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North Carolina casino profit rises

7 December 2006

CHEROKEE, North Carolina – As reported by the Asheville Citizen Times: "An increase in casino profits pushed year-end per capita payouts 12 percent higher for members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

"Each person in the 13,500-member tribe older than 18 got a $4,699 check from profits at Harrah's Cherokee Casino on Dec. 1. Per capita checks for members younger than 18 go into trust accounts.

"The money has an economic impact that is felt far from the Cherokee Indian Reservation, where retail-shopping options are limited. The increase means more money in the Western North Carolina economy as retailers enter the crucial holiday sales period.

"…The casino, which offers video gambling, is the largest private employer west of Asheville. It is owned by the tribe and operated by Harrah's. Half of estimated $155 million the tribe makes at the casino each year pays for government services and infrastructure and the other half goes directly to tribe members. The casino also funds the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit that provides grants for the region…"

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