Pastors continue to rally opposition to Catawba Nation casino

Artist's rendering of proposed Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina. Image from Catawba Nation Project Brief

Church leaders in North Carolina are still hoping to derail the proposed Catawba Nation off-reservation casino.

Local government officials support the $600 million casino in Cleveland County. But pastors in the area say the project will lead to an increase in crime and other social ills.

"If you believe in loving your neighbor, you cannot support gambling,” Mark Creech, the executive director of the Christian Action League, said at a rally last week, The King's Mountain herald reported. “We should care for the poor, the disadvantaged."

The tribe is primarily based in South Carolina. But the Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina Land Claims Settlement Act defines a service area for the tribe in North Carolina and South Carolina.

The proposed gaming site falls within the service area in North Carolina. The law requires the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place up to 3,600 acres in trust for the tribe's reservation.

Despite the mandatory nature of the acquisition, the BIA has not yet issued a decision on the tribe's land-into-trust application. It was submitted in September 2013, 15 months ago.

"It can drag on for a long time," Joseph Kelly, an attorney and professor who co-edits the Gaming Law Review and Economics, told the paper.

Get the Story:
Ministers rally against casino (The King's Mountain Herald 2/4)
Expert: No time limit on casino fate (The King's Mountain Herald 2/4)

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