New Casinos Open Doors in Madrid

poker in Spain

Playing poker in Madrid.

After living in Spain for nearly five years, I realized that there was something I was missing. When I’d go home to Massachusetts I’d hear friends ask about a girl’s weekend at the casino– Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, or something even smaller. Going to the local casinos is popular back where I grew up, especially for birthdays, bachelorette parties, and to play Bingo on the weekends. But right here in Spain I’ve never set foot in a casino, and the only gambling establishments I know about are the infamous salones de juegos, terribly ugly mini casinos that seems to be everywhere in the country!

I asked someone why there were no big and beautiful casinos (there actually are a few it turns out), but part of the answer is that for much of recent Spanish history opening a casino in the city center has been banned. Until 2012 the law prohibited casinos that were within 29 kilometers of town and city centers. But because of the expected Euro Vegas project (which has now been canceled) the law changed and casinos are now beginning to open up downtown once again. There are already two new guys on the block, Gran Casino Gran Vía and Casino Aranjuez.

Both new casinos are home to card tables, slot machines, restaurants, cafés, bars, and are said to host shows in the future as well. While I was reading this information in Spanish, however, and I was shocked to find out that there is an admission fee to these casinos! This is in stark contrast to the casinos back in the states that give you free food, drinks, and even hotel nights if you are a high roller!

The best thing about this is that the new casinos will generate nearly 2,000 new jobs– something we desperately need these days in Spain.

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