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07/03/2011 - Sands to build mini Las Vegas in Spain  07/03/2011 - Sands to build mini Las Vegas in Spain

07/03/2011 - Sands to build mini Las Vegas in Spain

Las Vegas Sands, the Nevada based casino resort operator, has announced plans to build a $20.3 billion Las Vegas style strip in Spain.

Representatives from Las Vegas Sands are currently in talks with local Spanish officials from Barcelona and Madrid; the two favourite locations for the mega project.

Additional locations under consideration are Valencia and the Costa del Sol, with officials from both these areas expressing an interest.

Las Vegas Sands was founded in 1988 and was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2008, as the financial crisis hit the gaming industry hard.

A personal loan from CEO Sheldon Adelson of $475 million helped rescue the company and enabled them to complete the highly successful Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore, which opened last year.

Now in a strong financial position, Las Vegas Sands is looking to expand.

"We considered it seriously before the recession but we postponed that till the recession was over. Now we are very actively pursuing it," commented Adelson whilst talking to reporters in Singapore.

"I want to do a mini Las Vegas ... I want to build 20,000 plus rooms and millions of square feet of shopping and exhibition space, and we have a study that says we can create as many as 180,000 jobs," he added.

Las Vegas Sands has also asked the Singapore Government for more land so they can expand their $6 billion Marina Bay Sands property.

The Singapore casino has already attracted over eleven million visitors since it opened in April last year.

"We need all the land we can get. We are burdened by our own success." Adelson concluded.

Las Vegas Sands Singapore casino declared earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $306 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore is now the world’s second most valuable casino development, after MGM’s Mirage CityCenter property in Las Vegas. The huge sixty eight acre complex in the US, which opened in 2009, is worth an estimated $9 billion.

Las Vegas Sands also own the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip as well as the Shangri-La, Traders and Sheraton Hotels in Macao, which are due to open in the third quarter of 2011.







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