Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants expanded Texas gambling legislation to be viewed in a different light, and prefers that avenue over sports betting.
Cuban wrote in an expansive email to LSR Tuesday that resort and casino legislation, which did not make it past the House, should be seen more as a tourism bill rather than a gambling bill.
“I think what is misunderstood about the bill is that it is not a gambling bill as much as a tourism bill. Gambling is certainly a hook, but the real value to the state is to be a destination that people around the country and the world plan a year in advance and save to go to,” Cuban wrote.
“Texas is an amazing state, but there are not destinations that families, weddings, conferences and events dream of going to all year round. Ask your out-of-state friends how often they have saved up to bring their family to Texas. Ask anyone how often they look forward to coming here during the summer. You already know the answer.”
Texas sports betting of less interest
Cuban declined to discuss the standalone online Texas sports betting legislation that appears dead on arrival in the Senate.
“Nope. That’s less interesting to me,” Cuban wrote.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick essentially put the brakes on any expanded gambling efforts in a pair of tweets over the weekend.
“I’ve said repeatedly there is little to no support expanding gambling from the Senate GOP,” Patrick wrote.
Texas gambling expansion with Sands?
Cuban had hopes of partnering with Las Vegas Sands to build a resort and casino to surround the Mavericks’ next arena.
However, Rep. Charlie Geren last week postponed consideration of his resort and casino legislation until Jan. 12, 2027 after it did not receive enough votes to pass through the House.
“I do know when it’s time to fold ’em,” Geren said.
The 2023 Texas legislative session ends May 29. Given the state’s alternate-year legislative cycle, efforts cannot begin again until 2025.
Cuban not giving up hope on casinos
Still, it is clear that Cuban’s push for casino expansion will continue.
“Destination resorts, that have casinos, along with in-residence headliner entertainment, Broadway-quality shows, sporting events, kids’ entertainment and more that can make anyone excited about coming to our state is what this bill is about,” Cuban wrote.
“And yes, the revenue from it will be incredible. I would guess it would be far beyond what any other state would generate. And of course the businesses and jobs created would be a huge benefit as well.
“People want more reasons to come to the state. More reasons to come to Dallas. Gambling may help pay for the operations of a destination resort, but it’s the next level experiences that will change tourism for the state and could make us the No. 1 tourism destination in the country.”