Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Resort Review

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River is one of Caesars’ newest properties, which is located in Murphy, NC. It was opened fairly recently in 2015 and features a 60,000 square foot gaming floor, which is about half that of the casino located in Cherokee (150,000 square feet). It is a sister property of the original Harrah’s Cherokee, both of which are owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and operated by Caesars Entertainment. It is home to a variety of both table games slot machines and electronic games.

The opening of Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River owes its approval to the new terms reached between the Cherokee and state government in 2012. This enabled table games to be offered at its Cherokee, NC location which previously only had electronic games and bingo. This made the casino much more popular than it once was and helped to expand its casino offering. Aside from its casino offerings, it is also home to a small hotel which includes a seven storied of rooms. Read on to learn more about the casino here and other amenities of the resort.

Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River

Due to it’s newness, I have never personally been here but it does have a somewhat small casino floor which measures in at 60,000 square feet. This is middle-of-the line compared to other large casino resorts, but is certainly not small. All-in-all the casino at Harrah’s Cherokee has over 1,000 slot machines and electronic games in addition to 70 table games. Table games offered here feature live dealers with all the usual games including blackjack, roulette, craps and three card poker.

Due to the limited space, if I was ever in the area I would personally prefer visiting the Harrah’s Cherokee property because it has a larger casino floor and more games as well as a larger hotel with more than three times the amount of rooms. Harrah’s Cherokee is located about one hour southeast of the Valley River casino via I-74. I would probably visit here once just because I’ve never been.

In addition to popular slots like Wheel of Fortune and the likes, it also features a variety of IGT video poker machines. These machines include all the standard VP varieties like Jacks or Better, Double Double Bonus and other popular games. The electronic machines range from 5¢ denominations to $100 if you venture into the high limit room. This is pretty standard, aside from the Las Vegas style casinos which sometimes offer $500-$1,000 machines. This shouldn’t be an issue unless you have a gambling problem or really like to live life on the edge.

It is worth mentioning that, like all Harrah’s/Caesars’ properties, they are apart of the Total Rewards program. If visiting here it is probably worth getting a players card. This will not only give you incentives at this location, but also at the many other Caesar’s properties throughout the country. Caesars has dozens and dozens of properties across the United States including places like Las Vegas.

Unlike Harrah’s Cherokee, the casino at Valley River does not have a poker room. It does offer both smoking and smoke-free areas which will be clearly marked throughout the casino. This is obviously convenient for non-smokers, because it is generally less smoker-friendly than its sister property.

Restaurants and Bars

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River has a somewhat limited offering of food and dining options. It features just 5 food outlets, which mainly include fast-food type options. This is pretty underwhelming, especially when compared to their many other locations, such as those in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Their full offering is outlined below:

  • Nathan’s Famous (Hot Dogs)
  • Panda Express
  • Earl of Sandwich
  • Papa John’s Pizza
  • Starbucks

Aside from dining options, there is apparently only one bar within the casino itself. Aside from this, you can get drinks while playing games which are generally free and our recommendation. When you are actively playing you can get free drinks, though a tip is pretty standard ($1 per drink).

Hotel at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River

Because the Harrah’s Valley River is a resort casino, it does offer a hotel in addition to its gaming options. The hotel here, however, is relatively small when compared to most others around the country. Take for example Harrah’s Cherokee, which features over 1,100 rooms. This is not surprising given that Murphy is a relatively small town with little tourists visiting on a yearly basis.

All-in-all the hotel includes just over 300 rooms in only one hotel tower which are spread out over 7 floors. The rooms here include both king and queen beds, which range from “luxury” to “premium” rooms. This is probably more of a locals casino, as I don’t imagine anyone would want to fly here specifically for the casino, when you have other, more practical gaming destination like vegas for west-coast residents and Atlantic City for east coast residents.

The casino and hotel are, however, located within just a two hour drive from some larger cities including Chattanooga, Knoxville and Atlanta. This makes it easier to get to than many other comparable casinos. It is especially enticing if you are a total rewards member, which means that (depending on your player level) you should be able to get comped rooms.