Decker residents oppose Bingo hall

Catawba Chief Donald Rodgers says his tribe is entitled to operate one bingo hall outside the reservation.

The Richland County Council is expected to vote soon on whether the Catawba Indian tribe can operate a bingo facility on Decker Boulevard. If approved, the tribe would take it over from Carolina Bingo which has run the hall for several months.

Residents say the last thing they need in their neighborhood is gambling. "There's nothing against the Catawba Indian Nation, but high stakes bingo in this neighborhood does nothing," says Risa Strauss.

Catawba Chief Donald Rodgers says Carolina Bingo has been operating for several months without any problems. "A deputy was here tonight and says he hasn't seen an increase in crime over the last 18 months its been there," says Rodgers.

There is a state law that allows the Catawbas to operate a bingo hall outside the reservation; but State Senator Joel Lourie and State Representative Joan Brady are encouraging the entire Richland County delegation to oppose the bingo hall.