Eurovegas in Spain: Panacea or Plunder?

A few days ago, the definite location of the future city of leisure, Eurovegas, finally became known, falling to Alcorcón, a town near Madrid.

Since the United States casino magnate Sheldon Adelson chose Spain to host their European venture, voices in favor and against this project have flooded social networks. According to the local government of the autonomous community of Madrid, which has carried the weight of the negotiations with Las Vegas Sands (Adelson's company), the advantages of implementing the project are endless. The President of the Community, Ignacio González, talks about the creation of 80,000 direct and indirect jobs [es] in the first phase, and 250,000 more when the project is finalized. Eurovegas's website affirms that “it could generate thousands of jobs both directly and, above all, indirectly for almost 50% of the more than 400,000 unemployed individuals in the region.”

So then why are so many voices raised against this project, which appears to have fallen from the heavens onto a country with over five million unemployed?

Cartel de rechazo a Eurovegas en una valla. Foto de «Detengamos Eurovegas Alcorcón» en Facebook

A sign opposing Eurovegas on a fence. Photo from «Detengamos Eurovegas Alcorcón» on Facebook

The first statistic that catches people's attention is the number of employees: while understanding that many of the positions being considered are indirect, they end up being quite excessive. As Santi Demajo explains in his post, “Eurovegas: fake positions and other lies” [es]:

Sólo hace falta consultar los datos oficiales de Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) en su web para ver que los 260.000 empleos es una gran mentira. Concretamente el Annual Report 2011 (informe anual) de la empresa indica que los 4 macrocomplejos que Adelson tiene en todo el mundo (en EEUU, Macao y Singapur) dan trabajo a un total de 40.000 personas, una media por tanto de 10.000 empleos por complejo.

You just need to consider the official data from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVS) on their website to see that the 260,000 jobs are a huge lie. Specifically, the company's Annual Report 2011 indicates that the 4 macro-complexes that Adelson has in the world (in the U.S., Macao, and Singapore) create jobs for a total of 40,000 people, an average of 10,000 jobs so far per complex.

Another point that netizens find hard to believe is the investment that LVS will make in the project. Initially, the company should have provided the entire capital for the first phase, € 6.7 billion, but LVS has reduced this number to € 2.7 billion, and claims that banks will finance the rest. Pablo García, in his article, “Eurovegas starts to spin: Adelson cuts more than half of his share for the first phase,” [es] for vozpópuli, talks to us about the reactions that this has provoked:

“(…) implica nuevas concesiones o una contribución más arriesgada de la banca española -se prevé que alguna entidad participe- que al final acabe perjudicando a los ciudadanos”, criticó ayer en conversación telefónica con Vozpópuli la portavoz de Equo en Madrid, Inés Sabanés, una de las voces críticas con el plan de Adelson.

“(…) implicates new concessions or a riskier contribution from Spanish banks -it is expected that some entity will participate- which in the end winds up hurting citizens,” said yesterday Vozpópuli Equo spokeswoman in Madrid, Ines Sabanés, one of the voices critical of Adelson's plan, in a conversation over the phone.

Given that the Spansih banks are going through a delicate economic situation, and the government endorses the bailout granted by Europe, it is difficult to understand why these banks would get involved in risky investments of this sort.

But perhaps the point that the fewest appreciate on the social networks is the fact that politicians do not appear to have any problem modifying any number of laws necessary to carry out Alderton's wishes which include, for example:

  • Montaje con la expresidenta de la Comunidad de Madrid. Imagen de la web «Ojos de humanoide»

    “Smoking while playing Eurovegas slot machines DOES NOT GIVE YOU CANCER” Meme with the former president of the Community of Madrid. Image from «Ojos de humanoide»

    LVS will not be fined for serious misconduct (cheating the casinos)

  • Eurovegas managers be permitted to have criminal records
  • Smoking be permitted in the casinos
  • Minors be given entrance to gaming zones
  • Gamblers be given entrance in the casinos
  • There be freedom of trading hours
  • Taxes on gambling be reduced
  • LVS be credited € 9000 for each employee they hire
  • They be forgiven 95% of the national and local taxes
  • LVS be allowed to expropriate land that it requests
  • Eurovegas be considered a regional project, which would allow it to bypass local regulations

(Sources: and

Also criticized are the changes that LVS claims to obtain in labor rights, such as not applying the statute for workers or that Eurovegas enjoy a “light” version of the immigration law to expedite the hiring of foreign workers, which we can read in the article, Sheldon Adelson and Eurovegas: Welcome to the Banana Republic of Spain! [es] from website «Y entre tanto…» (“And meanwhile…”). In the article, the author informs us that:

1.- El Departamento de Justicia americano y la U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission  -Comisión de Bolsa y Valores- están investigando a Mr Shellie por “posibles violaciones de la Ley para la Prevención del Blanqueo de Capitales y la Corrupción Internacional.”

2.- Mr Shellie se enfrenta, a su vez, a varias investigaciones por “fomento de la prostitución de menores en sus complejos internacionales”, concretamente en el de Macao.  

(*Mr Shellie es el nombre que el autor da a Adelson)

1.- The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Mr. Shellie for “possible violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and International Corruption.”

2.- Mr. Shellie faces, in turn, various investigations “promoting prostitution of minors in his international complexes,” particularly in Macao.

(*Mr. Shellie is the name that the author gives to Adelson)

Along these lines, another sector that has openly declared itself against Eurovegas is the religious one. The E-Christians website published a statement [es] that many websites with religious content have echoed. The following is an excerpt of the text:

Proyecto de la futura cidudad Eurovegas. Imagen de Eurovegas Spain en Facebook.

The future Eurovegas city project. Image from Eurovegas Spain on Facebook.

Un núcleo como Eurovegas implica la presencia de un número muy importante de prostitutas; juegos, bebidas y sexo forman parte del trinomio de atractivo de este tipo de emplazamiento singular. Al mismo tiempo, España es también, por razones de paso  y de consumo, un lugar privilegiado en lo referente a las drogas, y este es también un cuarto componente del atractivo del juego.

A nucleus like Eurovegas implies the presence of a significant number of prostitutes; games, drinks, and sex form a triad of appeal at this type of location. At the same time, Spain is also, for reasons of passage and consumption, a privileged place in relation to drugs and this is also a fourth component of the appeal of the game.

Twitter users like Juan de la Lama [es] and bebe ArmenZaitsev [es] have also commented on the topic:

‏@JuanLamaV: El Papa no dimite, le han dado el traslado a una capilla “Tipo Elvis” en Eurovegas.

@JuanLamaV: The Pope does not resign, they have transfered him to an “Elvis Style” chapel in Eurovegas.

@Armenmonkey: Próximamente en Tele5: CSI Eurovegas… juego, prostitución, alcoholismo, drogas, ajustes de cuentas, mafias… veréis que risas…

@Armenmonkey: Next on Tele5: CSI Eurovegas… games, prostitution, alcoholism, drugs, settling of scores, mafias… you'll see the laughs…

The truth is that panacea or plundering, opportunity or sales talk, Eurovegas has already received over 6000 job applications [es].


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