Report: NC Senate has votes to expand casino gambling

Staff writerAugust 16, 2011 

Republican Senate leaders told leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that there are enough votes in their chamber to approve a gambling expansion at the casino, according to the tribal paper Cherokee One Feather.

The legislature will return in September to tackle an agenda that includes making changes to the gambling compact negotiated by the governor.

The One Feather reported that Senate leader Phil Berger, an Eden Republican, and Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican and the Rules Committee chairman, talked to tribal leaders during a visit to Cherokee last week.

The tribe has sought for years to expand gambling at Harrah's Cherokee to include table games - poker, blackjack and such - with live dealers. Both the House and Senate would need to approve the change.

Conservative groups, including the North Carolina Family Policy Council, are fighting the proposal, saying it will lead gambling to spread throughout the state.

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