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Sheldon Adelson Finds it won’t be so easy to Capitalize on Madrid

Legal trouble in the United States and Macau has made it even more difficult for Addelson to erect his proposed casino in Madrid, Spain.

Legal trouble in the United States and Macau has made it even more difficult for Addelson to erect his proposed casino in Madrid, Spain.

Addelson’s U.S. casino company, Las Vegas Sands, is currently under investigation by U.S. gambling authorities for potentially having broken anti-bribery laws in an effort to make operations in Macau run more smoothly. Chinese authorities are also in the middle of investigating Addelson’s activities in China.

Macau serves as the central gambling point of Asia and is where Las Vegas Sands actually derives the majority of its income.

The gaming company claims these accusations have no grounds and simply stem from a disgruntled former employee.

This year Addelson has risen about the rest as the largest donor to the Republican Party and has vehemently tried to bolster the party’s likelihood of outing U.S. President Barak Obama. The casino mogul has pledged to deliver $100 million toward the effort.

While Spain is in the middle of its second recession in three years and has an unemployment rate of nearly 25%, a bidding war is raging between two of the country’s biggest cities. Barcelona and Madrid have both seen visits from Sands executives looking at prospective building sites.

A panel of members from the ICV-EUiA, a Left-Wing, Green, Federalist and Catalanist force, has called on Addelson to explain his legal troubles in both the U.S. and China before proposed building plans may move on to the next stage.

The proposed project will be dubbed Euro Vegas. The complex will feature 12 hotels with a combined total of 36,000 rooms, six casinos with 18,000 slot machines, and three golf courses.

Esperanza Aguirre, the head of Madrid’s regional government, is going to great lengths to deliver Addelson’s demands, including tax exemptions and the easing of anti-smoking laws in public places.

The initial decision from Addelson and co. was expected during the summer, but has been pushed back to some time in September. The Sands hopes to begin construction in mid-2013, with building finishing up within 10 years.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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