The United States billionaire Sheldon Adelson said he is planning on spending around $35 billion on a mini Las Vegas strip in Spain. He is counting on the country’s top 2 areas, Madrid and Barcelona with the hopes of building a casino complex.
Adelson is the CEO and chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and he later presided over the grand opening of his new casino property in the former Portuguese colony of Macau. This is the world’s largest casino destination and it is expected to increase the market share considerably within the next 12 months. "We are looking at 12 integrated resorts, 3,000 rooms each. A mini Las Vegas, about half the size of the Las Vegas strip in Spain for the European market," said Adelson ahead of the Macau opening.
Each of the buildings are going to cost between $2.5 billion and $3 billion to create and are going to target customers from the West and East Europe regions. He did not however address the debt crisis that grips Europe, although he did go on to state that the complex would be a 5 to 10 year project to finish, in which time he expects the demand for the market will increase significantly. "While we typically favour investments in Asia given the ultra-high appetite to gamble, we would be positive on investments in places like Spain provided the government subsidised the investment through a low gaming tax," Aaron Fischer, the head of consumer and gaming at CLSA Asia Pacific Markets in Hong Kong stated.
"The post-tax operating margin would then be high enough to support the high upfront capital investment resulting in a reasonable return on invested capital," Fischer stated. Las Vegas Sands said they were planning an investment of around 15 billion euros for a new Spanish casino complex that is going to include hotel beds, 18,000 slot machines and 3 different golf courses. "We are looking to build two each in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Taiwan is late in catching up. There is pending legislation in the other three countries," Adelson said. The group already has 2 well known casinos in the special administrative region of China which is just an hour ride from Hong Kong.
The new Sands Cotai Central is going to cost around $5 billion once it is completed, which is slightly less than the company’s $6 billion Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore. .
"The total cost up till now is $4.4 billion, but who is counting?" Adelson said. This is twice the cost of the local player Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd’s in Macau which only opened up last year. This is going to be one expensive adventure, but well worth it when they start seeing profits come in from the rooms and gaming areas. This can be one of the biggest things out there, and will only make Adelson even more so popular with the world.