Indian Casino Coming Soon!
A large gambling casino, complete with live dealers, is planned for Murphy, NC in the near future.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) has a huge gambling complex on the main reservation about 50 miles east of Murphy. It includes gaming rooms, restaurants, show room and large hotel.
But the Eastern Cherokee (the bulk of the tribe was forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1830’s) has always had only video machines for gamblers. For years the tribe has negotiated with the State of North Carolina to be permitted to have live dealers.
So in mid-June the pact was finally signed by both the tribe and the state. It will allow live dealers and the construction of a new casino at Murphy, moves that will create hundreds of jobs.
The land has already been purchased, more than 800 acres of forest about four miles east of town, at a cost exceeding $6 million.
“Cherokee County (Murphy) is our first priority for expansion,” chief Michell Hicks said.
He said tribal officials have been on the site recently, looking and planning for the new casino. The site in convenient to four-lane US-74 and the state-owned railway that parallels the highway.
Adam Wachacha, the local representative to the Tribal Council, said the casino when fully build could provide 1,000 new jobs.
“We started trying for live table gaming in 1997,” he said. “We will now have Las Vegas-style gambling right here. Folks who have been going to the riverboats in Mississippi can find live dealers right here in the Smokies.”
One of the main benefits of the Murphy casino will be that it is located one hour nearer to both Atlanta and Chattanooga population centers than the Harrah’s operation on the reservation.
Increased tourist traffic is the goal of the new pact, which will benefit the tribe and the state. According to the agreement, the State of North Carolina will get revenue from the live table gambling over the next 30 years.
The state’s “cut” starts off at 4 percent from the live gaming tables, then rises in increments to 8 percent for the last 10 years of the deal.
New live tables at the casino on the reservation will include craps, blackjack, roulette and mini-baccarat, an official said. Similar games are expected at Murphy when the new gaming venue opens here.
Wachacha indicated that movement on the new Murphy casino construction should be seen by next year.
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