Madrid Eurovegas Plan Nixed

Due to some disagreements between the Spanish government and Las Vegas Sands—you know, basic things such as the U.S. casino operator’s demands for lower gambling taxes and exemption from indoor smoking bans—the project to make a European version of Las Vegas has fallen through. The casino-resort combo was meant to be built in the city of Alcorcón, located in the southwest region of Madrid’s metropolitan area.

According to the BBC:

US casino operator Las Vegas Sands has pulled out of the $30bn (£18bn) project which included six casinos, 12 hotels and many shops.

Directly and indirectly the project was supposed to create up to 250,000 posts.

That was an important selling point in Spain where the jobless rate currently stands at 27%.

However Spanish authorities would not agree to several demands from the US company….

At a news conference after the government’s weekly cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said: “New conditions were put forward concerning taxes and legal protection … which could not be taken on board by the administrations involved…”

In a statement, Las Vegas Sands chief executive Sheldon Adelson said: “While the government and many others have worked diligently on this effort, we do not see a path in which the criteria needed to move forward with this large-scale development can be reached.

“Developing integrated resorts in Europe has been a vision of mine for years, but there is a time and place for everything…”

Standing up for her people, Saenz said, “The government needs to preserve the general interests of all Spaniards,” a choice that ultimately led to the cancellation of the lucrative deal. Some nations, it seems, value their citizens’ well-being over money.

And while it surely comes as a blow to the unemployment-riddled country to lose the 250,000 jobs Eurovegas planned to create, Spain’s tourism industry is alive and well and likely doesn’t need as much of a boost as other sectors of the economy.

In the end, perhaps the world doesn’t actually need another Vegas, though Adelson doesn’t seem to think so. Since the Europe deal fell through, he’s decided to refocus his plans to change the world, one “integrated resort” at a time, on Asia.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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