Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians seeks to expand North Carolina gambling business

July 27, 2023
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The Tribe held a council meeting to discuss raising its profit distribution to 75%.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in North Carolina recently held a Tribal Council session to discuss the possible expansion of its gaming business, according to a Smoky Mountain News local report.

During the session, Principal Chief Richard Sneed presented a resolution that would direct the Tribe’s Attorney General Office, Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise and EBCI Holdings LLC to write an ordinance, as well as updated company agreements. These would allow 75% distribution of commercial sports wagering proceeds as per capita payments, according to the local report.

Until now, 50% of the Tribe’s Murphy and Cherokee casino profits are distributed as per capita payments. Despite the fact that Indiana regulators prevented EBCI-owned Caesars Southern Indiana Casino’s profits from going to the Tribe, Sneed pushed for a boost in percentages.

Sneed explained to local news the potential benefits of going beyond the previous 50% split.

He commented, “Rather than go with the traditional 50-50 split, I went with 75-25 because it is a smaller pot of money, but it will make a larger impact on the overall per capita distribution.”

In North Carolina, Tribal gaming and commercial gaming are mutually exclusive. The National Indian Gaming Commission regulates Tribal gaming throughout the state.

The state recently pulled the trigger to legalize gambling within its borders after Governor Roy Cooper signed sports betting and horseracing bill, House Bill 347.

Part of the state’s motivation to approve regulated sports betting had to do with pre-existing gambling within North Carolina and an opportunity to provide a safe space for an already present market.

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