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Lumbees uninterested right now in casino business

Posted September 18, 2013

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— The South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation has filed an application with federal officials to buy 16 acres along Interstate 85 in Cleveland County for a planned casino that the 2,800-member tribe says would create thousands of new jobs.

But what could it mean for the Lumbee Tribe in Robeson County and the surrounding area?

"There's other things we could be looking forward to, instead of a casino, which would make the situation, I think, worse than it is right now," said Pearlean Revels, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Council.

Robeson County is rural. Its job growth is flat, and some say the area could benefit from a casino. But the Lumbee homeland is also soiled with high crime and drug use.

"I know it's revenue. It'll increase revenue, but you're going to bring other problems, too," said Linda Jones, a member of the Lumbee tribe. "So, why add to the problems we already have?"

Revels said that even if a casino was something the tribe wanted, it has given up the gaming option as part of a federal recognition bill.

The Lumbees have been pushing for federal recognition, and the financial benefits that come with it, for decades.

The bill in Congress precludes the Lumbees from building a casino.

Officials in economically strapped Cleveland County welcome a Catawba casino and entertainment complex, which would create more than 4,000 jobs.

But many North Carolina lawmakers, as well as Gov. Pat McCrory, oppose the idea, even though the Eastern Band of Cherokees already operates a casino in the western part of the state.

McCrory said last week he has strong concerns about it and hasn't heard an argument that justifies building a casino.

The Catawba tribe has spent much of the past 20 years trying to get some form of gambling, but has failed at almost every turn.

In 1993, it signed an agreement with South Carolina and the federal government to drop a lawsuit claiming that broken treaties dating back to the 19th century meant they should get hundreds of square miles of land.

In exchange, the tribe was given its current reservation in South Carolina, and permission to open two bingo halls as well as any additional gambling allowed by the state.

The tribe opened a bingo hall in Rock Hill, S.C., but competition from the state lottery eventually overtook it. The tribe was rejected by a handful of local governments when it tried to find a place for the second bingo parlor.

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  • Lightfoot3 Sep 20, 2013

    "get federal financial assistance" - ospreysilver


    Translation: taxpayer funded welfare because of race


    "bothered by the idea of Indians receiving benefits" -ospreysilver


    These "Indians" aren't due a dime. They've had the same opportunities as everyone else in the region. They don't deserve tax payer funded freebies.


    "his ancestors never actually purchased the land they live on from the Indigenous people of this state" - ospreysilver


    Neither did the Lumbee. They are NOT the real paleo-Indians that occupied this area thousands of years ago. NOTHING was "stolen" from the Lumbee. Real Indians, like Apachee, might could make a case, but even they've been paid many times over. And they took from other tribes.


    "Most Lumbee Indians are realists and have never expected handouts from the government" - ospreysilver

    Yeah, right. Even ones in my family seek perks for being so-called "Indian". Time to end ALL race-based welfare.

  • ospreysilver Sep 20, 2013

    I think that the point of my argument was lost on some of the readers like Lightfoot3. Lumbee's were granted federal recognition, but without benefits meaning they can't get federal financial assistance or open a casino! Lightfoot3 is obviously bothered by the idea of Indians receiving benefits, despite the fact his ancestors never actually purchased the land they live on from the Indigenous people of this state, thus you are technically the “free loader”. Indeed, you didn’t steal the land personally, but legally if you buy stolen property, even years later it doesn’t mean its ok for you to own it. Most Lumbee Indians are realists and have never expected handouts from the government, but it seems strange that NC as a whole would prefer to continue to treat Indians as second class citizens vs. pushing support of their full recognition with gaming rights, which would translate into thousands of new jobs for every race of person in the region.

  • Lightfoot3 Sep 20, 2013

    “Lumbee Indians are the only tribe in history that has to decline federal benefits, including Casino rights to be federally recognized.” – ospreysilver


    Why do they want handouts and welfare to begin with? They are no more deserving than any other person that lives in the area.


    “Why are we required to prove our ancestry and present a card when no other race has to?” - ospreysilver


    The real Indians did have to prove their ancestry. But as another poster has stated, it’s time to end the handouts and welfare for ALL OF THEM.


    “And why is anyone in NC against idea of the Lumbee Indians having a Casino?” – ospreysilver


    I’m not against a casino, I’m against the welfare and handouts, at tax payer expense, based on supposed race. If NC is going to allow casinos, ALL people should be allowed to open one (i.e. Whites, Blacks, Mexicans, Lumbee “Indians”, etc.).

  • ospreysilver Sep 20, 2013

    I am a Lumbee Indian and I resent the idea that we are being "slick", trying acquire recognition through a backdoor when the front should have been open the entire time! Lumbee Indians are the only tribe in history that has to decline federal benefits, including Casino rights to be federally recognized. Why are we required to prove our ancestry and present a card when no other race has to? And why is anyone in NC against idea of the Lumbee Indians having a Casino? With unemloyment in this region bouncing between 10-17% and NC pleading poverty every ten minutes, why would we not want a casino that would bring thousands of jobs, millions of dollars to the state, and not just for the Lumbees! Pretty much anyone or any race could open a business or find employment. The fact that we are talking about an indian tribe opening a casino in our state, when our own can't do same shows how prejustice this state is!!!

  • Nemo5 Sep 19, 2013

    The Slick Lumbee tribe a non-federally recognized tribe hired a gaming consultant to push recognition through in 2010.
    Members of the tribal council insist this doesn't mean they had visions of casinos in their future. The recognition legislation includes an amendment forbidding the tribe from opening casinos.
    (amendments can be modified)
    The tribe's contract with Lewin International LLC,tells another story.It gave Lewin exclusive rights to secure federal legislation for the tribe,and if the effort was successful, exclusive rights to develop and manage hotels restaurants, Casinos,retailing and theme parks on tribal land.
    Lewin International is described as "a consulting company with expertise in the development,design marketing and operations of full-service CASINO operations." That doesn't sound like the consultant of choice for a tribe that has no interest in the business!! Slick group the Lumbee but not buying the No Casino claim this time around,fool us once though!

  • Nemo5 Sep 19, 2013

    All those Slick tribes will tell you anything to get federal recognition but once they get it
    ,they can go to court to have the" No Gaming" clause removed as a Sovereign Nation,So having a no Gambling added to the Lumbee Recognition Bill will not stop the Lumbee From getting a CASINO $$$ later on ,the Lumbee already attempted to get a Casino Deal in 2010-11 with Lewin LLC..a Las Vegas Gambling firm so you know its part of their goal
    ,in The Lumbee Act in 1957 hearings the Lumbee claim they wanted no money or benefits just a name designation later they came back for HUD money and anything else they could get with that lumbee name designation.The Lumbee now receive more than 14 million $$$ in HUD money alone,Our Tax dollars,
    They use these bills, any bill as stepping stones to that Federal Money .The Big Pie from Uncle Sam..Don't be fooled by any no gaming clause,the only way to keep these non-recognized groups from Gaming is by not granting Federal Recognition'

  • RonLips Sep 19, 2013

    I grew up along the riverside/san diego region of california and there are tons of casinos in the area, yet the native americans living on or along the reservation did not appear as if they'd benefited from those jobs, or profits gambling pulled in to the area. If anything it allowed them to sit around collect their federal benefits as well as profits from those establishments, continuing a very deadly social cycle. This doesn't make me an expert on the subject, but I'm assuming they'd probably benefit from logical and sensible social reform within those communities that doesn't look for handouts or gambling revenues, nor should they be demonized for getting the help needed to empower themselves economically and socially, and pass that down to their children and across their community as a whole.

  • mac240 Sep 19, 2013

    A casino will be coming soon!

  • issymayake Sep 19, 2013

    hmmm. . . .

    Welp, good luck with that Catawba tribe. A casino on this side of the state would be pretty cool though.

  • mmtlash Sep 19, 2013

    "Officials in economically strapped Cleveland County welcome a Catawba casino and entertainment complex, which would create more than 4,000 jobs.

    McCrory said last week he has strong concerns about it and hasn't heard an argument that justifies building a casino." -article

    um wouldn't the thousands of jobs be a good argument Pat?

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