Spain’s lottery market is one of the largest in the world; it is home to the world’s fattest Christmas draw (El Gordo) that amounts to Euro2.20 billion(!), the country has slot-machines in almost every bar, and countless mini-casinos in every city.
I don’t know what the scene is like in other European countries, but trying your luck at some sort of gambling on a daily basis can totally be considered part of Spanish culture and tradition. With the high variety and demand of national and local level daily ‘money-winning’ opportunities in the country, gambling has often, and rightly, been called a national obsession.
So, it is no surprise that Spain has just declared building what will be Europe’s largest casino resort in Zaragoza — the 5th largest Spanish metropolitan that is located about 200 miles from Madrid. Tentatively called “Gran Escala” (Grand Scale), this ‘Vegas’ will cover 5000 acres, include 32 hotels and 5 theme parks.
A few years ago, the estimated amount spent on gambling by Spaniards was Euro22.68 billion, with older figures showing that every Spaniard spent Euro435 annually on the same. The country’s gambling market is expected to grow to Euro39 billion by 2010.
I guess everyone would love to sweep the table in a game of poker or win the lottery and never have to work again; here Spaniards try day-in-day-out to make that dream into a reality.