Report to the EBCI Executive Office and Tribal Council
By JOHN HOUSER
The Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise (TCGE) and TCGE Finance Staff requested a review of charges related to IT services provided by Caesars Entertainment (Harrah’s Corporate) at the Harrah’s Cherokee property. The review revealed that the Harrah’s Cherokee property has been historically overcharged for IT services.
The overcharges were the result of inadvertent accounting and budgetary timing issues for the years 2002-2011. These issues impacted only three managed properties of the 38 Harrah’s properties nationally. The Harrah’s Cherokee property questioned the charges during its budget process and Caesars Entertainment Budget Division reviewed multiple years finding $2.7 million in overcharges.
Harrah’s Cherokee will be reimbursed, including interest compounded at a rate of 10%, amounting to $4.1 million. In accordance with Tribal Law, 50 percent of the $4.1 million will be distributed to Tribal Members as per capita and 50 percent to the Tribe for operations.
John is the chairman of the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise (TCGE) Board.
Report to the People
By PRINCIPAL CHIEF MICHELL HICKS and CHAIRMAN JIM OWLE
EBCI tribal officials received a report from the TCGE Board concerning Harrah’s Cherokee accounting issues. The EBCI Tribal Leadership has requested a more thorough review of the overcharges by the Office of Internal Audit to ensure the Harrah’s Cherokee property is not being overcharged in other areas such as Marketing, Accounting, Insurance, Legal and Audit. Tribal Leadership has also called for an outside party to review the procedure for calculating the overcharges to ensure the calculated amounts are correct and properly reconciled.
Until that review is complete and assurance is provided that no other monies are due, the funds will be held in a separate interest bearing account and the 50 percent due to Tribal members by law will be distributed as early as the June 2013 payment of per capita. Tribal leadership wants to ensure that our Tribal Members understand we are committed to make every effort to resolve this and any other necessary accounting adjustments.