Big disappointment for Spanish gamers, as the latest in Spanish gambling news is that plans for the giant “Eurovegas” casino complex near Madrid have been cancelled. Looks like the Spanish authorities and the casino developer have not managed to reach an agreement.
Before going further with the 30 billion-dollar investment, US casino operator Las Vegas Sands wanted to make sure that future Spanish gambling laws won’t be interfering with the casino resorts profitability, by forwarding a list of demands to the authorities. Among others, Las Vegas Sands asked for lower taxes on gambling and an exemption from the state’s rules on smoking.
However, the Spanish lawmakers didn’t want to fulfill all of their requests, so the US casino developer withdrew the offer. The new casino resort in Madrid was supposed to include six casinos, 12 hotels and several shops, creating up to 250,000 jobs in a country where the current unemployment rate is at 27%. This was regarded as one of the biggest advantages of the whole deal.
After the government’s weekly cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria held a press conference to account for the decision. “New conditions were put forward concerning taxes and legal protection (…) which could not be taken on board by the administrations involved. The government needs to preserve the general interests of all Spaniards”, she commented.
Las Vegas Sands chief executive Sheldon Adelson said that he’s been dreaming of developing casino resorts in Europe for years. “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”, he added.
Meanwhile, at Sands casino in Macau, a new record number of visitors has been reached. Internet gambling in Spain has also taken off, despite the heavy taxation and strict regulations.