CHEROKEE, NC-There’s going to be more room for the dice rollers and card shufflers at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, North Carolina’s only legal gambling den. Gov. Jim Hunt has approved the Cherokee tribe’s request to double the size of its reservation-based 60,000-sf casino, the most popular tourist destination in the state. The tribe broke ground last month on an estimated $60-million, 15-story, 600-room hotel to host conventions and conferences.

The casino expansion will double the number of employees to 3,000 and the gambling devices to 5,000. The $93-million, three-year-old asino attracted 3.5 million visitors last year, passing Carowinds as the most visited site in the Carolinas.

The casino has triggered multimillion dollars worth of new surrounding commercial projects. The tribe has agreed to establish a foundation that will respect the environment, promote tribal culture and support sound development principals to protect the surrounding area.

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