U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Burr and Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced legislation on Thursday that clarifies the authority of the Department of Interior to act on the Catawba Indian Nation’s land in trust application for the purposes of building and operating an Indian gaming facility in King’s Mountain, North Carolina. The site falls within the tribe’s service area which includes parts of South Carolina and North Carolina.
The tribe’s proposed 220,000 square foot resort would create over 4,000 jobs. The annual economic impact on the local community would be an estimated $350 million.
“The Catawba Nation has been treated unfairly by the federal government, and our legislation rights that wrong,” said Graham. “I hope this legislation will be quickly passed through the Congress and signed into law so we can once and for all bring resolution to this issue.”
Four years ago, the Catawbas submitted an application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs seeking the ability to operate a casino. No action has been taken on the application.
The Senators noted that this legislation requires any Catawba gaming in North Carolina to be in full compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a federal law which regulates Indian gaming.