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Two months after Gov. Bev Perdue trumpeted a new gambling compact with the state's Cherokee Indians, live blackjack and poker are inching closer to reality at the tribe's Western North Carolina casino.
The deal became mired in negotiations after Republican legislative leaders expressed concerns about the constitutionality of provisions that directed gambling revenue and granted the tribe exclusive regional rights.
But the governor's office said last week that it is close to a resolution - and expects to have the compact ready for state lawmakers when they return to Raleigh for a mini-session in February.
Now, the bigger obstacle is whether Republican legislative leaders can muster the votes to enable the new games. ...