Catawba Two Kings Temporary Casino in North Carolina Expands With Table Games

Nearly three years after the Catawba Nation opened a temporary casino facility in Kings Mountain, NC, the tribe has brought live dealer table games to the venue.

Catawba Two Kings Casino North Carolina
Slot machines are seen inside the temporary Catawba Two Kings Casino in North Carolina. The provisional gaming space has added a dozen live dealer table games, as construction on the permanent $700 million casino resort gets underway. (Image: Spectrum News)

The Catawba Nation is the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina. The tribe has historical ties to North Carolina, specifically ancestral lands in Kings Mountain.  

The Native American community operates casino games on its sovereign territory under a Class III gaming compact it reached with the North Carolina government in 2021, and which was approved that same year by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The temporary Catawba Two Kings Casino has offered about 1,000 slot machines and electronic gaming positions since it opened on July 1, 2021. The facility additionally offers sports betting.

As of this week, Two Kings Casino guests can also bet on live dealer table games. Among the 12 tables, casino reps revealed, are blackjack, craps, roulette, mini baccarat, three-card poker, and Mississippi stud poker.

Permanent Resort Underway

After years of delay stemming from a local businessman being deemed by a US federal agency to have had too much ownership stake in the Catawba’s permanent casino endeavor, the tribe finally broke ground earlier this month on the $700 million resort complex. The construction start came after the tribe negotiated a separation agreement with North Carolina businessman Wallace Cheves, who federal Indian gaming officials said couldn’t be the primary beneficiary of the tribal enterprise.

Cheves, who’s politically connected in Raleigh, helped the tribe place its North Carolina land into the federal trust and assisted the Catawbas in securing a Class III gaming compact. But, the National Indian Gaming Commission said Cheves’ Sky Boat Gaming, LLC, possessed too much equity in the development of the Two Kings Casino Resort.

The saga dragged out in court after Cheves said he was owed $125 million if the tribe wanted to ditch him as a partner. The settlement terms were kept confidential, though the tribe paying $40 million for 9.5 acres of rural land near where the casino is being built to an entity controlled by Cheves raised some eyebrows. 

The first phase of the permanent resort, expected to open in 2026, will include a casino floor with 1,350 slots, 12 table games, a sportsbook, and a restaurant. Subsequent construction phases are to expand the gaming floor to house over 4,000 slots and 100 table games. Five more restaurants and a 400-room hotel will also one day come to Two Kings.

New Partner

Since dissolving its relationship with Cheves and Sky Boat, the Catawba Nation has partnered with Delaware North. The New York-based hospitality management firm manages casinos in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia.

The tribe says it’s secured $700 million in financing to bring the permanent integrated resort to life. Delaware North will handle the Two Kings Casino Resort’s operations, including its gaming and lodging.

North Carolina remains free of commercial casinos after efforts to expand casino gambling in the Tar Heel State failed in the Raleigh capital last year. Caesars Entertainment operates Harrah’s Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River on behalf of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the only federally recognized tribe based in North Carolina. 

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