Las Vegas Sands Backs Away from EuroVegas Project
The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that the Las Vegas Sands Corp. is dropping plans to develop a humongous casino/resort complex in Spain that would have been called EuroVegas.
The resort would have contained six casinos, twelve hotels, and the usual lineup of amenities like conference space, convention centers, dining, retail, and even a golf course.
The development would have taken years to complete with a cost estimate of some $30 billion.
Two parties couldn’t seem to agree on development terms
According to the paper, an official with the Spanish government said that Las Vegas Sands wanted concessions that “did not comply with Spanish law or that of the European Union.”
Though the government of Spain estimated that the project had the potential to generate 260,000 jobs, Las Vegas Sands was making demands with regard to the handling of tax rates and competition, in addition to requesting the rollback of anti-smoking laws to allow patrons of the massive complex to smoke indoors.
For its part, the company said that it has decided that the EuroVegas project is not in the best interest of Las Vegas Sands shareholders. Las Vegas Sands operates the Venetian and Palazzo Hotels in Nevada in addition to the Sands Bethlehem in the state of Pennsylvania.
The company also derives a large portion of its income from its Asian gaming interests. The Review-Journal noted that 80 percent of the revenue pulled in by the Las Vegas Sands Corp. comes from its casinos in Singapore and in China’s special gaming sector, Macau.
Company to focus on Asia; Adelson to focus on anti-online gambling crusade
The chairman of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson, said that the company will turn its attention to expanding its Asia-facing business now that the EuroVegas plan has been scrapped.
“Right now our focus is on encouraging Asian countries, like Japan and Korea, to dramatically enhance their tourism offering through the development of integrated resorts there,” he was quoted as saying. Japan is moving toward allowing casino development in advance of the 2020 Olympic Games to be hosted in Tokyo.
Adelson, who is 80 years old, has also been working on another project in recent months, and one that is obviously quite near to his heart considering the seemingly unending stream of flack he has received as a result.
We are referring, of course, to Adelson’s efforts to wipe out regulated online gambling in the United States. Adelson, a major contributor to GOP candidates and affiliated causes – he is reported to have given away $100 million last year – has called online betting a “toxin” and has assembled a team of lobbyists and former legislators to combat its spread both at the federal level as well as at the state level.
For his troubles, Adelson has been on the receiving end of quite a bit of anger from the poker and gambling community. Some have pointed out that Adelson’s attempt to create a distinction between land-based casino gambling and its online counterpart amounts to little more than hypocrisy, especially when one considers that Adelson, who is the eleventh richest person in the United States, has built an extremely lucrative career in the casino business.
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