(Bloomberg) -- Mark Cuban’s discussions to sell a majority stake in his Mavericks NBA team to Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Adelson family began with talks to build a casino and arena complex in Dallas.
Sands management sees benefits in owning a team and casino in the same city, since both involve large developments and attracting crowds, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking.
The Adelson family confirmed Wednesday that they were buying a majority stake in the team, targeting an end-of-year closing, subject to approval by the league’s board of governors.
“We believe that with this partnership and our commitment to the team, the community and the fans, the future is bright for the Dallas Mavericks,” their statement said.
The purchase values the team at $3.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the terms who asked to not be identified.
Sands, one of the largest casino operators in the world, has been trying unsuccessfully to convince Texas to legalize casino gambling for years. The company specializes in large resorts that integrate hotels, casinos, convention space and entertainment.
Miriam Adelson is the largest shareholder in Sands following the death of her husband Sheldon in 2021. Her son-in-law Patrick Dumont is president of the company.
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Sands also had discussions with New York Mets owner Steve Cohen about building a casino next to his baseball stadium, people familiar with the matter said. Cohen has since partnered with Hard Rock International Inc. to pursue an $8 billion casino-resort complex in Queens.
A representative for Cohen didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Sands is also pursuing a New York casino license at the site of the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.
Sands said in a filing Tuesday that the Adelsons were selling $2 billion worth of their shares to buy a professional sports team. The company said the family had already clinched a purchase agreement.
Shares of Sands, which operates casinos in Singapore and Macau, fell as much as 5.6% to $45.02 in New York. They were little changed this year. The Adelsons hold a controlling interest in the company, which has a market value of about $35 billion.
Cuban and representatives for the Mavericks didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Before the sale was announced, Cuban told the Dallas Morning News that a casino resort would make the city more of a destination.
“When you think of all the places you want to save up to vacation, Texas isn’t one of them,” Cuban said. “There’s no real destination that you save up for. That’s a problem and I think resort gaming would have a huge impact.”
Earlier this year, the Texas legislature voted down bills that would have legalized online and casino gambling. The legislature isn’t scheduled to meet again until 2025.
Miriam Adelson gave $1 million last year to the reelection campaign of Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
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(Updates with team valuation in fifth paragaph.)
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