Spaniards Reject Land-Based Casino Bid

Published March 19, 2012 by OCR Editor

Spaniards Reject Land-Based Casino Bid

Move comes as Spain pushes ahead with implementation of online gambling regulation.

US billionaire Sheldon Adelson's plan to construct a casino in either Madrid or Barcelona has been met with strong opposition from Spaniards, hundreds of whom took to the streets this week in protest.

Spain Land-Based Casino

Adelson indicated recently that he would choose between Spain's two largest cities for a €16 billion ($21b) gambling resort. He said his "Euro Vegas" would take four to five years to construct, and would be capable of attracting the approximately 1 billion people who live in the 50 countries within a five-hour flight from Spain.

Las Vegas Sands would invest €6b. in a first phase to build four hotel strips, and would eventually build 12 in total. In addition, it would construct casinos, shops, restaurants, golf courses and convention centers. The company estimates it would increase Spanish tourism revenues by €15.5b. over the next 10-15 years.

But officials and members of the public have criticized the plan, saying the Las Vegas-style job creation model would cost Spain more in grants, concessions and social problems than it would yield in benefits. They claimed the complex would also require heavy state funding.

Online Gambling Regulation

Meanwhile, Spain is moving ahead with its online gambling reforms. This will ensure that local gamblers can use casinos, poker and sports betting on the internet in a safe, secure and responsible environment and without becoming embroiled in any of the issues typically associated with bricks-and-mortar establishments.

The Spanish National Gambling Commission will begin issued their first round of online casino licenses by the end of this month. Gambling operators who win a license will obtain an important foothold in one of Europe's largest economies.

For more on online gambling in Spanish.

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