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What is now known as Western North Carolina used to be the homeland of the Cherokee people for innumerable centuries. Today's Eastern Band members are straight descendents of those who survived the Cherokees' enforced removal to Oklahoma in the 1830's after 15000 Cherokee moved to the west in the 19th century following the Indian Removal Act, but only on the circumstance that they absorb and forsake Cherokee identity. Their residence at present is the 56,000-acre Qualla frontier in Western North Carolina adjoining the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Housing more than 13,000 registered members of the Tribe, with over 60% still living in the vicinity.
 
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is a federally accepted Native American tribe in the United States of America, a self-governing nation with a three-tiered government: Executive Branch, headed by Principal Chief and Vice Chief, Legislative Tribal Council; and Judicial Branch. The EBCI also possess, hold, or retain further lands in the surrounding area, and as far away as 100 miles from the Qualla Boundary and continue to make foremost progress in areas of healthcare, support services and utilities, business district revival and other projects to the advantage of Qualla Boundary.
 
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian exhibits a wide-ranging assortment of artifacts and objects of chronological and cultural importance, from the early Mississippian days through recent times, linked to the Cherokee Culture. The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, situated in close proximity to the museum, sell traditional crafts finished by its members. Cherokee is residence to North Carolina's leading tourist attraction- Harrah's Cherokee valley river Casino and Hotel.
 
When it comes to betting in Western North Carolina, the setting is changing to tribal and casino bet will have hard-to-overlook effects on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, not to point out the job and financial aids being given to many of the state’s counties.
 
Cherokee Valley River Casino and hotel, a second joint venture involving the Tribe and Caesars Entertainment also has an accompanying 300-room full service hotel with more than a few dining choices. The new casino has about 108,000 square feet of floor space, housing 1,200 slot machines and about 70 table games and is open every minute of the day. The Valley River Casino operates with live dealers thereby creating more options for gamers, a feat that took its sister casino, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino which is located in the town of Cherokee in Jackson County close to the Swain County line almost 15 years to accomplish.
 
The casino offers traditional games as well as popular slots and electronic games such as blackjack, roulette, bingo, craps, slot machines, Baccarat, video poker, 3-card poker, keno and Caribbean stud poker. The new Valley River Casino is located only about an hour west of Harrah’s Cherokee, and is also situated approximately two hours to major markets like Atlanta; Chattanooga, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama.
The new casino is estimated to be a primary economic foundation in the far western counties of North Carolina, same as Harrah’s Cherokee is said to be in Swain and Jackson counties.