In the early stages of this year, Chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson announced plans to develop EuroVegas; a $22 Billion casino complex in Madrid, Spain.
Housing six casinos, three golf courses, a convention center and 36,000 hotel rooms, the plan for Europe’s own golden strip now appear in jeopardy as a result of a Spanish anti-smoking law.
Detailed in a report by Bloomberg Businessweek released recently, Adelson and co. are seeking an exemption to the law originally crafted in 2010, that forbids any form of smoking in public areas.
If unsuccessful, the casino development will almost certainly cease to push forward, instead seeking an alternate location away from areas governed by this law.
For the Las Vegas Sands, who are also currently developing similar projects in Macau and Singapore, the idea of a smoke-free casino appears a major deterrent, likely due to a 2009 study conducted by the St. Louis Federal Reserve which highlighted a 20 percent drop in patronage following a similar ban in Illinois casinos.
While the production of the casino precinct would be terrific for the Spanish economy; creating upwards of 260,000 jobs and attracting as many as five millions visitors annually, it currently does not appear in the plans of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his government to amend the law to accommodate a single exemption, after several other bodies’ unsuccessful attempts in recent years.
While Spain is exhibiting a deteriorating economy, it appears an entirely uphill battle for Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands, who will need to make a decision sooner rather than later in regards to progression.
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