After many months of tension and fierce competition between the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona to attract American billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s proposed mega casino resort, EuroVegas, Madrid is the chosen city. (See article: Las Vegas Style Casino Complex for Spain).
Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, made the announcement recently when he praised both cities and said that the decision to choose Madrid rather than Barcelona “was not an easy selection”. Both cities had been prepared to make concessions but Sheldon Adelson made it clear that these would need to cover the areas of smoking in the casinos, labour law changes and alterations to gambling laws. At one point the leader of the regional government in Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre said that if Madrid were to be successful in attracting EuroVegas she would be willing to abandon the smoking ban in casinos.One of the main obstacles to the development of EuroVegas could be the announcement that the Las Vegas Sands Corporation will only fund 35 percent of the casino resort. With Spain in a deep recession it may prove very difficult to come up with the 65% needed to finance the remainder of the deal.
The casino resort is to be about half as large as the Las Vegas strip. It will be built over the coming ten years and is to be divided into about twelve different areas. The building of the resort should provide about 200 000 construction jobs. The whole casino resort should eventually offer around 36 000 beds spread across twelve very large hotels and the complex will also have six casinos. This proposed largest gambling centre in Europe pplans to gain a third of its income from gambling. The Sands Corporation plans to attract visitors from Europe and the Soviet Union.While there was strong competition to attract the EuroVegas casino resort to Spain there is also opposition within the country to the building of such a development. While there would be many jobs in the casinos and hotels those opposed say that these jobs are low pay. Some politicians claim that gambling could attract a criminal element. Spanish bishops have expressed concerns that the casino resort could cause increased gambling addiction. There is also the question of recent investigations by authorities in the United States into allegations of illegal movement of money and breaches of anti-bribery laws but the Sands Corporation denies these.