Catawbas’ argument for a York County casino now online

Staff reportsFebruary 18, 2014 

The S.C. Supreme Court recently heard arguments by the Catawba Indian Nation as to why it should be allowed to build a casino on its reservation in York County. As of Feb. 18, the court has not made a decision. (Video from the S.C. Supreme Court)


Court documents and oral arguments in the Catawba Indian Nation’s case against South Carolina regarding a casino at the tribe’s York County reservation can now be viewed online at the S.C. Supreme Court’s website.

The case was selected as the January case of the month for the Supreme Court’s educational program, which is designed to allow students to gain a first-hand working knowledge of South Carolina’s highest court. Each month, video of a selected case argued before the Supreme Court and court documents are posted.

Attorneys for the tribe and the state argued before South Carolina’s highest court whether the state’s Gambling Cruise Act, which allows video gambling cruises from the coast, applies to the Catawbas’ effort for a casino in York County.

William Wilkins, an attorney representing the Catawba Indian Nation, said the act and the state’s 1993 settlement with the tribe, when considered together, give the Catawbas the right to have gambling on their reservation.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General C. Havird Jones, representing the state, said the phrase “to the same extent” in a previous settlement agreement between the tribe and the state should be read as “authorized by the state Legislature.”

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