Billionaire American entrepreneur, television regular, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has his eye set on a new home for his NBA team and a casino resort in the heart of Dallas, Texas.
The Mavericks’ current long-term lease expires in about 8 and a half years, giving the owner plenty of time to decide and prepare to leave the American Airlines Center arena if things work out on the ground in the next year.
The news comes more than a month after an election that saw both the incumbent governor and his challengerembrace the idea of bringing Las Vegas-style casino gambling to a state that has fought hard against casino gambling for decades.
Cuban told The Dallas Morning News, “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.”
Texas has only one full-sized casino in operation. Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino Hotel in Eagle Pass is run by a tribal enterprise. It’s located on the Mexican border.
Lawmaker Wants Citizens to Decide
However, it’s not just the re-elected governor who wants to see casino and entertainment centers built in the state. State lawmakers have picked up the mantle and plan to put forward legislation in the next session that would see commercial gambling legalized in the state. A referendum could find its way to voters’ ballots as early as November 2023.
As we reported here last month, Texas State Senator Carol Alvarado has filed a resolution to form a regulatory agency that would license and oversee major casino resorts in up to four major metro areas and regulate sports betting in the state.
Alvarado of Houston told The Dallas news outlet, “I welcome him to the arena of this discussion. Having somebody like Mark Cuban on board certainly gives a boost of enthusiasm to the effort. Hopefully, he’ll use his clout and resources to help get us across the finish line.”
Opposition to gambling runs deep in Texas. The current Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, religious leaders, and even the existing casino owners have never taken kindly to the idea. Casino companies have attempted to lobby legislators to be more accepting of gambling venues since at least 2009, but have been met with a cool reception. However, the citizens have not been asked directly to give the idea thumbs up or thumbs down.
Las Vegas Sands Part of the Picture
According to a report in Forbes, Cuban stating that he would partner with Las Vegas Sands could be a wise move considering the late owner of the enterprise, Sheldon Adelson, was a backer of Governor Greg Abbott and his wife continues to give money to the Republican politician after the passing of Adelson last year.
Cuban told the Dallas News, “Obviously, it’s got to pass the Legislature, and I’m not the politician to know all the elements there. But you’re talking about billions of dollars in revenue.
“And it won’t be one of those things, I don’t think, where you ask the city and state for concessions. It’s more about, ‘This is going to generate a ton of revenue.’”
Alvarado’s Senate Joint Resolution 17 could be introduced in committee as early as the start of the new legislative session on January 10, 2023, and the question could appear on ballots in November. As currently written, it would authorize casino resorts in any or all of Texas’s largest cities, those with a population of over 2,000,000 people.
Cuban told The News: “It’ll take seven years to do everything right, so 2024 is when we’ve got to make a decision. There’s no rush yet. There’s no urgency at all.”
Source: Mark Cuban Envisions New Mavericks Arena As Centerpiece Of Vegas-Style Casino And Resort, Forbes, December 19, 2022