The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians plans to expand its gaming foothold with the purchase of commercial casino properties, according to Principal Chief Richard Sneed. (Photo Courtesy Clemson University)
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council (EBCI) has approved the creation of a limited liability company to acquire commercial gaming properties. This will expand the breadth and depth of the Tribe’s revenue sources, and thus increase the financial security of the Tribe for the benefit of its members, the Tribal Council’s November 12th resolution states.
The EBCI currently owns two casinos in western North Carolina — both operated by Caesars Entertainment under the Harrah’s brand.
EBCI Principal Chief Richard Sneed recently told Casino.org that the Tribe is looking to buy more gaming properties to counter increasing competition in neighboring states, and additionally, to support “the next seven generations of Cherokees,” adding that the Tribe’s top 3 priorities are health care, education and housing.
Chief Sneed did not identify what properties in what states the Band is looking to purchase, though he did decline to talk to Casino.org about Caesars casino in Indiana.
Securing a place as a dominant casino operator in the region would empower the Tribe to face competition coming to neighboring Virginia and to Kings Mountain, North Carolina.
Meanwhile, EBCI is expanding its gaming offerings in North Carolina, a state where land-based (but not online) sports betting is legal. “We hope to be able to open our sportsbook sometime after the first of the year,” Chief Sneed told Casino.org.