BIA said to be planning hearing on Catawba Nation casino bid

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

It looks like there might be some movement on the proposed Catawba Nation casino in North Carolina.

The tribe submitted a land-into-trust application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in September 2013. Since then there's been little activity on the federal level but Scott Neisler, the mayor-elect of Kings Mountain, said the agency is planning to hold a public hearing in the community.

"The majority of people in Kings Mountain understand that the casino project and its fate are in the hands of the Bureau of Indian Affairs," Neisler, who supports the casino, told The Kings Mountain Herald.

The application, in theory, should not be complicated. The Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina Land Claims Settlement Act mandates the BIA to place up to 3,600 acres in trust for the tribe in a service area that covers several counties in North and South Carolina.

But mandatory acquisitions do not happen overnight. In the case of the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona, the BIA took 18 months to make a decision for an application that also was submitted under a land claim settlement act.

Get the Story:
Could new mayor, council alter casino’s fate? (The King Mountain Herald 11/11)

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