Tribe trying again to open bingo hall

The Catawba Indian Nation wants to take over an existing bingo hall in the Columbia area after being thwarted in four other cities.

Tribal leaders hope to bring high-stakes bingo to a struggling retail corridor in Dentsville. Two bingo halls already operate in the shopping center.

The proposal follows the tribe's unsuccessful attempts to open bingo halls in North Myrtle Beach, Santee, Orangeburg and Rock Hill.

Councilman Jim Manning says a bingo bang could bring a much needed financial boost.

"It's an opportunity for jobs. It's an opportunity for business to have opportunities to have more customers," says Councilman Jim Manning.

The Richland County Council will debate the idea next week.

Manning also invites residents to weigh in on the issue at a community meeting.

It's scheduled for May 3 at 6 p.m. at the Parklane Adult Activity Center.

The Catawbas built a bingo hall in Rock Hill after a 1993 settlement with South Carolina and federal officials but closed it in 2006 due to competition from the state lottery. The settlement allows the Catawbas to have one bingo hall outside tribal land if state and local officials approve.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)