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BIG BUSINESS

Madrid gambles on bending casino laws for EuroVegas

Adelson’s megaproject to benefit from discretionary waiving of fines and sanctions for gaming houses

The Madrid regional government is currently making changes to key local gambling laws to help benefit Sheldon Adelson's EuroVegas project before construction is scheduled to get underway next year.

The Popular Party administration of Ignacio González wants to exempt EuroVegas from a 2001 law that sanctions casinos with fines of up to 600,000 euros if they refuse to pay gamblers what they are owed or throw them out of the premises if they are winning too much. The modification is included in the 2013 budget proposal sent to the regional legislature. The González government has also relaxed a 1977 law regulating the amount of tax casinos must pay. Until now it was based on the amount of money gambling houses took in, but now the tax base will be structured on the amount of prizes that the casino offers.

Central government is making its own legal changes to ensure the success of EuroVegas

At the same time, the central government is making its own changes to certain laws to ensure the success of EuroVegas. One of these is to allow municipalities to exempt companies and entities from having to pay certain taxes if local officials find it fit. Included are the IBI municipal property tax and the construction and infrastructure installation fees.

Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands company, has pledged to invest some six billion euros beginning at the end of the year in his massive casino hotel project, which will most likely be built in Alcorcón, on the outskirts of Madrid.

He has said that EuroVegas will create some 72,000 direct jobs in the service sector plus another 15,000 positions in the construction industry.

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