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Las Vegas Sands Opens Macau Casinos With An Eye On Spain

Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson took a big risk several years ago during the economic recession. While other gaming companies were busy cutting corners and trying to preserve their businesses, Adelson made the bold move of using billions of his own dollars to fund casino expansion in Macau.

Now, several years later, Adelson's gamble has come full circle, and Sands is one of the most profitable gaming companies in the world. Today, the next chapter in the company's future has been written, and it comes with a price tag of $4.4 billion.

Sands Cotai Central, the casino resort that has been in the works for years in Macau, finally opened its doors to customers for the first time. The financial crisis may have slowed the growth of the new gaming and entertainment facility, but for many, it was well worth the wait.

"I have heard about this place for years, and I started to think I would never actually see the inside," said Phan Linn, who was visiting from mainland China. "It is beautiful, every part of the place is gorgeous. This is the way it should be in a casino, grand, and simple at the same time."

The facility was packed even before the doors opened, with hundreds of people waiting outside for hours. When the doors finally opened and the gaming began, the tables were full of eager gamblers looking to make the first big score in the new casino.

Macau has become the gaming capital of the world over the past decade, and the opening of the new Sands facility marks a historic time in Macau gaming. A couple of years ago, existing casino owners and the Macau government agreed that no new development projects would begin before 2015. The Sands project was allowed to continue, and became the last of the casinos in Macau for at least another three years.

Macau has become reliant on the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that the casinos provide, but government officials are concerned that too much of the economy in Macau relies on gambling. The government is expected to develop the rest of the economy outside of gambling over the next few years.

Adelson, meanwhile, is not stopping in Macau. The gaming mogul has now opened the door to running up to a dozen casino resorts in Spain. The main resorts would attract gamblers from the largest markets in Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona. Adelson has been working together with the Spanish government to try and advance the gaming plans.

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