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Spain super-casino is no safe bet

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 01:48

Sept. 10 - Madrid has been chosen for plans by U.S firm, Las Vegas Sands, to build a casino complex that would bring 200,000 jobs, but while chairman, Sheldon Adelson says he'll only invest up to 35%, Spaniards are left wondering where the rest wil come from. Joanne Nicholson reports

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Spaniards have grown accustomed to protests in their capital city in recent years. Afterall, their country is in the depths of recession and there's little light at the end of the tunnel. But these protestors are angry about a scheme which could create 200,000 jobs. U.S. firm, Las Vegas Sands, has chosen Madrid as the site for a new super casino - it's being dubbed a eurovegas. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ENVIRONMENTALIST AND MEMBER OF THE ASSOCIATION 'EUROVEGAS NO', JUAN GARCIA VICENTE, SAYING: "We are against this project because it's a gamble, it's unsustainable, and it will only be bad for Spanish society." Sheldon Adelson - one of America's wealthiest men - is behind the project. He wants to build 12-hotels and 6 casinos on farmland south of Madrid. The details are still being worked on but Las Vegas Sands won't be throwing in all the chips, only a stake of between 25 and 35 percent. Questions are being asked about how the rest will be raised. Local opinion is mixed. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL RESIDENT, CARMEN PINO, SAYING: "I am in favour. It could bring jobs, so all good." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL RESIDENT, DANI GOMEZ, SAYING: "What I heard is that 80 percent of the workers there will be from abroad, so it won't bring that many jobs. They were going to build council flats for the people of Alcorcon and now that area will go to them." The project would take 13 years to complete if it goes ahead. Sands is under investigation by US regulators for payments that raised bribery concerns. And the company says it will also be watching to see if Europe can pull itself out of the financial crisis before it makes any firm commitments. Joanne Nicholson, Reuters

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Spain super-casino is no safe bet

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 01:48