Tribal Concerns Arise as Mark Cuban Sells Dallas Mavericks to Las Vegas Sands Shareholder
In a recent webcast, leaders of the Oklahoma tribal gaming industry expressed concerns about the potential impact of Texas billionaire Mark Cuban selling a majority interest in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to Dr. Miriam Adelson, the largest individual shareholder of Las Vegas Sands.
Cuban has been an advocate for ending the prohibition on commercial casino gambling in Texas and has discussed the possibility of bringing a Las Vegas-style casino resort to Dallas. With Adelson’s increased influence through her ownership of the Mavericks, there are fears that her lobbying efforts might lead to a successful push for gaming expansion in Texas.
Adelson, one of the world’s richest women, has a net worth of $31.3 billion and is ranked as the 45th-richest person globally. Her ownership of the Mavericks has raised concerns for Oklahoma tribal casinos, which heavily rely on players from Texas, particularly the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
The Choctaw Nation, in particular, has invested heavily in their gaming resorts near the Oklahoma-Texas border and is worried about the potential competition from casinos opening up in Texas. Additionally, the tribes are concerned about the legalization of sports betting in Texas, which could further impact their revenue.
In an effort to prepare for potential sports betting legalization, the Choctaw Nation has enlisted the support of Texas sports legends, including NFL greats Troy Aikman and Darren Woodson, as well as MLB Hall of Famer Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. However, their efforts have been met with pushback from Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who has proposed a sports betting plan that would tax tribal sports betting revenue at 15%.
The tribes argue that the governor’s plan would threaten their monopoly on casino gaming, and they are opposed to the commercial online sportsbook operator that Stitt has recommended.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas Sands has historically been less enthusiastic about sports betting, with the late Sheldon Adelson being a vocal opponent of online casino gaming and internet sports betting. Dr. Miriam Adelson has not yet revealed her stance on further gaming expansion, leaving many uncertain about the future of the industry in Texas and its potential impact on tribal gaming in neighboring Oklahoma.