Dallas Mayor Open to Building a Casino-Resort Post-Mavericks Sale


  • Cuban agreed to sell the Mavericks to the largest individual shareholder of Las Vegas Sands
  • A company with ties to Sands purchased 108 acres of land just outside Dallas
  • The Texas legislature showed more openness to gaming expansion this year than in years past

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said Tuesday that he is open to erecting a casino-resort in the city, though he isn’t going to rush the process.

“That’s not something that just because the legislature said can happen, just happens,” Johnson said at a luncheon held by the Dallas Chamber of Commerce. “I haven’t been a part of those conversations. I don’t feel like they’re really happening.”

Johnson’s comments a couple of weeks after Mark Cuban agreed to sell a majority share of the Dallas Mavericks to Miriam Adelson, the largest individual shareholder in Las Vegas Sands and widow of the company’s founder. Both Cuban and Adelson already expressed interest in bringing a casino into Texas’ second-largest city.

A landmark change incoming? 

Although progress has not been made regarding the casino, Johnson said that he is open to discussing a project in the future. 

“If [Mark Cuban is] serious about really having casino gambling and he’s serious about having it in Dallas, I think that’s a conversation a lot of people are willing to have, but we haven’t had it, just to be honest.”

Cuban has long spoken of morphing a casino and basketball arena into part of one entertainment district that gives new life to the gameday experience. He also said that his preferred partner in such an endeavor was Las Vegas Sands. 

The NBA still needs to approve the $3.5 billion sale to Adelson and her son-in-law, Patrick Dumont. Cuban will retain a prominent role within the team and will help make key decisions on how it is run. 

Despite the sale not being final, reports earlier this week revealed that an LLC tied to Sands purchased 108 acres of land in Irving, Texas, less than 20 minutes from Dallas. The acquisition occurred even before Adelson sold $2 billion of shares in Sands, which was used to help fund the purchase of the Mavericks.

Adelson recently spoke at an annual conference hosted by the Texas Association of Business in Austin. She discussed the relationship between Texas and her home country of Israel but also made references to the Mavericks. 

“The commercial ties between Texas and Israel are truly booming and it even runs deeper than Basketball. Though my family are huge fans of the Dallas Mavericks," said Adelson.

Overcoming legal precedent 

While momentum is building toward a casino coming to Dallas, Mayor Johnson warned that there will be discussions on the feasibility and impact on the public if such a project were to be approved. 

“This sounds good on one level, but there’s another aspect to this, which is you’re bringing a lot of people in here for a particular purpose that is not necessarily living in Frisco,” said Johnson.

The biggest roadblock standing in the way of Cuban, Adelson, the Mavericks, and a Dallas casino is the Texas legislature. Texas is one of the more traditional states in the country and has been historically opposed to the expansion of gambling, even in the era of legal sports betting.

Three casinos exist in Texas, all run by Native American tribes. They provide bingo and slot machines but cannot offer blackjack, roulette, poker, and other popular table games.

Last year was the closest Texas got to expanding its gaming industry in a long time. Although it fell short of the two-thirds support it needed in both chambers, there was noticeably more support for sports betting and casino gambling than in years past.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick recently said that any new casino bills would fail because of the lack of support they’d receive. However, one expert said that the building momentum will ultimately lead to gaming expansion.

“The lottery took forever to get done because people had similar kinds of concerns about the nature of gambling and it being introduced into Texas,” Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, said to the Dallas Morning News. “In a similar sense, casino gaming in Texas is a steady build over time that's likely to produce an outcome the gambling advocates are going to want to see.”

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.