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To mark the completion of its spectacular $650 million dollar expansion, Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, now the Southeast's premier casino, entertainment and resort destination, celebrated with a weekend of special events featuring appearances by big-name celebrities Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton, and a $150K Free Slot Play Giveaway.

Helga R. of Columbia, SC was the big giveaway winner and walked away with $50,000 in Free Slot Play. Ong O. of Atlanta, GA and David C. of Dalton, GA, both won $25,000 and seven additional winners shared $50,000 in the Free Slot Play Giveaway.

The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation owns Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, the preeminent destination for leisure and business travelers in the Southeast.  Caesars Entertainment is the managing partner for the resort. "I've seen this property truly transform from what was once a regional day-trip casino into a world-class destination resort," said Regional President of Caesar's Entertainment, R. Scott Barber. "It's quite a tribute to the Chief and Tribal Council and all the members of Cherokee to have the courage, foresight and vision to make this investment."

 Principal Chief Michell Hicks said, "At the end of the day, the benefits of what we're doing is about protecting ourselves, protecting our sovereignty, and making sure that we are taking care of our community.  That's what Cherokee has always been about."

Cherokee Tribal Chairman, Jim Owle, agreed by saying, "The greatest thing about the expansion is what we now have to offer our Total Rewards customers, and also the things we have to offer back to the tribal members."

From a commerce perspective, the expansion helps further the growth of businesses located on the Cherokee Reservation and throughout the region. Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) applauded the economic impact of Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort and the tribe's mission over the past 15 years. "What I am particularly impressed with is not only the vision, but the opportunity to truly plan this out to make sure the vision became a reality. Because of the investment that's been made here, we've seen job creation and lower unemployment," he said. 

ABOUT Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort:

An enterprise of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort is celebrating over 15 years of operation since opening its doors in November, 1997. The Casino has 150,000 square feet of gaming space and offers 3,800 slot machines and over 100 traditional table games such as black jack, roulette and craps. The property also features over 1,100 hotel rooms, the Le Fu Men gaming area, 10 restaurants, the Essence Lounge, a 3,000 seat Event Center, the luxurious 18,000 square feet Mandara Spa and eight retail shops. In addition to the 56-acre property, guests have privileged access to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation-owned Sequoyah National Golf Club, named one of Golf Magazine's best new golf courses.