Talks on Second Cherokee Casino Collapse - Friday 21st of April 2006

NORTH CAROLINA As reported by the News Observer: "A year of negotiations aimed at allowing Las Vegas-style gambling and a second casino near the state's only existing gambling hall in Cherokee abruptly broke off Tuesday.

"A deal between Gov. Mike Easley and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians had been in the works for months.

"But it fell apart Tuesday, apparently over a disagreement about the use of casino proceeds.

"The tribe now operates a video-only casino offering 3,500 slot, video poker and video blackjack games. Harrah's runs the casino, near the Great Smoky Mountains, under a contract with the tribe.

"...The tribe's principal chief, Michell Hicks, said in a brief interview that Easley wanted too much.

"'He wanted total state control, and we're a sovereign nation,' Hicks said..."

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