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Harrah's Cherokee Casino's $600 million expansion

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January 28, 2010

The $600 million expansion project will be completed in 2012, but some parts of it could be completed and opened as early as April. Other parts will open as they are completed this year. This is according to Erik Sneed, project manager at Harrah's Cherokee Casino.

When completed in 2012 the casino will have a twice the floor space at 150,000 square feet and twice the gambling machines with 5,200 slots.
A special area of 100 slot machines will target Asian gamblers, mostly from the Atlanta area. This area will host a Vietnamese noodle bar and other games like baccarat.

The new 20-story hotel tower will have 532 rooms including top-floor suites. The suites will be reserved for high rollers and major entertainers. They will be 2,500 square feet and include a baby grand pianos and a pool table.

The expansion also includes a 3,000-seat event center, 5 new restaurants and 6 retail stores.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are waiting to see whether the video poker industry will appeal a recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the state's right to allow gambling in Cherokee only and nowhere else.

Principal Chief Michell Hicks said this week "You can anticipate that if they decide not to appeal, I'll be turning up the heat at the governor's office to restart talks to allow Las Vegas-style card games in the casino."

Casino officials anticipate an eventual agreement and are expanding the casino gaming floor to accommodate 80 new gaming tables. If no agreement, the new space will be used for digital card games. There is also a poker room included in the expansion.

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