posted on February 11, 2014 17:04
It sure seems like Wallace Cheeves down in Greenville, South Carolina has had his share of ups and downs.
Right out of college, Cheeves went to work for the video ‘poker king’ of South Carolina. Then he went a step further and opened his own video poker company – which went out of business when South Carolina outlawed video poker.
Cheeves was nothing if not resourceful.
Next he set up a video sweepstakes company – but, before long, South Carolina put the kibosh on that too.
That led Cheeves to start another company to go into the riverboat gambling business in Georgetown and Colleton County, South Carolina – but then both communities banned riverboat gambling.
Still scrambling, Cheeves partnered with another company to put electronic bingo games in Alabama – but then Alabama confiscated their software and equipment in a raid on a bingo hall.
Unfazed, or at least undaunted, Cheeves partnered with a South Carolina Indian tribe to build a casino – but, true to form, South Carolina stopped him dead in his tracks again.
So Cheeves looked north to the rolling hills of Cleveland County in North Carolina and (after he proclaimed his casino was going to create a bonanza of 4,000 jobs) at last he got a Yes from the local politicians.
Then, before he could catch his breath and enjoy his good fortune, that Yes was followed by a No from every politician in Raleigh from Governor McCrory to Roy Cooper and 100 of 120 State House members.
A normal man might have given up. But Cheeves didn’t stop. He promptly hired three lobbyists and put them to work explaining the virtues of casinos to Raleigh politicians.
Still, somehow, all the pieces don’t seem to add up: We’ve got an Indian tribe that lives in South Carolina claiming they’re North Carolina Indians (or, at least, claiming they lived in North Carolina sometime back in the days before Columbus set foot in the New World) so they can build a casino here.
And a lot of folks, or at least a lot of Raleigh politicians, are sort of dubious, too, about how a video poker mogul is going to create 4,000 jobs and turn into one of the biggest employers in North Carolina with one casino.