The smoking law in Spain came into force in 2010 and bans people from lighting up in all public places such as bars, restaurants and shops.
The ban though could halt a major project set out by Sheldon Adelson to build a 17 billion euro casino in the Alcorcón suburb of Madrid. The reason is that gamblers are big smokers. When they banned smoking in Illinois, trade dropped by 20% and rose in neighbouring states. Sheldon is not prepared to take that risk in Spain. If the government don’t pass an amendment to allow individual regions to make alterations to the law, then the casino could be built elsewhere.
The project—which includes six casinos, three golf courses, a convention centre, and 36,000 hotel rooms—is forecast to create up to 261,000 jobs and attract as many as 4.7 million visitors annually. It is obviously very important to Spain and something which the country would not want to miss out on.
Of course, if they make exemptions to the law, then other regions may well decide to take advantage.