Is a Vegas Casino Complex Coming to Madrid or Barcelona with Sheldon Adelson?

Posted on January 25th, 2012

Sheldon Adelson has been looking to Europe for his next huge casino complex, and he wants to take all of the good things about Las Vegas and move them over to the Old Continent. So that’s the UK out of the running (on weather grounds). He’s set his sites on Sunny Spain. It’s a show down between the 2 old rivals- another “el Classico” between Barcelona and Madrid.
Madrid regional premier Esperanza Aguirre this week has proposed creating a legal and tax “island” in the Madrid region to accommodate the plans of the American US gambling supremo and his plans.
Sheldon’s EuroVegas project, with TWELVE resorts (36,000 rooms), 6 casinos, 9 theaters and 3 golf courses would involve an investment of up to 18.8 billion euros through to 2022 and the creation of 261,000 jobs.
Sheldon in SpainBut Sheldon drives a hard bargain. In return for all of this Euro Vegas Strip investment, he wants the land for the complex free, a  long summer (or probably summers) tax holiday and for the Spanish smoking ban in Spain to be waived at the complex (that will go down well with the tobacco loving locals who have been forced out onto the street with their weed). So, basically, a state within a state then?
Speaking after a meeting with the new mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, Aguirre promised to keep all of the region’s “principles and values” when negotiating the project. (Yeah, right!).
Spain would certainly be a great bet on the weather front. And it’s Europe’s most popular tourist destination already, so no worries with connections etc.
Personally, we’d plump for Barcelona over Madrid. It’s by the beach. It’s closer to the rest of Europe by road. And it’s already the top tourist destination in Spain. There’s a big expanse of land right by the airport which could be used for such a project. But I guess it will come down to money as usual, and if Sheldon is as wily as we know he is, he’ll put the Castillians and the Catalans head to head and he’ll see who comes up with the sweetest deal.
It’s a massive undertaking if it goes ahead. The Madrid authorities have proposed changing legislation to ease the development, and the Madrid project would mean a €16.9bn investment over 15 years, with an €6.7bn invested during the first four years. The Euro Vegas complex would need changes to the city’s urban planning laws ito free up some 6m sq.m. of land. There’s be new metro and train stations, new roads and a big demand for water in a region that has suffered from droughts in recent years.
Sheldon Adelson is loaded: the eighth-richest man in the US, according to Forbes, and is the man behind the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the owner of 2 casinos in Las Vegas, 3 in Macao and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

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