Politicians Families Benefiting From New NC Casino

  • Shares of a company benefiting from the new Two Kings Casino in North Carolina were given to the family members of politicians.
  • The brother of James Clyburn received shares, and Clyburn himself was important in the legislative process for the casino.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Indian Gaming Commission is already investigating.

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Shares in a company benefiting from the development of the Catawba Indian Nation’s Two Kings Casino in North Carolina were given to the relatives of prominent NC politicians, in a move suggesting possible corruption.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “A company profiting from a new North Carolina tribal casino gave shares to politicians’ family members and high-profile political figures as the casino’s backers were seeking federal approval for the project.”

The company in question is Kings Mountain Equipment Supply LLC, which the Wall Street Journal claims makes about 20 cents on every dollar wagered at a Two Kings Casino slot machine.

These people in question include the brother of powerful United States Representative James Clyburn, the husband of former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, as well as Haley’s lawyer, Butch Bowers, and a prominent Democratic operative, Patti Solis Doyle.

In the story, the WSJ reported that the National Indian Gaming Commission, which has regulatory authority over some aspects of tribal gaming, is investigating the situation.

Clyburn Helped Protect Two Kings Casino

The potential profit of the family of James Clyburn is especially notable in the context of Two Kings casino.

Clyburn was the man who introduced a bill that would allow for Two Kings to open in the first place, after the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians considered suing to prevent Two Kings from opening.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians already runs two casinos in the state, and Clyburn’s bill preempted their suit against the government for allowing Two Kings to open.

The reason that politicians from both SC and NC are involved is that the original plan for the casino was in SC, but it was kiboshed by state lawmakers in SC.

Thus, it moved to NC, and required federal approval and land – something that Clyburn’s bill provided.

Note also that this appears to be bipartisan. Clyburn is a prominent Democrat, while Haley is a prominent Republican.

However, it was Clyburn who was the most important in getting the casino off the ground – and now, it seems he may have been incentivized to do so.