Mark Cuban’s Texas Casinos Vision Still Strong, Las Vegas Sands Is Potential Partner

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Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, is still considering pushing an initiative to bring Las Vegas-style casino resorts to his home state of Texas.

The billionaire entrepreneur and Shark Tank investor spoke late last week at Chase Bank’s “Make Your Move Summit” in Frisco, Texas, where he set out his long-standing vision.

Cuban’s grand idea is to create a new casino resort district in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The plan would include a new stadium for the Mavericks as part of an expansive integrated resort, potentially in partnership with Las Vegas Sands.

“When you think of all the places you want to save up to vacation, Texas isn’t one of them,” Cuban said, speaking last week. “There’s no real destination that you save up for. That’s a problem, and I think resort gaming would have a huge impact.”

Gambling Destination for a Great Sports Town

Cuban’s proposal comes as a response to Texas’ need for a unique attraction that could draw visitors from across the nation and beyond.

Although the Lone Star State is attracting many people from across the U.S. to settle, it lacks a signature destination that encourages people to save up for a vacation. Cuban argues that resort gaming could fill this gap, providing a significant boost to the state’s tourism industry.

Cuban could also help the push for a regulated Texas sports betting market, something which could be an easier sell than casino gambling.

“It’s a great sports town,” Cuban said of Dallas, speaking at the conference in Frisco. “People get excited about sports here, and it’s a good thing.”

Without legal Texas casino venues, many Texans currently travel across state lines to visit Oklahoma casinos and sportsbooks. This was evidenced earlier in 2023, when the Choctaw Casino hired three Texas sporting legends to specifically promote their Oklahoma venues in the Lone Star State.

Last month, we also reported on Houston-based furniture entrepreneur Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, who lost big time on baseball betting after wagering millions on the Houston Astros to win the World Series. As gambling isn’t allowed in his home state, Mack’s huge bets were placed at various retail sportsbooks in Nevada, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

Cuban’s strategy to bring this gambling revenue back to the state may involve Las Vegas Sands. The global U.S-based operator has long expressed interest in expanding into Texas, investing in political contributions to support this cause. However, since the death of founder Sheldon Adelson in 2020, the operator has cooled somewhat on this idea.

That may be because, despite the name, Las Vegas Sands does not currently operate any Nevada casino venues, or indeed anywhere in the U.S. It is, however, investing in its planned multibillion casino project among a competitive field of potential downstate New York casinos applying for a license.

This year, it signed a lease and began promoting a potential casino resort in Nassau County in Long Island, New York.

The Political Landscape and Future Prospects

Despite the potential benefits, Cuban’s vision for Texas gambling faces significant political hurdles.

The Texas legislature, which is not in session again until 2025, has shown resistance to the idea of casino gambling. Any move to legalize it would require amending the state constitution, a process that demands a two-thirds majority in both houses and approval from voters. While polls indicate a public favorability towards gaming venues, the legislative path remains challenging.

The recent 2023 legislative session also saw a proposed gambling bill stall after passing the House, marking a setback for proponents like Cuban.

Beyond his casino ambitions, Cuban continues to focus on his diverse business interests, including the Mavericks and a pharmaceutical company, Cost Plus Drugs, which is aimed at disrupting the traditional pharma market.

He also remains committed to his role on the popular ABC series Shark Tank, encouraging entrepreneurship and investing his time, expertise, and money into prospective business ventures.

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