Madrid have been putting pressure on the Spanish government to issue an exemption from the nationwide smoking ban for the planned EuroVegas resort casino in Madrid. With the current economic situation in the country, operator Las Vegas Sands are using their leverage to gain as many concessions as possible from a government keen to address unemployment figures.
With Spanish gambling laws increasingly relaxed, and the government looking to collect as much tax revenue as possible, the 6 casino, 12 hotel resort – due to be built in the Madrid suburb of Alcorcon – would be a big boon to not only government coffers, but to employment in the area.
With a number of Spanish internet casino already existing, this resort would be tailored more towards tourists and businessmen than the locals – not least because of economic woes. With the worry that Sands could take the EUR 17 billion casino resort elsewhere if their demands are not met, the local government has already made some concessions.
Indeed, the regional gaming tax EuroVegas would have been liable for has been reduced from 45% to just 10% already, and a change in the smoking laws would be just another step to handing control over to the American company.
Despite the economic crisis in the country, online sportsbooks in Spain remain very popular, especially when it comes to football. With Spain missing out on the 2020 Olympics to Japan – who have already drafted plans to bring mega casinos to Tokyo – this casino complex is seen as an important step towards recovery for the government.
The popularity of gambling has obviously played a role in gifting Las Vegas Sands the powerful position they find themselves in, and the American company will be looking to extract as many concessions as possible from a government who needs them more than they need the government.