Mavs Staying in Dallas, Cuban Says; Majority Ownership Going To Las Vegas Billionaire

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Mavs Staying in Dallas, Cuban Says; Majority Ownership Going To Las Vegas Billionaire
© USA Today

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is selling a majority stake in the NBA franchise to a Las Vegas billionaire’s family but vows to keep the team in North Texas.

“I will say on the record the team is not moving anywhere,” Cuban told The Dallas Morning News. “We are the Dallas Mavs."

The Associated Press recently reported that the family controlling Las Vegas Sands Corp. is buying a majority share of the Mavericks for an estimated $3.5 billion. The transaction could be finalized by the end of this year, according to reports. Cuban will retain control of basketball operations.

Venetian Built Where Mobbed-Up Sands Once Stood

Under controlling shareholder Miriam Adelson, 78, Las Vegas Sands Corp. is selling $2 billion of her shares to put toward the Maverick’s purchase, the AP reported. Adelson, a medical doctor and widow of Las Vegas casino developer Sheldon Adelson, will retain more than 51% of the publicly traded casino company. Her husband died in 2021.

The iconic Sands hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip, a Mob-connected resort in its early years, was famous for the Copa Room, a performance venue that hosted Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, among other well-known entertainers. When the Sands was demolished in 1996, the company, by then under Sheldon Adelson's control, constructed the Venetian and Palazzo resorts at that location.

Now, Las Vegas Sands Corp. only operates casinos in Singapore and Macau. The family also owns Nevada’s largest daily newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Arena/Casino Complex Planned For Dallas

One plan being floated is for Adelson to partner with Cuban to build an arena/casino complex in the Dallas area if commercial casinos are legalized in Texas, according to reports.

The Texas Legislature has failed in previous attempts to approve commercial casinos and sports betting. The Legislature is expected to try again during the next regular session in 2025.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. representatives, including Miriam Adelson, continue meeting with state elected officials, attempting to win support for gaming expansion in the state.

Even with legislative approval, gaming expansion would require a public vote. In an interview with, multimillion-dollar sports bettor Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale of Houston said he doubts gambling measures will pass any time soon in Texas, partly because of resistance from religions groups.

The two most populated states, California and Texas, are home to tribal casinos but do not have commercial casinos, legal sports betting or iGaming. The gaming industry, and major sports teams, view both states as potential major money makers with legalization.

In Texas, key figures such as Cuban, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, whose Landry’s Inc. also operates casinos nationwide, have voiced support for gaming expansion in Texas.

Las Vegas Touted As World’s Sports Capital

Cuban’s statement about the Mavericks remaining in Dallas seems to dispel any notion the team might relocate to Las Vegas, at least in the near future.

Several influential sports and casino figures have expressed interest in bringing an NBA team to the Las Vegas Valley. These include Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and casino developer Derek Stevens, owner of Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas.

The NFL’s Raiders and NHL’s Golden Knights are among other professional teams based in the Las Vegas Valley. Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics plan to relocate to the Las Vegas Strip, playing home games in a stadium to be opened in 2028 at the current site of the Tropicana hotel-casino.

These developments, along with such events as the recent Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix and NFL’s 2024 Super Bowl, are part of Las Vegas’ efforts to position itself as the world’s sports capital.

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Larry Henry

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