Nation | Tribe: Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
The Lumbee Tribe will be authorized by North Carolina to build a new casino if the next state budget includes a casino expansion provision currently under discussion. Lawmakers are considering four new casinos, including the Lumbee Tribe, that will attract tourism to rural areas and add new tax revenues to the state.
The plan currently under review for the next state budget would authorize a commercial gaming license to the Lumbee Tribe a casino in Robeson County. The Lumbee casino would include a hotel, restaurants and an entertainment venue.
The Lumbee Tribe casino will be licensed for Class III gaming, where players play against the house on slot machines and table games.
The Lumbee will have exclusive rights to operate Class III gaming in the counties of Bladen, Bruhswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, Moore, New Hanover, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland.
A gaming compact between the state and the tribe will be negotiated and signed with the governor. The compact will define the allowed number of Class III slot machines and the types of table games. The compact will sent to the U.S. Department of Interior for review and approval.
Under the compact, the Lumbee Tribe will pay a percentage of net gaming revenues to the Indian Gaming Education Revenue Fund.
The Lumbee Tribe is a state-recognized tribe of North Carolina. The Lumbee have sought federal recognition several times going back to 1888. Each attempt has failed. Federal recognition is a prerequisite for an Indian gaming casino. Therefore, the 2023 legislature supports a commercial casino license for a casino on Lumbee land.
The tribe is headquartered in Robeson County. Tribal members live in Robeson County as well as the other surrounding counties in the southeast part of the state.
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
6984 NC Hwy 711 West
Pembroke, NC 28372
(910) 521-7861 or (855) 801-9738
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August 20, 2023
NC General Assembly is considering a budget plan that includes a Lumbee casino as one of four new casinos in the state. Each casino would be an entertainment district with hotel, restaurants, meeting space and amusement venues to stimulate the economies in Anson, Nash, Rockingham, and Robeson counties.
The proposal is supported by Rep. Jarrod Lowery, a Robeson County state representative and member of the Lumbee tribe. Lowery says the economies of these four rural counties need the economic opportunity the plan can provide. He added that lawmakers are "very close" to formalizing a budget agreement.
A Lumbee official told the media:
"We're excited about the legislators' attempt to help the Lumbee tribe with a casino because we've filed so many years for (federal) recognition, and we're just anxious to see what the next steps are."
- Ricky Harris, Lumbee Tribal Administrator
The Lumbee tribe is the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River with about 60,000 members. North Carolina formally recognized the tribe in 1885; however, the federal government does not recognize the tribe. Without federal recognition the Lumbee Tribe is not qualified to own an Indian-gaming casino. The North Carolina budget plan would grant a commercial casino license to the tribe.
"We understand that state lawmakers and the governor will have the final say over the state budget," he said. "We look forward to reviewing any economic opportunities that may be provided for the Lumbee Tribe once the budget is approved."
- John Lowery, Lumbee Chairman
If the casino plan is passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, Lumbee tribal members would be required by their constitution to vote on whether to approve a casino on their land.
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