The Catawba Indian Nation has opened its temporary casino in North Carolina.
The US casino, which is about 35 miles west of Charlotte, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. After the ceremony, gamblers could play the 500 slot machines in the pre-launch facility constructed with prefabricated modular structures.
The Catawbas plan to open an “introductory” facility in the fall with at least 1,300 real money slot machines. The permanent Catawba Two Kings Casino will be a $273 million, 60,000-square-foot facility expected to bring more than 2,500 jobs to the state. It will offer Class III gaming (slot machines and table games).
In early June, the tribe said it was planning to open the pre-launch facility in early July, possibly in time for the July 4th holiday weekend.
The Catawbas held a job fair in May to help fill positions at the new casino in Cleveland County. The casino was looking to find employees for about 200 jobs.
Based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the Catawbas have tried to offer US gambling other than bingo in their home state.. After being repeatedly denied, the Catawbas put their efforts into building a casino in North Carolina, saying the tribe has historical and ancestral ties there, according to the Associated Press.
The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians in North Carolina is fighting the Catawba casino. In mid-April, a federal judge denied a legal challenge. The Cherokees are appealing that ruling.
The Cherokees offer sports betting at their two casinos in western North Carolina, launching just before March Madness began.