Tribe’s push to build casino spurs Carolinas political fight

CATAWBA INDIAN NATION, S.C. (AP) — Two of the Carolinas’ most prominent American Indian tribes are battling over geography and lucrative gambling turf.

The Cherokee in North Carolina already have two casinos in the mountains and say their opponents should stay in their own state to the south.

The Catawba of South Carolina argue such boundaries are artificial and shouldn’t affect their effort to gain a foothold in the industry. They hope to revive efforts to build a casino along an interstate in North Carolina where they say they have a historical and legal claim to land.

U.S. senators from both states back the Catawba, but their efforts may not be enough. A bill they’ve sponsored in Congress has drawn opposition from North Carolina lawmakers and the Cherokee tribe, among the state’s most prolific campaign donors.

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