A North Carolina tribal casino with a sportsbook near the Tennessee border has been green-lit for an expansion.
According to the Smoky Mountain News, the Cherokee Tribal Council this month approved a $275 million master plan to expand the Valley River Casino in Murphy. The casino opened a sportsbook in March, but no improvements to the book have been described as part of the pending plan.
The plan for the project hasn’t been made public, but the expansion is expected to include an additional hotel tower, a new restaurant, a spa and indoor pool, additional gaming space, and additional parking. Expanding the small retail book could be viable, however.
JCJ Architecture reportedly was chosen to develop the concept design for the expansion, as well as come up with a more precise price tag. The project isn’t expected to exceed $275 million.
The casino currently has more than 1,000 slot machines and more than 70 gaming tables.
There is no poker room at the facility, and it doesn’t appear the expansion will put one in the casino. There is a poker room at a sister property, Harrah’s Cherokee. That poker room has 25 tables and is branded with WSOP. That property also has a sportsbook.
Tennessee has flirted with authorizing casinos, but the state appears a long way from pulling the trigger, if it ever does. The state allows online/mobile sports betting unlike North Carolina, but there are no retail books.