One of the world’s largest casino developers and operators is poised to become the NBA’s newest owner.
Mark Cuban is selling a majority stake of the Dallas Mavericks to Miriam Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands Corporation and widow of the late casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, NBA insider Marc Stein first reported.
The Adelson family will pay somewhere in the ballpark of $3.5 billion, the Athletic reported. The league’s Board of Governors must approve the sale in order for it to be finalized.
Cuban, who bought the team for $285 million in 2000 from Dallas real estate titan Ross Perot Jr., will retain some shares of the team and remain in charge of basketball operations. While his exact reasons for selling are unclear, Adelson’s expertise in real estate development and Cuban’s push for casino gaming and entertainment in Dallas were factors, league sources said.
Cuban told the Dallas Morning News last year that he planned to partner with Las Vegas Sands to build a casino-resort development in Dallas, including a place for the Mavericks. At the time, he envisioned a 20-story Madison Square Garden-like structure with gambling, sleep pods, virtual sports games and restaurants.
“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,” Cuban told the outlet.
However, Cuban’s development plan faced a major obstacle: casinos and sports betting are illegal in Texas. Earlier this year, Texas lawmakers killed a Sands-backed proposal that would have allowed gambling casinos attached to hotel, retail and entertainment districts. However, that proposal advanced further than similar ones from the past, signaling that the Lone Star State could be warming up to the idea.
Cuban contends that casino resorts would make Texas a “dream destination” for big events. Texas state Sen. Carol Alvarado, a Democrat from Houston, endorsed Cuban’s development plan last year, saying his influence gave “a boost of enthusiasm to the effort” and that she hoped for his “clout and resources to help get us across the finish line.”
With the Adelson family set to take over the team, Cuban’s vision could be more likely to come to fruition. Sheldon Adelson, who developed and operated casinos throughout Las Vegas and Asia, pioneered the casino-resort concept. When he took Las Vegas Sands public in 2001, he became one of the world’s richest executives and at one point had an estimated net worth of about $35 billion.
Miriam Adelson became owner of Las Vegas Sands after her husband died in 2001. She’s the fifth-richest woman, with an estimated net worth of $32.3 billion, according to Forbes. Miriam Adelson sold approximately $2 billion in stock in the company to help fund the acquisition of the NBA squad.
Cuban, meanwhile, also plans to leave Shark Tank, a hit reality TV show that he’s starred in since 2009.