Madrid Seeks Acceleration Of Casino Resort Facility
The smoking issue is one that has divided lawmakers all across the world, and now it is making its way into the global gaming market. Spain has authorized new casinos at a time when the gaming industry is booming, but a smoking ban is at the center of controversy in the country.
Madrid has one of the worst unemployment rates in Europe, and city officials are calling on the national government to push forward a plan to bring a 12-casino resort to the country. Madrid officials claim that the resort and surrounding shops and restaurants could put a big dent in the unemployment rate.
Unfortunately for Madrid, the company that will be bringing the resort to Spain, Las Vegas Sands, is in no hurry to develop the facility. Sheldon Adelson has petitioned for the casinos to be exempt from a smoking ban in place in Spain, but as of yet the smoking law has not been repealed. The company has not said much on the issue, but others have weighed in vaguely on the holdups.
"We must do everything in our power to prevent a deal like Eurovegas slipping through our fingers," said Madrid President Ignacio Gonzalez. "From what we understand from Mr. Adelson, there are still some outstanding commitments from the Spanish government to be resolved."
The smoking issue is one that could drag on, as the government has indicated the health of its residents comes first. Whether the government can be swayed to carve out exceptions for Adelson is yet to be seen. One thing is certain, Madrid is hoping the issue is resolved quickly as they watch their unemployment rates near all-time highs.
"Madrid, more than any other city in Spain, is in need of these casinos," said analyst Trent Goldar. "The thousands of jobs that would be created just in the contruction alone would help the city tremendously. Then, you throw in the thousands of more permanent jobs at the facility, and it is easy to see why Madrid is fighting so hard for the development process to begin."