Well, now we have a problem. As we previously wrote about, federal authorities were investigating the Two Kings Casino for possible violations of federal gaming laws. The Catawba Nation put out some press indicating that it wasn’t a big deal, but that’s not what the Feds are saying.
On November 22, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) sent a Notice of Violation to the Catawba Indian Nation, the Catawba Nation Gaming Authority, and related investors and business entities involved with the casino. The nearly year-long investigation concluded that the developer of the casino, a business called Sky Boat, was allowed to manage parts of the expansion process. Sky Boat and the Catawba Nation did not have an approved management contract in place, nor did they submit a copy of said contract for approval by the NIGC.
Depending on your point of view, this could be as minor as a case of sloppy paperwork, or something much worse. The penalties are steep. The civil penalties alone for the parties involved could be in excess of $57,000 per day, per violation. That’s a whole lotta casino winnings right there. What’s more, the Two Kings Casino could be forced to temporarily close while the matter gets resolved.
The Two Kings Casino currently operates out of a temporary space off of I-95. As of today, the casino is still open. The casino website doesn’t seem to mention any of its troubles. So, for the time being, you can still visit the casino and play the slots or make some bets at the sportsbook. This all has us more than a little bit nervous, though. What if you make a bet for a Super Bowl winner, you win the bet, but the casino is closed? How are you going to collect your winnings?
Needless to say, this is going to put a hold on the construction of the permanent casino. What started out as an announcement for an opulent $275 million resort has devolved into a regulatory mess. The situation has deteriorated quickly. Can the Catawba Nation pull an ace out of the hole and turn this whole thing around? So long as it’s on the up and up, we certainly hope so. The more gaming options we have in the Southeast, the better. So long as they’re legit.
If the Two Kings Casino isn’t open, or it’s not your cup of tea, there’s some other options available. Check out our reviews of the casinos up and running right now in Cherokee, NC, Murphy, NC, and Bristol, VA.