Catawbas Plan Early July ‘Pre-Launch’ NC Casino Facility Opening

Catawbas Plan Early July ‘Pre-Launch’ NC Casino Facility Opening
By Ron Fritz

The Catawba Indian Nation will open a temporary facility housing 500 slot machines in early July as it continues construction on the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

The South Carolina-based tribe said it will announce the opening date of the “pre-launch” facility when it becomes available. The Catawbas hope to open an “introductory” facility in the fall with at least 1,300 slot machines.

In mid-April, a federal judge denied a legal challenge by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians over the casino, ruling that the Catawba Indian Nation had the right to build on the land. About a month later, the Cherokees appealed the judge’s ruling.

The Cherokees operate two casinos in western North Carolina and launched sports betting at the sites in time for March Madness. The tribe has been contesting the plan for a third gambling operation in North Carolina since it was proposed.

The Catawbas broke ground on the Vegas-style gaming facility about 35 miles west of Charlotte after the compact with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. It allows for Class III gaming.

The “Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain,” will be an approximately $300 million, 60,000-square-foot facility. Class III gaming includes slot machines and table games.

In late March, the Catawbas announced they were planning the “pre-launch” facility this summer to accelerate job growth and to train workers. The pre-launch facility is being constructed with prefabricated modular structures.

“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,” Catawba Chief Bill Harris said in a news release announcing the “pre-launch” facility. “We’re working with Delaware North, our consultant on the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort project, as well as our developer, Skyboat Gaming, to make that happen by opening what we are calling a ‘pre-launch’ facility this summer.”

Catawbas Hiring For Casino

The Catawbas also held a job fair May 19-20 in Shelby to help fill positions at the new casino in Cleveland County. The casino was looking to find employees for about 200 jobs.

Positions in finance, marketing, slot techs, security, bartending and guest services, as well as supervisory roles, were available.

In news release after the court ruling saying the tribe had the right to build the facility, it noted that the casino “will help support an education fund that will benefit environmental conservation, provide educational support for members of federal and state-recognized tribes, support local communities on economic development initiatives and foster employment opportunities.”



Ron Fritz is a former editor for

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