Last week, as the Dallas Mavericks reveled in the glow of an NBA Finals appearance, a member of the team’s new ownership offered up bearish projections for his family’s dreams of casinos coming to Texas.

Perhaps the casino’s lackluster primary performance served as a foreshadowing of the Maverick’s eventual defeat.

In a widely reported interview, Patrick Dumont, president of Las Vegas Sands said that “buying the team had nothing to do with getting gambling in Texas,” but this is a far cry from the reporting coming out of Dallas following the team’s sale, not to mention public posturing from former majority owner, Joe Biden sycophant and climate change cheerleader, Mark Cuban.

In addition to being president of Las Vegas Sands, Dumont is co-owner of the Mavericks. He’s the son-in-law of Miriam Adelson, widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Dumont added Las Vegas Sands thinks, in the long term, if they are patient “hopefully” they’ll eventually succeed.

Rice academic Mark P. Jones, who has been notably active in advancing the narrative for casino gambling (via polling and provided quotes), predicts that Dumont aims to complete legislation required to import casinos by “2025 or later.” Barring significant changes in the status quo later is likely a smarter bet.

Following the 2024 primary election, State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Allen), an advocate for expanded gambling, was frank about the prospects of gambling legislation in 2025. Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, Leach said that based on the last session, there is likely “not going to be any meaningful action” on expanding gambling in the Texas House. Leach’s calculus is partly based on dynamics in the Texas Senate.

Given Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s recent animosity with Speaker Dade Phelan and the appearance of gambling as a key issue for the Speaker race, 2025 does look bleak. Gambling being a Democrat issue doesn’t help.

“What happens in the House is they will pass bills with 100% of the Democrats and like one out of four Republicans.” That’s how Patrick sees the House’s attempt to pass casino legislation in 2023.

Patrick contrasted the House with the Senate, “so the casino bill was three votes short of passing out of the house, but if you look at the vote, it was all Democrats and 28 out of 84 Republicans voted for it. That’s the real story that wouldn’t ever happen in the Senate. I do not pass bills out of the Senate with 12 Democrats and six Republicans.”

This is not what you want to hear if you’re a Democrat or Dumont.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.