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Kings Mountain casino opens first phase Thursday. Here's what you need to know about it.

Kings Mountain casino opens first phase Thursday. Here's what you need to know about it.

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Gamblers will get their first chance at chasing luck when the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain opens its doors for the first time at noon Thursday.

The casino will initially offer 500 slot machines in its first building, which owners say will be a modest start for what's to come as the rest of the resort area remains under construction. The casino will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offer food and drinks for sale.

Here are five things to know about the casino before you go:

1. The single-story, 29,000-square-foot building is made up of 29 modular trailers. The gaming area is about 14,700 square feet with an additional 4,200 for office space. There are more than 600 parking spaces.

2. There will be a snack bar and service bar, and food trucks will park outside. There's no smoking inside, but there will be smoking areas outside. Guests must be 21 or older to enter.

3. Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort is being developed by the Catawba Nation at a 17-acre site at 538 Kings Mountain Blvd. in Kings Mountain. The site is near Exit 5 off of Interstate 85.

4. Through back-to-back job fairs, approximately 250 people have been hired — most full time — to run all areas of the casino. Hiring continues on

5. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year on an introductory phase of the $273 million full casino resort. It will be part of the permanent casino and feature an additional 1,300 slot machines, restaurants and other amenities. Its construction is expected to take about a year.

— March 2020: U.S. Department of the Interior takes 17 acres of land into trust in Cleveland County, for the Catawba Nation.

— July 2020: The Catawba Nation holds a ceremonial groundbreaking as site work begins for the Catawba Two Kings Casino.

— January 2021: The Catawba Nation and the state of North Carolina sign a compact for the state to share in revenue generated by the casino.

— March 2021: The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs approves the Catawba Nation's compact with the state of North Carolina.

— April 2021: U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia rules that the U.S. Department of the Interior acted properly in taking land into trust for the Catawba Nation.

— July 2021: The Catawba Two Kings Casino pre-launch facility opens on July 1.

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