North Carolina is considering a bill that would allow sports betting at Harrah’s Cherokee Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel.
The casinos, both owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are both located near the state’s border with Tennessee and are the only casinos in the state.
The bill would open the doors to betting on both professional and collegiate sporting events most probably by the summer but does not include mobile betting.
Principal Chief Richard Sneed said: “The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has been working with the leadership within Harrah’s and Caesars regarding an opportunity to expand our gaming offerings on the Qualla Boundary. Sports betting is an emerging market across the country and is within the purview of the EBCI provided some changes to the existing legislation governing EBCIgaming are made.
“I have been working with friends of the EBCI in Raleigh regarding expanding our gaming offerings and finalized this work with a reception in Raleigh for several North Carolina legislators,” he added. “This reception was well attended, with several Congressmen and Senators pledging their support of upcoming legislation.This legislation would open the door for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Valley River Casino & Hotel to offer Sports Betting within their establishments. Sports Betting would create a new clientele for the Casinos and create a new revenue stream for Cherokee. I, along with several members of Tribal Council, have fought hard to upgrade the EBCI gaming offerings on the Qualla Boundary. As Principal Chief, I consider it an honor to work for you on this issue as I am always looking for opportunities to improve the quality of life for our enrolled members. I look forward to updating the community as this initiative progresses.”
Brooks Robinson, Harrah’s Cherokee Regional Senior Vice President, went on record as saying: “We are obviously very interested in the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding sports betting. Keep in mind that Harrah’s Cherokee operates under conditions set forth by a gaming compact established between Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the State of North Carolina. Any change in that agreement is a subject that can only be addressed by the Tribe.”