Mark Cuban Predicts ‘Next Wave’ Of Sports Revenue Generation — Which Includes Casinos

Written By Phil West on February 9, 2024
Photo of Mark Cuban, who recently said during an AMA that NBA teams are seeking the

Mark Cuban, who sold an interest in his Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise to Las Vegas Sands Corp. principal Miriam Adelson last year, revealed his vision for the next wave of revenue generation in sports in a recent “ask me anything” session. Perhaps not surprisingly, he considered casinos part of the mix.

As reported by CNBC, Cuban was answering a question about why he sold part of his stake in the Mavericks. Though Cuban did retain 27% interest and is continuing to control basketball operations, he indicated he’s not an expert in areas he believes will move the needle for the team’s long-term prospects.

He said he made the sale “to spend more time with my family and because I believe the next wave of revenue generation is around real estate and entertainment and those aren’t my strengths.”

“If you look at the teams that spend the most money right now … it’s not because of their media deals,” Cuban said. “It’s because of their real estate empires that they’ve built. And I have no knowledge in that at all. It’s been hard enough learning the pharmacy and basketball business, let alone trying to learn real estate as well.”

What does Cuban mean by ‘next wave’ of revenue?

The “next wave” Cuban is talking about involves NBA franchises looking to make money off the court, with things such as entertainment districts and ritzy condos surrounding their arenas.

And, in some cases, those entertainment districts could include casinos, too.

In November, a Cuban-held company sold a 12-acre land parcel to the Sands group, located near downtown Dallas and directly across the Stemmons Freeway from the American Airlines Center — the Mavericks’ home arena. That has opened up speculation that Sands wants to open up a casino in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as the company also purchased a 108-acre plot near the former Texas Stadium in Irving last year.

In a quarterly earnings call two weeks ago, Patrick Dumont, the Las Vegas Sands Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer, made clear the company’s intentions.

“Las Vegas Sands is actively trying to facilitate the development of integrated resorts in the State of Texas and through the liberalization of gaming,” he said.

It will be tough for Cuban’s casino dreams to come true in Texas

That’s certainly easier said than done, though, with most forms of gambling in Texas still illegal.

Additional quotes from Cuban in the CNBC story reflected his enthusiasm for bringing casinos to Texas and for aligning with the Sands group.

“Their ability to build and to redevelop the arena, and whatever comes next beyond that, just puts [the Mavericks franchise] in a much better position to compete,” Cuban said of his new partners. ” … Two, three years ago I started talking about a casino and a destination resort. And, I knew it. I told you guys then that I wasn’t going to be the one to build it.”

In the impromptu AMA, Cuban also reiterated his hope that the state would legalize gambling — a key piece in making the dream of a destination resort casino possible. And he’s not alone in that.

Despite a vocal minority opposing gambling, a poll of Texans conducted last year showed 75% supported a proposal that would have brought sports betting and four destination resort casinos to the state.

What’s more, it sounds like a major city might share Cuban’s hopes. Dallas City Councilman Chad West told PlayTexas the council may vote as soon as later this month on whether it should advocate for statewide casino legalization in the State Legislature’s 2025 session.

Photo by AP Photo/Emil T. Lippe
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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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