Cuban Sells Share of Mavericks as Casino, Sports Betting Support Grows


  • Cuban bought the Mavericks for $285 million in 2000 
  • Las Vegas Sands has already assembled a lobbying presence in Texas
  • Far-right conservatives are against the expansion of gambling in Texas

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is selling a majority share of the team to Miriam Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands, in what could be the turning of the page in Texas’ gambling history.

Cuban previously spoke of moving the Mavericks to a brand-new arena inside a casino-resort. The problem has been that Texas only recognizes casino gambling at three tribal locations and is one of 12 states that are still yet to legalize sports betting.

Dallas’ longtime owner will keep hold of a minority stake and will still have heavy influence on final decisions involving the team. And on top of that, he may have found the casino partner he needed to create major change.

Cuban making moves 

Adelson and her son-in-law, Patrick Dumont, also the president and COO of Las Vegas Sands, said Wednesday afternoon in a statement they “entered into binding purchase agreements to acquire majority ownership and the right to serve as Governor of the Dallas Mavericks.”

The NBA Board of Governors still needs to finalize the sale before the deal is completed. The framework sets the value of the team at $3.5 billion, more than 12 times greater than the $285 million Cuban paid for the team in 2000.

Expanding Texas’ gambling reach has been a fiery topic recently. There were suggestions that the state would pass legal sports betting measures earlier this year because of strong internal support, though Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is on record saying that he will kill any sports betting legislation proposals.

Cuban, who it was also reported earlier this week will leave the hit show Shark Tank at the conclusion of Season 16 in 2025, made a savvy choice by selling to Adelson.

On top of the overwhelming swell of support for sports betting and casino gambling, the new majority owner will be able to leverage the Vegas Sands infrastructure in an attempt to sway lawmakers.

A potential casino-resort attached to or adjacent to a new arena would be an enormous attraction for a city with more than 1.25 million people. It could also be a first-of-its-kind arena depending on how it is linked to the casino and resort. 

Cuban also has a history of pushing the envelope. On top of his entrepreneurial success, he theorized other forward-thinking ideas such as turning Mavericks game tickets into NFTs.

Preparing for a legal battle 

Sands has already enlisted the help of lobbyists and paid for ads promoting casino expansion in Texas.

However, the potential paradigm-shifting future of the Mavericks remains centered on the battle inside the state Congress.

“I don’t know [if casino expansion will occur],” said Sen. Carol Alvarado, a proponent of casinos and sports betting legalization. “This session, we got a lot further than we’ve ever been.”

Alvarado, who has presented similar proposals since 2009, submitted a plan that would allow Texans to vote on the idea during the General Election.

“The way it's crafted, it would be very specific for casinos, Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio,” she said. “It would have to have several components, starting with a four-to-five-star hotel, a complex for conventions, conferences, and entertainment, restaurants, and shops.”

Just because Sands is now invested in gambling expansion does not guarantee results. California’s failure at the 2022 ballot—after sports betting companies invested more than $500 million in advertising—served as proof of that. 

There are many far-right conservative policymakers in Texas that will also be tough to sway.

“But those that are in power now, the more conservative hard-right Republicans, they can’t afford to support casino gambling because their donors and primary voters just wouldn’t have it,” said Vinny Minchillo, an advertising director and strategist.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, previously opposed sports betting and casino expansion but has shown more openness to both ideas recently. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is also a member of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, a group of professional sports teams, racetracks, and betting outfits that want to see sports betting come to Texas.

Cuban and Adelson are already planning to build the casino-resort when gambling is legalized in Texas.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.