DALLAS -- Last week, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made headlines with his stunning decision to sell a majority stake in the NBA franchise he's proudly owned for 23 years.
Cuban, who purchased the Mavericks for $285 million in 2000, recently sold a majority stake in the team for a valued $3.5 billion to the Adelson family, who owns the Las Vegas Sands casino, according to the Associated Press.
The company controlled by Miriam Adelson, widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, announced earlier Tuesday it was selling $2 billion of her shares to buy an unspecified professional sports team. It has since been revealed that the team was the Mavericks.
“Through our commitment and additional investment in the team, we look forward to partnering with Mark Cuban to build on the team’s success and legacy in Dallas and beyond,” said the statement. “The goal is to win and to have a team that proudly represents the greater DFW area and serves as a strong and valuable member of the local community.”
Shockingly, per the language of the deal, Cuban will retain control of basketball operations, making the sale somewhat of an anomaly.
Still, less than a week after the blockbuster sale of the team, Cuban yearns for yet another casino-related Mavericks venture.
This time, Cuban has his sights set on the Mavericks' next home arena, which he believes should be attached to a casino resort.
“My goal, and we’d partner with Las Vegas Sands, is when we build a new arena, it’ll be in the middle of a resort and casino. That’s the mission,” Cuban said in December 2022.
Nearly a year later, Cuban detailed his plan for the Mavs in more detail with KXAS-TV’s Newy Scruggs.
Despite a rash of professional teams setting up shop in Las Vegas in recent years, Cuban was adamant that the Mavs intend to remain in Dallas, but that the team could be instrumental in infusing elements of Vegas into the Lone Star State.
"[The Adelson family is] coming in to upgrade and hopefully build a new area, which will hopefully be a Venetian-like resort here in Dallas," Cuban told Scruggs. "That's the goal."
The Mavericks have an agreement for the American Airlines Center to be its home arena until 2031, but for Cuban, one can never plan too early.
Cuban has long been an advocate for legalizing sports gambling in Texas and wants the Mavericks' next stadium to be the centerpiece of a casino resort.
There is just one hitch to Cuban's plan: sports betting and casinos are currently illegal in the state of Texas.
It would take an act of the state legislature and voters' approval to become legal statewide.
It is possible that could change soon, though, as state lawmakers are already working to move forward with legislation that would amend the state constitution to put legalized gambling and casinos on the ballot as early as November 2023, according to Forbes.
The Adelson family has also begun laying the groundwork for legalizing sports gambling in Texas.
The Las Vegas Sands political action committee, funded by Adelson, gave more than $2 million to political campaigns in the state in 2022, Bloomberg reports. It also hired 89 lobbyists to work in Texas.
Within the legislature and among high-ranking Texas officials, their spending and efforts have yielded some success. Legislation to legalize gaming was supported by both Republicans and Democrats, which is unusual in today's Texas politics.
Additionally, it probably doesn't hurt that the soon-to-be Mavericks owner Adelson donated $1 million to Governor Abbott's campaign in 2022.
Still, legalizing sports gambling in Texas will not be an overnight process, if it happens at all.
Should Texas permit sports betting, though, it could quickly bolster an already thriving Lone Star economy.