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Madrid to Build Mega Casino, Betting on New Jobs and Tourist Dollars

Spain's capital may build a huge casino, but many fear that the facility will flounder in the way similar mega-projects have in the past.
December 17, 2016, 9am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Håkan Dahlström

A casino and resort built on 330 acres outside Spain's capital, with a Broadway-style theater, a 4,000 bed hotel and, of course, gambling, will bring 1.6 million new tourists to the area, its proponents claim. "The regional government suggests, the project could create 56,443 jobs, a real windfall for a region that has never quite found its feet again after the 2008 financial crisis," reports Feargus O'Sullivan in CityLab. The size of this entertainment complex and its Las Vegas-style concept, called Live! Resorts, would make it unique in Europe.

Some are suspicious of the promised gains of this mega-project, especially when similar projects have not taken off. "There was the €170 million ghost airport whose first flight took off five years after it was completed—a disaster project that still did better than another unused air terminal, which cost €1 billion to build but ended up being sold for €10,000," Sullivan writes. There was even a 30 billion casino project planned called Eurovegas which fell apart when developers were unable to secure an exemption to the country's indoor smoking ban. 

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Published on Monday, December 12, 2016 in CityLab
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