Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has already thrown cold water on hopes for Texas sports betting and casino legislation in 2025.
Mark Cuban recently sold his majority ownership stake in the Dallas Mavericks to Miriam Adelson, widow of Las Vegas Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, at a valuation of $3.5 billion. Miriam Adelson is selling approximately $2 billion in LVS stock to help complete the transaction.
Cuban has made no secret of his quest to partner with Sands and build a resort and casino adjacent to the team’s next arena, should legislation potentially including Texas sports betting ever pass. Yet Patrick, long an opponent of expanded gambling, said in a recent interview that there is a lack of GOP Senate support for casinos in the Lone Star State.
Patrick: We do not have casino votes
Patrick spoke with CBS News Texas on Dec. 1.
“My experience and my knowledge is that we aren’t even close to having 15 or 16 votes for casinos,” Patrick said.
Patrick said there was no outcry from the voting public after both Texas sports betting and casino legislation failed to pass. A Texas sports betting bill passed the House for the first time before meeting defeat in the Senate without significant consideration.
“When the session was over, there was not a cry from voters calling their senators or House members, gosh, we didn’t pass, I needed this bill,” Patrick said.
Cuban: ‘No reaction’ to Patrick quotes on Texas sports betting
Asked for his reaction to Patrick’s comments, Cuban responded to LSR via email: “No reaction at all.”
Given that Patrick will be in power through 2026, a roadmap that leads to legalization becomes difficult to envision.
“I think it changes the dynamics, especially in solidifying Las Vegas Sands’ interest in the DFW metroplex,” gaming analyst Brendan Bussmann told LSR. “You’ve still got stakeholders in Texas, though, that are not likely changing their minds on gambling unless the rest of the caucus moves into a positive category on gaming.
“I’m a firm believer in Dr. Adelson, and time will tell. But I’m not holding my breath on Patrick.”
Cuban sees casinos as tourism bill
Cuban previously sent an expansive email to LSR, arguing that any resort and casino legislation should be viewed as a tourism bill, as it will bring people to Texas. He has said sports betting is “less interesting” than casino efforts.
“I think what is misunderstood about the bill is that it is not a gambling bill as much as a tourism bill,” Cuban wrote. “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.
“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.”