|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2013)|
|Location||Cherokee, North Carolina
|Address||777 Casino Drive
Cherokee, North Carolina 28719
|Opening date||November 1997|
|Number of rooms||1,108 rooms, 107 suites|
|Notable restaurants||Brio Tuscan Gille
Dunkin Donuts Express
Chef's Stage Buffet
Selu Graden Cafe
Winning Streaks Deli
|Owner||Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (management agreement with Caesars Entertainment Corporation)|
|Previous names||Cherokee Tribal Casino|
|Renovated in||Currently Expanding|
Harrah's Cherokee Casino is a casino located on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina. The casino is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The casino is located on US 19 in Jackson County, near the Swain County line, on the land of the former Frontier Land theme park. It is currently the only casino in the state of North Carolina, though as of summer of 2013, the tribe had plans underway to build a second satellite casino on tribal land in Cherokee County NC near the town of Andrews and an additional satellite casino was also being discussed for construction on tribal land near Robbinsville in Graham County.
The Harrah's Cherokee Casino opened in November 1997 with only video poker. This followed the opening of a tribal bingo in the early 1990s which was quite profitable and led to calls for a casino. The casino came after several years of discord between the State of North Carolina and the Eastern Cherokees. The then-NC Governor James B. "Jim" Hunt vehemently resisted the casino, but the state was forced to enter into an agreement with tribal authorities by the federal courts. The Cherokee casino is heralded as a nationwide example of positive Indian gaming, in that all monies other than contract fees to Harrah's go back to the tribe and no organized crime has come to fruition in the area as a result of the casino opening. The economic upturn from the casino has seen an unprecedented spurt in development. A new high school, Indian hospital and new public housing tracts all were built recently and public safety services such as police, fire and EMS on the reservation were all greatly upgraded and expanded. The casino is also credited with opening the door for gambling in NC, which was the only state in the region not to have lotto. NC was surrounded by lotto states. The casino also heralded a change in alcohol laws in the area, first with nearby Bryson City and Sylva getting liquor-by-the-drink and more recently, Cherokee itself,
Since the tribe's compact with North Carolina restricts the types of gaming permitted, most of the games offered have significant differences with those found in casinos in Nevada, Mississippi, and elsewhere in the U.S. The compact with North Carolina requires games to have an element of skill. The casino has Craps, Texas Hold em, Blackjack, Roulette, Slots, and Three Card Poker. Slots range from 1 cent to many dollars. All the table games are now with live cards and not computerized as of April 2013.
Two spins and digital tables
For most of the video slot machines, this means that after an initial spin of the reels, the player is allowed to lock selected reels in place and spin again, holding reels with valuable symbols in hopes of matching them up with winning symbols on the second spin. (This differs from "regular" slot machines, in which the reels usually spin only once after credits are played, although video poker everywhere allows players to hold cards before the second spin.)
Traditional table games were not offered until August 2012; the casino does have 40 tables where blackjack and baccarat are played using cards dealt by computerized video monitors built into the table surface. The casino introduced traditional Blackjack first, and then followed by Roulette and Craps later in 2012.
The casino now has converted many of their slot machines to "Cherokee Raffle Reels". This requires the player to utilize their Total Rewards slot card into the machine reader before they begin play. This raffle entry is considered to be the second chance to win required by law, and has allowed the casino to phase out many of the "lock-and-roll" style machines for traditional video and reel slot machines.
They also offer 10 Pokertek PokerPro tables where they spread $1/$2 NLHE, $2/$5 NLHE, $3/$6 FLHE, and occasionally $1/$2 PLO8 in the non-smoking section of the casino.
The Eastern Band and the State of North Carolina government reached an agreement on November 25, 2011, to allow live cards at Harrah's Cherokee.
On June 5, 2009, alcohol sales at the casino were approved by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Alcohol is served from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon until 2 a.m. on Sunday. The first glass of alcohol was served on December 29, 2009, at 5 p.m.
Harrah's Cherokee has three hotel towers (the newly opened Creek Tower, Soco Tower, and the Mountain Tower) with a total of 1,108 rooms, making Harrah's Cherokee the largest hotel in the State of North Carolina.
The Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel complex includes a 1,108 room hotel, 107 suites, a 15,000 sq ft (1,400 m2) conference center, a 3,000-seat events center, a pool, the Essence Lounge, an arcade, a workout room, a lobby cafe, and a food court with four restaurants, Chef's Stage Buffet, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and BRIO Tuscan Grille.
- "Raffle Reels at Harrah's Cherokee. North Carolina poker, Casino Games, Table Games, Casino Gambling, Slots and more". Harrahs.com. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- "Cherokee casino gets card dealers". Asheville Citizen Times. November 28, 2011.
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