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Earl Burton

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About Earl Burton

  • Birthday 05/13/1964

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  1. One of the most polarizing figures in the gaming community, Las Vegas Sands Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Sheldon Adelson (pictured), announced this week that he will expand his company's foothold into Europe. According to Reuters, Adelson is seeking to create a "mini-Las Vegas" in Spain, particularly the cities of Barcelona and Madrid. To achieve this, Adelson is looking to spend approximately $35 billion on the project, which, according to the CEO, will be entirely owned and operated by the Sands and the first such casino-style location in Europe. "We are looking at 12 integrated resorts (with) 3,000 rooms each," Adelson stated as he opened the doors on his new property in Macau on Wednesday. "It will be about half the size of the Las Vegas strip in Spain for the European market." The buildings, which Adelson did not go into detail about, will cost around $2.5 to $3 billion each. The market for such a resort in Spain would focus on drawing people from western and central Europe. Reuters pointed out that the current economical state of Europe, which is reeling from the bailouts of several of its member nations, might make building such a large complex difficult, even for the billionaire. For his part, Adelson didn't address that issue, but believes that the casino project will prove worthwhile by the end of its construction, which is estimated to take five to ten years. Analysts for Reuters believe that the proposed project would be dependent on tax breaks from the Spanish government, something that Adelson and the Sands are extensively looking into. The Las Vegas Sands Corporation announced in February that it was planning to erect a Spanish casino complex that would feature a 36,000-bed hotel, 18,000 slot machines, and three golf courses. The price tag: approximately €15 billion. Adelson's position in the gaming industry has often had him at odds with online gambling supporters and his fellow casino owners. He has been a longtime opponent of opening up online gaming dating back to 2006, when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed through Congress and signed into law. Since that time, Adelson has repeatedly butted heads with other casino operations that have supported a Federally regulated and licensed online poker industry. In December 2011, Adelson was a lone voice in expressing his opposition to proposed legislation from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (pictured) that would have made online poker legally available to the American public. In his opinion, Adelson said he didn't believe there were enough safeguards to prevent underage people from being able to play online. His opinion has drawn the ire of many of his fellow casino operators, including Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Boyd Gaming, all of which have signed agreements with online poker rooms should the legal environment in the United States change. With Federal legislation currently at a standstill, the state of Nevada has stepped up to take the reins of online poker for its citizens. The legislature and Governor Brian Sandoval passed legislation that could make the state the first to offer online poker to its residents. As such, many casino operations that support a Federal mandate have moved forward in an attempt to get licensed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. As of today, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation has not applied for a license nor teamed with any online poker service provider to enter the Nevada market. Adelson also has been a longtime supporter of the Republican Party. He has been a major contributor to several Republican campaigns in Nevada and has counseled UIGEA mastermind Jon Kyl (pictured). Most recently, Adelson earned national attention for donations he made to assist the Presidential campaign of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich through the pro-Gingrich Super PAC "Winning Our Future." It is estimated that Adelson donated at least $15 million to "Winning Our Future," although the gaming mogul himself admitted last month that Gingrich's presidential run was "at the end of its line."
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