RALEIGH, NC - Gov. Bev Perdue signed an agreement with leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on Tuesday that's expected to create 400 new jobs in western North Carolina.
The agreement plans on expanding the Cherokee's gaming enterprises. This will allow the Cherokee to offer live table gaming, and it will provide the state a chance to receive a share of revenue generated from these new games.
The state's share of the revenue from this agreement will be directed to classroom education.
"This agreement is about creating jobs and growing the economy in western North Carolina," Gov. Perdue said. "As an added benefit, it channels some additional resources to our classrooms. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to make sure this agreement is finalized."
The General Assembly must pass accompanying legislation for the compact to become effective.
"The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is very pleased that this important milestone has been reached," Principal Chief Michell Hicks said. "[Their leadership] will help us continue to invest in the lives of the Cherokee people as well as the lives of the citizens of the state of North Carolina."
The agreement signed today includes amendments to an agreement Gov. Perdue and the Cherokee reached in November.
The changes include:
• Specifying which types of live table gaming the Cherokee can conduct, such as Blackjack and Roulette.
• Limiting the Cherokee to three casinos, including the existing one.
• Through accompanying legislation, establishing the Indian Gaming Education Revenue Fund.
• Expressing the hope of both the Governor and the Cherokee that the fund will continue to be used for education in the future.
Once the General Assembly has acted, the compact will still require approval by the U.S. Department of the Interior.