Assessing the Economic and Non-Economic Impacts of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, North Carolina

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), mainly descendants of those who managed to avoid being forced on the Trail of Tears evacuation to Oklahoma in the 1830s, is based within the 56,000 acre Qualla Boundary, located in Jackson, Swain, and Haywood Counties. According to tribal estimates, the EBCI has approximately 14,500 members. Approximately 60 percent of those live within the Boundary. Directly and indirectly, the EBCI is dependent upon Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, located in Jackson County near Cherokee, for much of its income. The casino has an important economic impact upon the region which extends beyond the Qualla Boundary and beyond the enrolled members of the tribe. This report describes the impact of the casino on the region and analyzes the routes of its economic impact.
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