Casino giant Las Vegas Sands has chosen Madrid over Barcelona for a multi-billion dollar gambling resort project dubbed EuroVegas.
The Spanish capital, the country's largest city, emerged as the company's best choice for the development, Las Vegas Sands chairman and chief executive Sheldon Adelson said in a statement released in Las Vegas.
"The regional government of Madrid has been a strong advocate for this potential development, and we are appreciative of the energy they have brought to this process," Mr Adelson said.
"Barcelona is an outstanding tourism destination, and choosing Madrid over Barcelona was not an easy selection," he said.
The decision was highly anticipated in Spain, where a high jobless rate and a shrinking economy make the prospect of thousands of construction and service jobs attractive to project supporters.
But critics predict that gambling will attract criminals and say positions as hotel maids, waiters and blackjack dealers are not a recipe for success for young people badly in need of jobs.
Mr Adelson has said he wants to invest about 22 billion US dollars in the project. The company statement made it clear Las Vegas Sands will allocate no more than 35% of that amount.