Council OKs gaming facility

Developers received clearance Tuesday from the Marion County Council to build a Catawba Indian gaming facility as part of the redevelopment of the Carolina Entertainment Complex.

The council approved the plan 5-2 despite opposition from residents who didn't want gaming in their backyard for religious reasons and concerns about increased crime.

Others lauded the $500 million plan as a way to bring much-needed jobs and an economic boost to a county with one of the state's highest unemployment rates.

The renovated complex will have the gaming, an upscale RV park, a water park, hotel and an equestrian facility. The owners also plan to enclose the outdoor venue, which now is home to an amphitheater.

The 200-acre complex is off U.S. 501 near the Horry County line.