Catawba Indian Nation South Carolina


The Nation may take its push to build a high-stakes bingo hall in North Myrtle Beach to the U.S. Supreme Court, a tribal lawyer says. The tribe is considering an appeals court ruling regarding a decision by the city limiting the new bingo hall to $8,000 a day payouts. The Catawbas wanted $100,000 payouts like their bingo hall in Rock Hill. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the tribe's arguments last month. The two sides are fighting over the meaning of "approval." A 1993 agreement granting the tribe federal recognition allows the Catawbas to open two bingo halls anywhere in the state as long as members get permission from local governments. "What they thought approval meant was if they went into the community they could build it in an area zoned for bingo and comply with the applicable building codes and ordinances of the city," said Howell Bellamy, a lawyer for the tribe. But a federal judge ruled last year that local officials could disapprove of the hall no matter where the tribe planned to build it.