Some time ago, a massive casino-resort investment plan has been announced and is expected to take place in Spain. But, there are tough demands.
Billionaire casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, recently announced that his company is looking towards investing 17 billion euros ($22 billion) near Barcelona, Spain into a major casino-resort development which would include six casinos, twelve hotels, golf courses, movie theaters, and restaurants. The plan is claiming that the investment will generate as many as 200,000 jobs in recession-battered Spain.
The critics, however, claim that this is a gross over-exaggeration as the current three casino resorts operated by Adelson generated only slightly over 35,000 jobs. Moreover, Adelson is seeking major tax breaks and demanding changes to already liberal Spanish gambling laws.
His demands include allowing smoking in the casinos, something not allowed in Spain, relaxing immigration laws, softening anti-money laundering rules, and possibly permitting underage gambling. Some of these changes would require approval of the Spanish parliament and seem as an outrage to many Spaniards. Further developments will show if EuroVegas project happens and on which scale.
Any special deals would also raise the eyebrows of the European Union officials as creating an unfair competitive advantage. Yet, the offer is enticing given loss of many jobs in the country. In addition, it’s clear that some areas can benefit from gambling as the cases of Las Vegas and Macau show.
Also, the growth in online casinos in Spain presents an opportunity. Spain could issue Internet gambling licenses the way Malta, Gibraltar, and British Channel islands do.
The statistics indicate that Spanish gamblers spend more than the British, which also presents an opportunity for online sportsbooks in Spain. Due to Spanish language officially spoken in twenty countries, Spanish bookmakers could come do dominate the Spanish-speaking world gaming the way their British counterparts are strongly positioned in the English-speaking market.