The millionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Las Vegas Stands company, has chosen Spain as the headquarter of the new EuroVegas. Madrid and Barcelona are competing to win this project of more than 17,000 million Euros which would result in the most important private investment in Europe’s history and promises to create 260.000 jobs in a country with 23% of unemployment.
The EuroVegas project
Magnate Sheldon Adelson has chosen Spain as the most suitable place in Europe for installing his resort due to the country’s good climate and touristic attractiveness. EuroVegas pretends to create a Vegas-like-strip of twelve hotels, dozens of restaurants, three golf courses, a stadium, a convention center and six casinos. The resort offers all the facilities and services for tourists to stay there all the time. This kind of venture has succeeded in United States, Vegas receives 40 million tourists per year, in Singapore and in Macao so there is no reason for not being successful in Europe. Despite the fact that Europeans are not accustomed to gambling, like Americans or Asians do, Vegas Sands offers many other options of adult entertainment. In fact, in United States, casinos constitute just the 30% of the total incomes of Vegas. Moreover, Sheldon Adelson expects that the volume of Chinese residents, as well as the arrival of tourists from Moscow and San Petersburg, will contribute to rise the profits of gambling.
Vegas Sands also aims at encouraging companies to celebrate their congresses in Europe just as they do every year in the other resorts of United States and Asia. “When a company enters into this circuit she knows that Sands Corporation will adapt to offer them the same services every year in each of the resorts all around the world” expressed Mills, sales vice president for Sands.
¿Madrid or Barcelona?
After years of scouting and negotiating, Madrid and Barcelona were the finalists for being headquarters of EuroVegas’s project. The final decision will be announced during the European summer and the verdict depends on which of this cities is more disposed to ease its regulations, which has generated controversy. EuroVegas is an industry with no precedents in Europe so it demands a certain legal opening that is not found in Spain. Vegas Sands requires the Government to modify the anti-tobacco law, to allow children inside the casinos, only if they are with an adult and are not allowed to use the slot machines, and to remove any kind of impediment to immigration since foreigners will be occupying the high positions of the company. Another decisive element that will be taken into consideration for the final election would be the amount of land that both companies are likely to offer in case the resort decides to expand in the future.
For all this, Spain is said to be reviving the “Bienvenido Mr. Marshall” syndrome. “Bienvenido Mr. Marshall” is a Spanish movie from 1953 that talks about the supposedly savior visit of a group of Americans to a little town in Castilla during the postwar period. As they thought that the Americans would help them recover from the crisis, the town prepared a special receiving that nothing had to do with their customs: they dressed as Andalusian people and decorated their streets the same way. In other words, they changed their culture and traditions just to please Americans. The same might happen today with EuroVegas if the country decides to change its laws and values for money.
Spain awaits the decision of Vegan Sands to initiate the first stage of the project in Madrid or Barcelona which will be concluding on 2016. However, the resort will not start working until 2022.