate until construction is completed on the final casino.
The final Two Kings Casino will open and replace the temporary casino in 2023. At that time construction will begin on the hotel and the entertainment center.
538 Kings Mountain Blvd.
Kings Mountain, NC 28086
A "Pre-launch Casino" is the opening stage in the development of the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. This temporary facility is located at 538 Kings Mountain Blvd in Kings Mountain, NC, and is fabricated with 23 modular buildings joined together to make a 14,700-square-foot casino floor.
TEMPORARY CASINO FEATURES
Opened July 1, 2021
Open 24 hours daily
14,700 square foot gaming floor
Minimum age 21 to enter
500 slot machines.
Food and beverages available from snack bar and food trucks,
Alcohol license is pending.
Non-smoking facility with designated smoking areas outside.
650 parking spaces
EXPANDED TEMPORARY CASINO
Opening by December 15, 2021
Open 24 hours daily
30,000 square foot gaming floor
Minimum age 21 to enter
1,000 slot machines.
When completed, construction will begin on the permanent Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. The expanded temporary casino will operate until the opening of the permanent Catawba Two Kings Casino in 2023.
The initial plan to build a resort casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina was announced by Chief Bill Harris at a tribal meeting on September 7, 2013.
Project: $273 million casino complex that will create 5,000 construction jobs and generate $300 million of annual economic activity.
Location: The casino site is 16 acres in the northwestern quadrant of the intersection of Kings Mountain Blvd. and I-85 (Exit 5) in Kings Mountain, NC.
Casino: 195,000-square-foot casino complex with a 75,128-square-foot gaming floor, 1,796 electronic gaming devices and 54 table games.
Hotel: 1,500 hotel rooms
Restaurants & Stores: Space with 940 seats
Entertainment Center: Full concert and event venue.
Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians
The Catawba plan raised immediate opposition from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, who called it a "land grab." The tribe operates Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino, both in Cherokee County, North Carolina.
North Carolina Legislature
A letter written by House Speaker Thom Tillis and signed by a hundred House members sent to the United States Secretary of the Interior requesting the Catawba trust application be denied.
The Haywood County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Apr 3, 2019 opposing the Catawba casino proposed in Cleveland County. Haywood County is the first of seven western counties to respond to a request from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians to oppose the Catawba casino.
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195,000-square-foot casino complex
75,128-square-foot gaming floor
1,796 slot machines or electronic gaming machines
54 table games
The type of gaming is yet to be determined. Class II gaming has been approved by the federal government, however, the Catawba tribe will try to negotiate a Class III gaming compact with the North Carolina state government. A Class III compact would establish the type and number of games and the percentage of revenue the Catawba would pay to the state.
Restaurants with seating for 940 guests. The number of restaurants and their cuisines will be announced at a later date.
A full entertainment center will be built to host concerts and other special events.
1,500 guest rooms
There will be one and maybe two hotels on the property.
Details are to be announced at a later date.
November 9, 2021
On the first day of Native American Heritage Month the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1619 titled "Catawba Indian Nation Lands" with a 361-55 vote. The bill ratifies and confirms the U.S. Department of the Interior's decision last March to transfer 16.5 acres of North Carolina land into federal trust for the South Carolina Catawba Indian Nation.
The House bill must now go to the Senate where final passage would solidify the legal right of the Catawba Indians to build a casino in Kings Mountain, NC. The bill would effectively defeat a federal lawsuit filed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to stop construction of the Catawba Two Kings Casino.
House Bill 1619, the Catawba Indian Nations Act, was sponsored by South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn and supported by North Carolina representatives Alma Adams, David Price and George Butterfield.
October 13, 2021
Catawba Two Kings Casino is currently expanding its temporary slots casino to double in space and double in the number of slot machines. The casino is constructed from modular buildings and opened July 1st with 15,000 square feet and 500 slot mcahines. Twenty six more modular buildings will be added by December 15th to increase the space to 30,000 square feet and the total slot machines to 1,000. The temporary casino will continue to operate 24/7 until the permanent casino opens in 2023.
Master Plan Phase 1
The latest details of the Catawba Two Kings Casino project were revealed in a Cleveland County Board of Commissioners meeting last week. A presentation by Jason Falls, Cleveland County Business Development Director, disclosed the following information:
The permanent Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort will be built in three phases beginning with a groundbreaking for the casino on Jan. 4, 2022.
The main building size has been redesigned from its original 60,000 sq-ft to now 415,000 sq-ft.
The main floor will be 200,000 sq-ft with a lower floor of 60,000 sq ft.
There will be four restaurants with 33,000 sq-ft each.
The parking deck has been increased from 600 spaces to 2,600 spaces on 5 floors.
Landscaping includes an elevated man-made river with waterfalls.
Phases two and three will follow with a 29-floor hotel tower and an entertainment center.
Additional information is expected soon. More design changes could also be expected.
September 23, 2021
Construction is underway to expand the temporary Two Kings Casino which opened in July 2021. More gaming space will be added to the current 14,700-square-foot gaming floor to accommodate another 500 slots machines. When completed, the number of slot machines will total 1,000 units. Food and beverages will continue to be available from snack bars and food trucks.
The temporary slots casino is the initial phase of a $273 million casino and resort project. The final Two Kings Casino Resort is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in late 2022. The casino will feature a 75,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,800 electronic gaming devices and 54 table games. Two Kings Casino will also have a 1,500-room hotel and a entertainment center for live concerts and events.
August 16, 2021
Catawba Chief William "Bill" Harris leads a tour of the new Catawba Two Kings temporary casino in Kings Mountain NC. The new casino with 500 slot machines opened July 1 and will operate 24/7 during construction of the permanent Two Kings Casino Resort.
The Catawba Two Kings temporary casino is a 14,700-square-feet, non-smoking slots casino that is assembled from 23 modular buildings. The minimum age to enter is 21. The casino will operate 24/7 until it is replaced by a second temporary casino that will operate inside permanent onsite building. Details have not been announced.
July 11, 2021
Since opening a 500-slot temporary casino at Catawba Two Kings Casino, the crowds have been coming in high numbers everyday bringing heavy traffic in Kings Mountain, a small city near the stateline with South Carolina and 33 miles west of Charlotte.
The Catawaba Two Kings slot casino has operated 24 hours a day since opening on July 1. A second-stage "temporary casino" will begin construction soon to provide a larger, permanent building with 1,360 additional slot machines. The final Catawba Two Kings Casino is expected to be completed by late 2022. The casino will be followed by construction of a hotel and entertainment center.
July 2, 2021
The Catawba Indian Nation opened its "temporary casino" at noon yesterday at the future home of the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. The location is 538 Kings Mountain Blvd. in Kings Mountain, NC near the interchange at I-85 Exit 5.
The 14,700 square foot casino is open 24 hours everyday and features 500 slot machines with food and beverage services.
June 21, 2021
Catawba Two Kings Casino is preparing to open its temporary slots casino in July. This facility will operate 24 hours a day and feature 500 slot machines. The minimum age to enter is 21. Food and beverages will be available from a snack bar and food trucks.
Catawba Two Kings Casino Building Site
Catawba Two Kings Casino Entrance
Catawba Two Kings Casino Door
Catawba Two Kings Casino Slot Machines
June 6, 2021
FOX 46 has confirmed the early opening of a 500 slot machine facility is scheduled to open July 1st. The facility will provide a temporary location to play slots while the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort is under construction. The completion of the final casino is expected in late 2022.
The early launch of a gaming facility will feature 500 slot machines with food and drink services inside modular trailers. The opening will precede the completion of the final casino, which will feature 1,800 slot machines, 54 table games, multiple restaurants, an event center and a 1,500-room hotel.
May 25, 2021
Catawba Two Kings Casino completed a two-day job fair last week in preparation for the July 1st opening of its "pre-launch" casino. The temporary casino needs 200 new workers and supervisors in place and trained before opening day.
The Catawba Two Kings "Pre-launch" Casino will operate 500 slot machines with food and beverage services during the construction of the Catawba Two Kings Casino.
When finished, the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort will be a 195,000-square-foot gaming complex with a casino, hotel, restaurants and stores, and an entertainment center.
May 13, 2021
The Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort plans a two-day job fair this month to hire 200 workers for a temporary gaming facility to open in July. The event will be held at Cleveland Community College on May 19-20, 2021.
May 19 from Noon - 4 PM
May 19 from 8 AM - 4 PM
Cleveland Community College Event Center
1800 E. Marion St., Shelby, NC
Jobs are available in guest services, maintenance, security, operations, housekeeping and food and beverage.
The temporary gaming facility is expected to open in July although no official date has been announced. The facility will operate 500 slot machines. When the permanent casino opens, the total employment is expect to reach 2,600 permanent jobs.
April 23, 2021
The North Carolina-based Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians sued the South Carolina-based Catawba Nation to stop construction of the Two Kings Casino at Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The Cherokee Indians claimed the casino was a "modern-day land grab" across state lines and challenged the legitimacy of its federal approval.
After hearing the case in the U.S. District Court in Washington DC, Judge James E. Boasberg issued a 55-page decision that rejected both arguments of the Cherokee Tribe.
After the decision, Catawba Indian Nation Chief Bill Harris released a statement:
"This decision reaffirms the clear historical record of the Catawba's ancestral lands and cultural ties in North Carolina and the rigorous process of review undertaken by the U.S. Department of the Interior in taking the land into trust."
Richard Sneed, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, said the tribe was reviewing the ruling and "examining all options for next steps. It remains clear to us that the law was broken and we will not stop until justice is served in this case."
The Cherokee Tribe is currently the only casino operator in North Carolina. The tribe owns Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, NC, and Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino in Murphy, NC.
April 1, 2021
Catawba Nation will open a temporary casino during the construction of the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort. The smaller facility will open July 1 in modular buildings on the Two Kings casino site. The temporary casino will offer 500 slot machines and a limited food and drink service.
Catawba Chief Bill Harris said, "With the completion of our compact with the State of North Carolina, the Catawba Nation is eager to open the casino as quickly as possible to begin bringing economic benefits and jobs to the state and region."
March 31, 2021
The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved the gaming compact between North Carolina and the Catawba Indian Nation last week, and will transfer the 16-acre casino site near Kings Mountain, NC into federal trust on behalf of the tribe. Taking the land into trust is the final requirement for the Catawba Nation to operate an Indian gaming casino on the site.
The Catawba Chief Bill Harris received formal notification from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in a letter dated March, 19, 2021. The letter approved the terms of the gaming agreement reached January 22 between Gov. Roy Cooper and the Catawba Nation.
January 27, 2021
The Catawba Two Kings Casino took a major step forward when the Catawba Indian Nation signed a gaming compact with Gov. Roy Cooper last Friday. The gaming agreement will allow Two Kings Casino to operate Class III casino games, which includes Vegas-style slot machines, blackjack, baccarat, craps, keno and roulette.
The agreement requires final approval by the U.S. Department of Interior, which will give a greenlight to start full production on the Two Kings Casino. A temporary casino is planned for this fall during construction of the main casino.
January 19, 2021
As the Catawba Indian Nation continues construction on its Two Kings Casino at Kings Mountain, NC, a showdown in federal court with the Eastern Band of Cherokees is coming within a few weeks.
Last month the Federal District Court in Washington DC expediated a case filed by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians against the Catawba Nation and the US Interior Department to stop construction of the Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, NC.
The Cherokee Indians claim the approval by the Interior Department to build the casino was illegal and the efforts of the Catawba Nation, which is headquartered in South Carolina, is simply a "land grab".
The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians have been the only tribe with casinos in North Carolina. The tribe owns Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino, both located in Cherokee County, North Carolina.
January 10, 2021
The Catawba Indian Nation plans to build a 60,000-square-foot initial casino that will open this fall. Tribal Administrator Elizabeth Harris said "After clearing is complete, we will begin building an introductory facility."
The temporary casino will feature 1,300 slot machines and a restaurant. its location will be off Dixon School Road near Interstate 85.
The Catawba Nation is currently seeking a gaming compact with Gov. Roy Cooper to allow Vegas-style slots and table games in exchange for tax payments on the gaming revenues. Construction may wait until an agreement is signed.
A lawsuit against the Catawba casino has been filed by the Eastern Band of the Cherokees, who claim the casino project is a "modern-day land grab". The court wants the final legal filings for this case by the end of this month.
October 30, 2020
A bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last month to add Congressional support to the decision by the U.S. Interior Department to transfer North Carolina land owned by the Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina into federal trust for the purpose of building the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain, NC.
The intent of House Bill HR 8255 is to stop the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from preventing the construction of the Catawba casino. The bill reaffirms the Interior Department's decision to transfer 17 acres of land in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, into federal trust for the Catawba Tribe. The trust removes state jurisdiction over the casino land and places it under the authority of the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Bill HR 8255 titled the Catawba Indian Nation Lands Act was introduced by Rep. GK Butterfield (D-North Carolina) and co-sponsored by four Democrats and three Republicans
September 3, 2020
Last Friday the Catawba Indian Nation announced the official name of the new casino under construction at Kings Mountain, NC. The casino name will be "Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort".
Catawba Chief Bill Harris told the press:
"Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort celebrates our rich history and hopeful future in our ancestral lands in North Carolina - where our people were established hundreds of years ago, as the names Catawba River, Catawba County and Catawba College suggest.
"The name pays tribute to the 18th century Catawba Chief King Hagler and to the City of Kings Mountain, which will be home to the new casino resort. It also symbolizes the unique relationship that the Catawba people have historically had - and will continue to strengthen going forward - with fellow residents of the region."
The logo for the new casino depicts the two kings: King Hagler and Kings Mountain.
August 23, 2020
Buncombe County has joined the Eastern Band of Cherokee in opposition to the tribal casino under construction by the Catawba Indian Nation at Kings Mountain, NC. The Catawba Indians are headquartered in South Carolina with ancestral lands in North Carolina.
Last Tuesday the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 to pass a resolution denouncing the Catawba casino. The commissioners fear the new casino will harm the revenues and jobs provided by the two casinos of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort
Cherokee, NC 28719
Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino
Murphy, NC 28906
The board's action will not delay construction of the Kings Mountain casino, but may influence the governor's decision regarding a gaming compact to allow Class III gaming at the casino. The Eastern Band of Cherokee has filed a second lawsuit to stop construction after an earlier suit failed in federal court.
July 24, 2020
The Catawba Indians celebrated the groundbreaking for their $300M Kings Mountain casino resort on Wednesday morning, and construction began Thursday morning. The casino should be completed and opened by next spring. Construction will follow on the resort hotel with final completion within three years.
Catawba Groundbreaking July 22, 2020
The Catawba Indian Nation has started construction of their casino despite lawsuit to stop them filed by the Eastern Band of Cherokees.
March 19, 2020
Last week the U.S. Department of Interior approved the Catawba Nation's application to build a $273 million tribal casino and resort in Kings Mountain, NC.
Courtesy of WBTV 3
In a letter to the tribe from Tara Sweeney, assistant secretary of the Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs, the government will take 50 acres of Catawba-owned land into federal trust with 17 acres dedicated for the casino and 33 acres for related development.
The Eastern Band of the Cherokees, owners of Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, are upset and opposed to this decision. The federal letter addresses this issue in these statements:
The Catawba tribe has "both a tribal population and governmental presence in North Carolina where the site is located."
"Though the Site falls within an area where another tribe may assert aboriginal ties, that fact does not detract from the Nation's ties to the land."
Catawba Chief William Harris added in a press conference:
"[The tribe] is very thankful for the department's decision to take this land into trust, enabling us to achieve the promise of self-determination though economic development."
"It's a righting of a wrong. We have now regained what once belonged to us."
December 28, 2019
The Catawba Indian Nation is nearing an important milestone in their quest to build an Indian gaming casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has finished its Environmental Assessment of the proposed casino site at Dixon School Road and I-85 Exit 5.
The study is a 674-page report published on Dec. 18. It covers the environmental impact of building a tribal casino and entertainment complex on the 16-acre site. Local residents now have 30 days to review and make comments on the report. The Bureau of Indian Affairs will then decide whether to move forward and transfer the land into trust of the Catawba Indian Nation.
This will be a major step forward for the tribe if the transfer is approved by the BIA. The timeframe to build and open the casino could then be two to three years.
March 16, 2019
After five years of no action by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the casino application submitted in 2013 by the Catawba Indian Nation, Sen. Linsay Graham (R-SC) has introduced a Senate bill to bypass the agency and approve placing the Catawba casino site into federal trust by an act of Congress.
The two North Carolina senators, Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, both co-sponsor the bill.
"The Catawba Nation has been treated unfairly by the federal government, and our legislation rights that wrong," said Sen. Graham. "I hope this legislation will be quickly passed through the Congress and signed into law so we can once and for all bring resolution to this issue."
Within hours of the bill's introduction, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians issued a statement of opposition. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is the only federally-recognized tribe in North Caolina.
"The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians' (EBCI) centuries-long North Carolina tradition has created a lasting partnership with the state to provide a strong future for generations through health care, education and business. While the tribe respects and encourages progress for other Native American communities, including South Carolina's Catawba Indian Nation, the recent filing of a bill in the US Senate to give North Carolina land to the South Carolina tribe for an off-reservation casino is nothing more than a modern day land grab by the federal government of Cherokee aboriginal lands. This action circumvents the existing process for the Catawba Indian Nation to acquire lands in South Carolina, is unprecedented in US history, and a federal government bully tactic that should not be part of modern governing. We encourage the Catawba Indian Nation to go through the same process in their home state of South Carolina that the EBCI did in North Carolina to build their business - to develop their on-reservation economy as it should be - in their community. Doing it the right way will ensure they are able to take care of their members and support their local community as we've done for years in North Carolina."
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
July 26, 2015
Development plans are moving forward for the new Kings Mountain casino. The Catawba Indian Nation are the owners of the casino. The tribe is looking for a nationally recognized casino brand company to partner with them.
A possible partnership could be with Hard Rock International. The Hard Rock brand is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. A partnership between the two could bring additional support from political leaders for the Kings Mountain casino.
If a partnership is able to be formed, the Catawba Indian Nation will be able to provide a proven and regulated structure to their project. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are the operators of the only other tribal casino in the state. They own the Harrah's Cherokee.
June 30, 2014
The Catawba Indian tribe has proposed a new casino near Kings Mountain. The proposal has caused a controversy.
The Kings Mountain Awareness Group has challenged the impact that the casino will have on the area.
Meetings have been organized by the group for both business owners and the community.
On July 17 another meeting will be held with a speaker from D.C. that will talk about the negative affects of small communities and casinos.
The group also plans to attend future Kings Mountain City Council meetings. As well as Cleveland County Board of Commissioners. The group intends to speak about their concerns of the Kings Mountain casino at the meetings. They are also hopeful to have local politicians change their support for the casino.
September 09, 2013
The Catawba Indian Nation, located in South Carolina, is proposing a new casino to be built. However, the casino would be built just over the North Carolina border.
Previously the tribe has been trying to build a casino in South Carolina. The state has been opposed the project whenever submitted.
Lawmakers for North Carolina are also not in favor of the casino project. It is believed the Catawba Indian Nation project is approved, then other tribes from out of state will also try to build their casino there.
The tribe believes that the casino project will create many new jobs for the area. As well as earn the state and local economy millions in gaming revenues.
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