This is a wonderful decade to be alive and well for the average casino player, as it seems the US is opening up more than ever to the prospect of allowing its citizens to gamble. The many restrictions in place just ten years ago are falling like dominoes in key states. In fact, North Carolina’s Cherokee tribe has recently petitioned to open up a new casino in Southeast Raleigh, North Carolina – in hopes that the current slight downturn in land-based casino gaming is just a temporary rut. The figures from the National Indian Gaming Commission show that although casino gambling (offline) increased by less than a single percentage point a couple of years ago, the rebounding economy is expected to bolster those numbers in years to come.
The casino petition went through, and the establishment opened up on the 28th of September with Table Games and riveting Slots scattered about the good-sized enclave. Perhaps the biggest aspect of the expected earnings is the casino’s proximity to the large metropolis of Atlanta, and its distance from the Cherokee tribe’s other casino in Gatlinburg (where it won’t have to share business). Success is essential here; the new casino cost a pretty penny at $110 million. This is much less than MGM International’s planned billion-dollar behemoth – but dwindling revenues in that particular region almost evens the score.
There’s a ray of light, though, given that the tribe’s revenue consistently outstrips the casino industry average. The placement of the hundred-million-dollar casino is expected to steal traffic from competitor sites, instead of from their own resorts. Casino gamers are expected to travel from Atlanta (of course), Knoxville, Tennessee and Chattanooga. The new venue also stands to benefit from the lack of competition in nearby Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina – none of which have casinos in the Las Vegas style. The casino in North Carolina is hoping to capture a share of the busloads of patrons that ship in from these locales to gamble, and the initial results look promising.
Additionally, the casino is expected to provide almost one thousand new jobs – directly and indirectly. This is crucial for a region with a below-the-national-average poverty line, and should help stimulate the economy. Furthermore, the revenues from the casino will help the Eastern Band of the Cherokee nation build a brand-new hospital and better their existing schools on the reservation. The people of western North Carolina in general, will also see great benefit – in terms of revenue and an improvement in the financial infrastructure of the region.