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North Carolina casino under federal investigation: 'Knew it was bad from the get-go'

The National Indian Gaming Commission confirmed there is an ongoing investigation.

CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — The Catawba Two Kings Casino in Cleveland County is under federal investigation after the casino allegedly gave company shares to family members of South Carolina politicians. 

The casino is just 30 miles south of Charlotte in a rural area off of Interstate 85. The talk of corruption stems from a Wall Street Journal investigation that states the brother of U.S. Rep. James Clyburn and the husband of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley were given shares in a company that leases gaming machines to Catawba Two Kings Casino. At this time, it does not appear Nikki Haley or James Clyburn were involved.

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The National Indian Gaming Commission confirmed there is an ongoing investigation.

“Been here three years, seen this casino come in, and knew it was bad from the get-go," Bobbie Causby, manager of Kings Mountain Travel Plaza, said. 

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The Kings Mountain Travel Plaza is across from the casino. Causby said it's attracted a certain crowd that's bad for business.

“I don’t agree with it," Causby said. "There's enough casinos in this world. They don't need to keep building them."

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WCNC Charlotte reached out to Clyburn and Haley for comment. So far, Haley has not responded to the request, and Clyburn's office released the following statement: "Unfortunately, the Congressman is unavailable for comment, as he is out of the country on a CODEL this week."

Two Kings Casino was originally planned to be built in South Carolina, but that plan was scuttled when state lawmakers refused to allow gaming.

WCNC Charlotte reached out to Catawba Nation to get more information. The Catawba Nation Tribal Administrator Elizabeth Harris said they are working on a statement and would release it when finalized.

Meanwhile, people like Causby hope for a luckless outcome. 

“I hope they close it down because it really doesn’t need to be in this neighborhood," Causby said. 

Right now, Two Kings Casino is in a temporary trailer facility. Now there's concern the investigation could have an impact on the permanent casino, but it's still unclear. 

Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 

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