Would Sands Corporation’s New Dallas Land Be Big Enough For A Casino?

Written By Phil West on January 5, 2024
Miriam Adelson and her late husband, Sheldon on a story about her company's purchase of land near downtown Dallas that could house a future casino.

The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which aligned with Mark Cuban in November by purchasing a majority interest in the Dallas Mavericks, has now bought a 12-acre parcel of land from Cuban-held companies near downtown Dallas.

While that plot of land is smaller than the footprint of some notable casinos – the Venetian in Las Vegas, for example, sits on 36 acres, while the flagship Choctaw resort in Durant, OK, sits on 50 acres – the purchase is fueling speculation about plans for a Sands-built casino in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex should Texas allow casinos in the future.

Texas casino ambitions of Sands and Cuban are well-known

While there are three Texas tribal casinos within its borders, most of the state’s gaming activity takes place in casinos strategically positioned near Texas’ borders with Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The Dallas Morning News, reporting on the sale of the Dallas parcel, noted:

“Sands Corp. and Cuban have floated the idea of building a casino resort that would serve as a tourism draw for North Texas. Casino gambling is illegal in Texas, though legislation to legalize it advanced to the House floor in this year’s session. Sands employed dozens of lobbyists to make the case for casinos.”

Both Cuban and Sands have both made it clear they are pushing for the legalization of casinos in Texas.

The Sands’ political action committee, the Vegas Sands PAC, donated millions of dollars to Texas politicians in the last legislative cycle, making a push to lobby for legalized casinos. (Sands owner Miriam) Adelson directly contributed $1 million to Texas Governor Greg Abbott on top of a $50,000 check from the PAC at the end of 2022. According to Forbes, Adelson and her late husband gave over $218 million to conservative candidates and causes during the 2020 US election cycle.

Cuban has been pushing for casinos since December 2022 when he first mentioned a partnership with Sands. Based on estimates in 2022, a $2 billion investment would have to be made to jump-start plans for a resort-style casino and arena. In October 2021, Cuban said he was ‘for legalizing all betting’ when asked about sports betting initiatives in the state.

Parcel of land valued at $42.9 million

The 12-acre parcel, fronting the Stemmons Freeway in Dallas’ Design District, includes the building housing the Mavericks’ current practice facility. It is just across the freeway from Victory Park, an “urban lifestyle destination” masterminded by Ross Perot. It’s anchored by the American Airlines Center, home arena for the NBA’s Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

The Dallas Morning News added that the “properties are valued for tax purposes at $42.9 million, according to county records.” Cuban confirmed via email that the sale was made to “the individuals who purchased the Mavs.”

Cuban had owned the Design District properties since 2016. At one point, he speculated that it could be a location for a new Mavericks arena. While Cuban still owns a 27% stake in the team and runs its basketball operations, he recently sold a majority interest in the team to Adelson, widow of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

According to the Dallas Morning News article:

“A Sands spokesman said the land acquisitions are part of the company’s longstanding interest in the Dallas area.”

Sands bought land near former Texas Stadium in 2023

That includes a 108-acre land purchase near the former Texas Stadium site in Irving this past July. It is also earmarked by Sands as a potential resort location should the tenor around destination resort casinos change.

While the needle may be moving some on gambling in Texas, with the Texas House approving an online sports betting bill in the 2023 before it lost steam in the Senate, lawmakers won’t revisit gaming legislation until the next biennial legislative session in 2025.

Photo by AP/Patrick Semansky
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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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