KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- A South Carolina Indian tribe's effort to open a gambling casino in neighboring North Carolina is being spearheaded by a businessman with long ties to video poker, an industry lawmakers have long sought to outlaw.
A company called Sky Boat LLC is working with the Catawba Indian Nation to build a casino that promises to bring 4,000 jobs to a site off Interstate 85 near Kings Mountain, The Charlotte Observer and the News & Observer of Raleigh reported. The company selected by Catawba leaders to operate a casino is led by 40-year-old Wallace Cheves of Greenville, S.C., whose business activities have included video poker, riverboat gambling and other gambling ventures.
North Carolina already has one Indian casino, owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee and operated by a major gambling company, Harrah's.
The Catawbas want to build the second after South Carolina laws blocked the tribe's effort to build a casino in its home state. The tribe continues to challenge the laws, including a case before South Carolina's Supreme Court last month.
The North Carolina effort about 30 miles northwest of the Catawbas reservation in Rock Hill, S.C., is on hold while the tribe seeks a decision by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs whether to place the property in trust.
The move is opposed by Gov. Pat McCrory.