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Sands Picks Madrid For 'EuroVegas' Project

Las Vegas Sands Corp. surpassed Caesars Entertainment Corp. last year as the world's largest casino corporation, posting profits of $1.27 billion in 2011. It owns the Venetian and Palazzo resort casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Through its majority-owned subsidiary Sands China Ltd., the company also owns the Venetian Macao and Sands Macao casino resorts, the Plaza Macao hotel, restaurant and shopping complex, and the Sands Cotai Central resort with three hotels and two casinos.

The company's entry into the casino market in the former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong spawned legal battles in Macau and Las Vegas.

A Hong Kong businessman won a $43.8 million verdict in a civil lawsuit filed in Nevada in 2004 claiming he was denied a $5 million "success fee" and 2 percent of net casino profits for helping the company win its Macau gambling license. The Nevada Supreme Court in 2010 ordered a retrial. That case is pending.

A bruising lawsuit filed in 2010 by Sands Macau's former top executive, Steven Jacobs, has drawn interest in the company from U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission investigators for possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law bars U.S. companies from paying foreign officials to "affect or influence any act or decision" for commercial benefit.

Jacobs accuses the company and Adelson of breach of contract and of pushing him into illegal activity in Macau. Adelson and the company deny wrongdoing and are vigorously defending the case. No charges have been filed.

Adelson also is a prominent philanthropist and political donor to U.S. Jewish and Republican causes and candidates. He gave $10 million in support of former presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich during his bid for the GOP nomination and has pledged $100 million to Mitt Romney's GOP campaign for the White House.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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