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North Carolina Indian Casino Board Decides Not to Request Liquor Licen 2006-01-08
The Eastern Bank of Cherokee Indians, who live in North Carolina, have been embroiled in a dispute over whether to allow the sale of alcohol at their tribal gaming center. Although the issue was supposed to have been put to a public vote, the proposed referendum was cancelled today.
The tribe, which owns Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, has been considering the issue of alcohol for the past 16 years. Conservative members are opposed to permitting its sale, citing alcohol’s role in the decline of the Native American people, and its destructive effects in general. Under their influence, members of the Tribal Gaming Enterprise Board agreed not to put the matter to the people via referendum.
Others in the community, however, argue that raising the current ban on alcohol sales would raise profits for the casino. Members of the Eastern Bank of Cherokee Indians receive checks based on the revenues of their casino.
Chief Michell Hicks said that the issue, at the very least, should have been referred to the tribe’s members. “Tribal Council should have dealt with this today,” he said. “If you want to hear from the people, then hear from the people.”
(By Keren)