US billionaire demands new smoking laws for Madrid casino

LAST UPDATED: 14 Jun, 2013 @ 17:00
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US billionaire demands new smoking laws for Madrid casino

LAS Vegas style casinos may be coming to Spain to create tens of thousands of jobs – if the government does a U-turn on anti-smoking laws.

American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson has submitted plans to build ‘Eurovegas’, a vast complex of casinos, hotels and conference centres on the outskirts of Madrid.

The project would be one of the biggest construction sites in Europe and give a much needed boost to the Spanish economy, creating thousands of jobs.

The only stumbling block to work beginning are Spanish anti-smoking laws that prevent lighting up inside public areas, which is a vital requirement for Adelson.

The casino billionaire has now appealled to the ruling PP party to lift the law.

He believes this will not be a stumbling block after he told PM Mariano Rajoy that he already has over €9 billion of finance in place.

Opponents of the plan have organised a petition on website change.org demanding that there is no change to the law.

“We Spaniards do not want the law to be changed so that Mr Adelson can earn more money while Spain becomes poorer,” explained a spokesman.

Ignacio González, head of Madrid’s regional government, said that the legal changes needed to allow Eurovegas could be in place by the beginning of August.

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32 COMMENTS

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  1. Now here’s a good chance for Rajoy to show us that he will do the ethical thing (lol) and gain some much needed kudos. Overturning the anti-smoking law for one casino is total madness, but even exempting the law means that the workers have to be exposed to noxious fumes, and so is equally unacceptable.

    This casino is really the last thing Spain needs at the moment. More gambling in a time of massive austerity is a classic manouvere that preys on the vulnerable. Gambling also brings other negatives, such as prostitution and drugs, and all the horrid things that go with it.

    Sheldon Adelson should b*gger off back to the USA.

  2. Sorry Fred on this occasion I have to disagree with you. Sin taxes, smoking, drinking and gambling bring in the money and create jobs. It’s no accident that since the ban on smoking and increased duties on alcohol the tax take in Spain has fallen dramatically due to fewer smokers admittedly (priced out of the market) but more importantly by a surge in smuggling. Prohibition doesn’t work just ask the Americans. The more sensible way to go would have been to keep the smoking and non smoking sections with proper air extractors fitted, if a bar wanted to go fully non smoking leave that up to them. Many bars in my area have gone out of business and those that are left are clinging on by their finger nails with very few customers in the winter months, don’t have an issue with it being banned in restaurants never have, but give the small bar owners a fighting chance. Finally the law should not be repealed for one premises as that merely implies that you can buy the law…what am I saying of course you can buy the law.

  3. Wow, what narrow minded bigots you all are. Let the buggers smoke if they want. Gamble, smoke, hopefully why not open a brothel on the top floor also.
    Let Rajoy show the public that there is one rule for the rich and another one for the poor.
    Let him be seen bending over backwards…..or forwards is it?

    Personally I am pissed off that the smoking ban was put into law in the first place, at least I had the choice to go into a smoke filled environment or not. Nowadays every bloody shopping centre, hotel . supermarket etc has a crowd of selfish smokers crowding in front forcing me to cross their nocotine blanket which they exhale.
    Yes Rajoy, lets see what you are made of………………..

  4. Can’t see how it’s so harmful to allow this in Madrid, but seemingly fine in Las Vegas. End of the day, if people choose to put money in slot machines, smoke cigars and watch Elvis impersonators, that’s their luck out. I’d force every visitor to sign a disclaimer though – if they develop lung problems later they will not be able to sue anyone. Not as if breathing in the polluted Madrid air is any healthier..

  5. “Wow, what narrow minded bigots you all are. Let the buggers smoke if they want.”

    What, let them smoke and poison all of the workers who are non-smokers? I know, let’s change the law, again, to only employ people who smoke.

    @peter, what prohibition? Smoking hasn’t been banned. Wake up.

  6. When money rules the world as US the leader of this rule imposes it’s values of “freedom” on other nations…god help us all!
    let’s hope las vegas stays put in Las vegas!

  7. Adelson is a truly evil man who spent millions trying to buy the last US Presidential election. He is also under US and Chinese criminal investigation for his casino activities in Las Vegas and Macau. I encourage all US readers of the Olive Press to forward this article to your favorite American local and national news outlets. Adelson and his like need to be exposed and stopped worldwide!

  8. Concerning the billionaire in wikipedia it is interesting to read the following paragraph, especially the part about bribing public officials. He is reported to only have 23 billion left, considering he is being sued again and this time for 450 millon his fortune is dwindling ….

    A June 2008 profile in The New Yorker detailed several controversies involving Adelson. In 2008 Richard Suen, a Hong Kong businessman who had helped Adelson make connections with top Chinese officials in order to obtain the Macao license, took Adelson to court in Las Vegas alleging he had reneged on his agreement to allow Suen to profit from the venture. Suen won a $43.8 million judgement; in November 2010, the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the judgment and returned the case to the lower court for further consideration.[55] Adelson faces another trial over claims by three alleged “middlemen” in the deal who are suing for at least $450 million.[14] In February, 2013, the Las Vegas Sands, in a regulatory filing, acknowledged that it had likely violated federal law prohibiting foreign officials. Allegedly, Chinese officials were bribed to allow Adelson to build his Macau casino.[56]

  9. If people want to smoke and gamble it’s no business of the state to stop them.

    If non smokers refuse to visit places where smokers are, then the litmus test will be whether the business succeeds of fails.

    If non smokers do not want to work in a smoking environment, knowing full well that they will be subjected to smoke, then they just don’t apply for the job.

    Simple choices that any human being can make, and should be entrusted to make without government intervention.

  10. Spain is pathetic. Who makes the law here, the Spanish Governmnent or Sheldon Adelson? What about the people who will be working in this ghastly place, should it ever be built? Rajoy, you are an unscrupulous hypocrite.

  11. “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control mans’ appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes… A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded.”

    ? Abraham Lincoln

  12. Fred, prohibiting smoking in bars and public places where the owners and the customers wish to smoke is prohibition, they will not ban cigarettes 100% as they want the high tax revenue, and anyway know that if they banned it all that would happen would be increased criminal smuggling (AND LOWER PRICED SMOKES!) – So yes there is prohibition, and prohibition never works it just causes crime to increase. I fully approve of non smoking bars and restaurants if someone wishes to make their business non smoking, but equally owners and customers should be able to decide.

  13. This is really funny. I just LOVE every second of anger smokers have over being BANNED from smoking inside public places/forcing us to breathe in their lethal second hand toxic smoke.

    It doesn’t matter if people ‘approve of non smoking bars and restaurants’ (ha ha great phrase), it will NEVER return – get used to it!

    AHHHHHH (this is the sound of breathing in fresh air)

  14. John, prohibiting is not prohibition. If a venue is a club or private institution it’s fine to have smoking, but a public casino needs to abide by existing laws, assuming they want non-smokers to come to their venue and gamble lol.

  15. @Edward
    Don’t spend half an hour in my house you’ll drop stone dead, if you believe all the rubbish science that’s been published on the effects of second hand smoke. I bet having been successful in banning smoking inside public places you are one of those selfish people who then complain about the smokers on the terraces outside bars. Here’s a message if you want to be away from my smoke go inside.

  16. Edward, your glee is a sure sign that you cannot actually think about the real point here, which is that petty minded prohibition forced upon the majority by a minority is what is wrong.

    Change the prohibition onto something you feel is a personal choice and you may begin to understand, but I doubt it, your smugness shows that you are a virulent prohibitionist.

    Fred, if it’s OK to exercise personal freedom in a club or private institution, then there is a simple solution, the casino owner makes it a members only club with easy membership rules (as easy as possible in the current prohibitionist laws)

    I will state clearly that I am not endorsing either smoking or gambling, just the rights of the individual to make their own choices as to what they wish to do, over the imposition of the PC Nanny state thinking that seeks to control individual freedoms.

    In other words I am against anally retentive small minded folk who believe others should be constrained by petty thinking.

    Peter, keep fighting them on the terraces! ;)

  17. ok Peter you can have outside I’ll have inside then? – what a stupid thing to say.

    John I’m so glad you’ve got a problem about smoking being banned, and guess what mate…

    …there’s nothing you can do about it! We won! ha ha

  18. @Edward
    And will you be so smug when they ban something you do/enjoy, because you can rest assured with an interfering government with a nanny attitude they will get round to it at some stage.

  19. No Edward, you actually lost, but you will probably not realise that until some petty minded liberal decides that something YOU choose to do is no longer ‘permissible’

    You have surrendered your right to free choice in the future.

  20. Peter and John. We’re mainly just talking about the SMOKING law here. Something that infringes the RIGHTS of the general public who USED to breathe in second hand toxic fumes indoors – including small children. Spain used to be really horrible in most bars with everyone smoking from kids to the police. Now it’s absolutely fantastic!!

    What right did you think you USED to have forcing people to breathe in your cancerous fumes?

  21. Edward, nobody was FORCED to breath smoke, they could have just used the bars where non smokers drank… OH hang on, nobody WANTED to open non smoking bars, because a beer or copa goes with a smoke for MOST people who used the bars.

    So I was forcing NOBODY, and any non smoking vigilante could have opened a whole chain of non smoking bars….. and suffered the economic consequences.

    We are NOT “just talking about the SMOKING law” – we are talking about a radical change in governance, where the minority dictate to the majority what they can choose to do of their own free will.

    What right do YOU have to dictate what anyone who wishes to smoke in convivial association with other like minded people must be prohibited from expressing that individual free choice?

  22. Fred, Edward, listen to your own statement:

    “it’s a waste of time arguing with a denialist.”

    Which you bring out when I ask THE pertinent question, which you cannot answer….

    “What right do YOU have to dictate what anyone who wishes to smoke in convivial association with other like minded people must be prohibited from expressing that individual free choice?”

    When you can answer that question, then you will stop being ‘denialists’ of the fact that you have surrendered your right of free choice to whoever wants to remove it from you.

  23. He should fit well in the Spanish system, he will be sorrounded by like minded people: Adelson faces another trial over claims by three alleged “middlemen” in the deal who are suing for at least $450 million.[14] In February, 2013, the Las Vegas Sands, in a regulatory filing, acknowledged that it had likely violated federal law prohibiting foreign officials.

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