Eurovegas Macro-Casino Complex in Alcorcón (Madrid), Spain

In September 2012, the American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, head of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, proposed a major investment in Europe after he and his team had been in discussion with governments in Madrid and Barcelona and possibly elsewhere in Europe. Finally, Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced the town of Alcorcón, in Madrid, had been chosen as the destination for the gambling resort project dubbed EuroVegas (with a 36,000-hotel-room complex, 6 casinos, 3 golf courses, among other facilities). This project also requires many concessions from the public administration (local, regional and national) and the modification of many laws. For instance, Las Vegas Sands has requested that labor laws be relaxed, that rules designed to combat money-laundering be eased, that it be freed from paying Social Security and all taxes for its first two years of its existence and that visa restrictions be lifted for foreign employees. The company has also requested that smoking, which was outlawed in all enclosed public spaces last year, be permitted. The project has many opponents, ranging from environmental groups, to religious representatives, ex-gamblers associations and more classical social movements. They highlight the economic, environmental and social negative implications of Eurovegas. Environmental concerns include the use of land, water and the waste produced. Some of them, also point out that the project would attract prostitution, crime and money launderers. The opponents have been organising demonstrations, events and workshops to raise awareness on the consequences of the project. Adelson has chosen Spain because of its weather and high levels of tourism and Leven said that the project would only be cancelled if they failed to reach agreement with various administrations to make the legislative modifications the investment requires. On 13th December 2013, Las Vegas Sand Corporation announced the cancellation of the project due to a lack of agreement between the company and the Spanish government.
Basic Data
NameEurovegas Macro-Casino Complex in Alcorcón (Madrid), Spain
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific CommoditiesTourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
According to the tourism head officer it would create up to 200,000 jobs.
See more...
Project Area (in hectares)750
Level of Investment (in USD)6,750,000,000
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesLas Vegas Sands Corporation (LVSC)
Relevant government actorsMadrid Regional Governement, Spanish government, Alcorcón Town Council
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPlataforma Detengamos Eurovegas Alcorcón, Plataforma Eurovegas No de Villaviciosa de Odón, Plataforma Eurovegas NO (formed by the following groups:), Access Info Europe, Amigos de la Tierra - Madrid, Arquitectos Sin Fronteras - Madrid, Asamblea de Desempleadxs de Sol, Asamblea Popular de Alcorcón 15M, Asamblea AlcoSanse 15M, Asamblea Popular del Barrio de las Letras, Asamblea Popular de Chamberí, Asamblea Popular de Retiro, Asamblea Popular de Tetuán, Asamblea Popular de Vicálvaro, Asociación Cultural Jugamos [email protected], Asociación de Alumnos de Postgrado ETSAM UPM (NE.RE.AS), Asociación de Vecinos Independientes de Butarque (A.V.I.B.), Asociación de Vecinos PAU Ensanche de Vallecas, Asociación Ecologista del Jarama - El Soto, Asociación Libre de Abogados (ALA), Asociación para la Recuperación del Bosque Autóctono (ARBA), Asociación para la Restauración Forestal FO-REST, ATTAC Madrid, Ecologistas en Acción Madrid, Ecologistas en Acción Suroeste de Madrid, Federación Española de Jugadores de Azar Rehabilitados (FEJAR), Federación Madrileña de Asociaciones para la Asistencia al Drogodependiente y su Familia (FERMAD), Federación Regional de Asociaciones de Vecinos de Madrid (FRAVM), Foro de Turismo Responsable, Grupo de Acción para el Medio Ambiente (GRAMA), Grupo de Economía de Sol del 15M, Plataforma Jarama Vivo, Plataforma Stop Distrito Norte de Alcorcón, Red de Huertos Urbanos Comunitarios de Madrid, Sindicato de Arquitectos, Solidaridad Obrera, Urbanismo Urgente
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
- Rehabilitated gamblers
- Urban allotment users
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseApplication of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesImmediately abandon the negotiation over Eurovegas and similar projects.

Be transparent regarding the contents and procedures of the negotiation.

Open channels for citizens to participate democratically in political decisions and in the discussion about the development model.

Promote a model of production and consumption that is socially fair, economically equitable and environmentally sustainable and does not replicate or exacerbate inequalities.

Stop using the drama of unemployment to impose high impact business ventures that only benefit a privileged minority. No to employment at any cost and any quality.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project was cancelled. Las Vegas Sands Corp announced the dismissal of the project due to the refusal of the Spanish government to accede to the legal concessions such as exemption from the (Europe wide) prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places and providing long-term guarantees in regard of tax concessions and relaxation of employment regulations.
Sources and Materials

Ley de Medidas Fiscales y Administrativas de la Comunidad de Madrid:
[click to view]

Ley 42/2010, de 30 de diciembre, por la que se modifica la Ley 28/2005, de 26 de diciembre, de medidas sanitarias frente al tabaquismo y reguladora de la venta, el suministro, el consumo y la publicidad de los productos del tabaco:
[click to view]

Real Decreto Legislativo 1/1995, de 24 de marzo, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley del Estatuto de los Trabajadores:
[click to view]

Real Decreto Legislativo 2/1995, de 7 de abril, por el que se aprueba el texto refundido de la Ley de Procedimiento Laboral:
[click to view]

Ley Orgánica 4/2000, de 11 de enero, sobre derechos y libertades de los extranjeros en España y su integración social:
[click to view]


Impactos territoriales y ambientales de eurovegas. Plataforma Eurovegas NO:
[click to view]

Pequeño glosario sobre Eurovegas:
[click to view]


Eurovegas pincha en España. Publico:
[click to view]

Dinero opaco para EuroVegas. El Pais:
[click to view]

Leyes a medida para la capital del juego. EL Pais:
[click to view]

Web Plataforma Eurovegas NO:
[click to view]

Web Plataforma Deterngamos Eurovegas Alcorcón:
[click to view]

La Iglesia y los ministros más conservadores, contrarios a Eurovegas. El Pais:
[click to view]

Adelson apremia a Rajoy y le insta a crear un 'marco legal' para Eurovegas. El Pais:
[click to view]

Las Vegas Sands presenta a la Comunidad su proyecto de Eurovegas. El Pais:
[click to view]

Media Links

Web with many videos against Eurovegas:
[click to view]

Youtube clip. Mini-interview to Chris Smith (Green Party):
[click to view]

Youtube clip. Eurovegas protest:
[click to view]

Photos of how Eurovegas would be:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAmaranta Herrero
Last update25/08/2016