Owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, Harrah's Casino now has live blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker games along with some 5,000 electronic gaming machines in a huge casino the size of more than three football fields. At the new entrance, five-story columns surround a 75-foot colored waterfall, highlighting a 140-foot, hi-def TV screen. The casino is truly a great smoky experience—except for a small smoke-free area, the casino allows cigarette and cigar smoking.
Alcohol also is now available in restaurants, bars, and in the casino at Harrah's, the only place on the Cherokee Indian Reservation where alcohol is sold. Ruth's Chris Steak House, Paula Deen's Kitchen, Johnny Rockets, Brio Tuscany Grille, and other restaurants in the casino (the restaurants are smoke-free) and connected hotel provide a good choice of dining. Big-name stars such as Hank Williams Jr., Willie Nelson, and Scotty McCreery provide entertainment at the casino's new theater, which seats 3,000. A $650 million expansion has doubled the size of the hotel, making it the largest in the state of North Carolina. A new 1,132-space parking deck allows easier access to the casino and hotel, though it can be quite a hike (parking is free, valet parking is $12).