In the sweltering heat of a Texan summer, a move was made that set the Dallas metroplex abuzz with whispers of high stakes and potential jackpots. An LLC with the magnetic allure of the Vegas Strip in its DNA – tied to the gambling titan Las Vegas Sands – stealthily acquired a swath of 108 acres near the ghost of the Texas Stadium in Irving. This bold land grab occurred with impeccable timing, mere months before Dr. Miriam Adelson, the strategic mind holding a tight rein on Sands’ reins after her husband Sheldon Adelson’s passing, liquidated a hefty $2 billion in casino chips, otherwise known as her shares in the company, to clinch the majority stake in none other than the Dallas Mavericks.
Once word got out last week about the deal, the plot thickened deliciously. The whispers turned to excited chatter as the silhouette of the Mavericks began to merge with the bright lights of casino dreams, thanks to the Adelson touch. The prospect of glitzy integrated resorts dotting the Dallas-Fort Worth landscape didn’t seem like mere fantasy when the Mavericks’ new majority owner and the soon-to-be minority owner, the astute Mark Cuban, joined the scene.
It was the entity dubbed Village Walk RE 2 LLC that held the title to the 108 acres – a spread of land echoing with the echoes of Dallas Cowboys glory. Its address? None other than the Sands’ corporate stronghold in Las Vegas, casting an intriguing shadow over the future of this prime Texas real estate.
The savvy minds at Village Walk RE 2 LLC snagged the land for a considerate $22.4 million – no doubt a coup in the rapidly expanding Dallas-Fort Worth expanse.
Yet, caution remains the companion of the gambler, as owning land is a far throw from the dazzle of casino lights and the clatter of slot machines. Take Sands’ ambitious $240 million down payment in Nassau County, New York, for instance. It’s a heavyweight bet on a future $4 billion casino project that still teeters on the brink of uncertainty.
The pieces on the board show Sands’ connection to the land near Texas Stadium and Dr. Adelson’s power play for the Mavericks. Her shadow may loom large, yet she keeps her hands clean of the casino’s day-to-day hustle. It is her son-in-law, the abled Patrick Dumont at the Sands’ COO desk, who keeps the dice rolling.
Cuban, however, has never shied away from his desire to blend the thrill of professional basketball with the pulse of casino floors. Sands’ deep pockets have already been felt in the Texas legislature, where they’ve been working up the political stream to pioneer integrated resorts within the state’s borders.
Still, the road to casinos in Texas is tangled and long. Recent remarks by the state’s Lt. Governor Dan Patrick make it clear that the legislative maze has yet to be navigated, with failed attempts in the past and no opportunity to revisit the topic until 2025 at the earliest. Polls show Texans are not opposed to upping the ante with casinos and sports betting. However, in the Lone Star State, where the treasury swells without the need for gambling funds, lawmakers might not be ready to double down on this bet just yet.