Liquor is allowed at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians gaming enterprise and will be staying there for now.. Photo: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians won't get into liquor business

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians won't be getting into the liquor business after failing to secure enough support among tribal citizens.

The tribe held a referendum on May 31 to determine whether to open a package store on the reservation in North Carolina. It failed by a vote of 921 against to 821 for, The Cherokee One Feather reported.

But the results didn't matter, the paper pointed out. Turnout was so low that it did not reach the 30 percent threshold required for such a referendum.

“It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get the needed voter turnout to have a valid referendum,” Chief Richard Sneed told The Smoky Mountain News.


Currently, liquor is offered at the tribe's two gaming facilities. But non-Indian establishments in a certain portion of the reservation are allowed to do the same and the tribe has no control over the situation

Sneed and other proponents believed a package store would help the tribe compete with those businesses. Opponents were worried about the impact of additional sales of liquor on the reservation.

Read More on the Story:
Alcohol referendum defeated, voter turnout low (The Cherokee One Feather June 1, 2018)
Cherokee votes no on alcohol (The Smoky Mountain News June 6, 2018)

Related Stories:
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians schedules referendum on alcohol (May 23, 2018)
Eastern Cherokee casino stocks new beer created by tribal citizens (March 21, 2018)
Eastern Cherokees schedule vote on liquor sales beyond casinos (February 7, 2018)
Eastern Cherokees weigh expansion of liquor sales beyond gaming enterprise (November 7, 2017)

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