Who is Miriam Adelson, the casino billionaire buying the Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban?

Who is Miriam Adelson, the casino billionaire buying the Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban?
Who is Miriam Adelson, the casino billionaire buying the Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban?

The Dallas Mavericks have long been associated with Mark Cuban, its voluble owner for the last 22 years. But that relationship took an unexpected twist Tuesday with the news that Cuban is set to sell a controlling share in the franchise to the casino billionaire Miriam Adelson and her family. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Mavericks were valued at roughly $3.5 billion in the sale and that Adelson would get a majority stake in the team. Marc Stein was the first to report that Adelson was buying part of the club and that Cuban would retain control of its operations.

While Cuban would continue to run basketball operations while retaining a minority interest in the franchise — a rare occurrence — the Mavericks seem as if they will be Adelson’s team soon, pending league approval of the transaction, of course.

Who is Adelson?

Adelson will enter the NBA as not only one of its wealthiest owners but also as one of the richest people in the world. She was named the 35th richest person in the world by Forbes earlier this year and the fifth richest woman in the world; she has an estimated net worth of $32.3 billion. She is the largest shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., a company that runs casino-resorts in Singapore and Macau that reported net income of $449 million in the third quarter on revenue of $2.8 billion.

Adelson, 78, was born in Tel Aviv and was a doctor in Israel before she came to New York to study at a medical institute. There she met Sheldon Adelson, who became her second husband in 1991 when they were married in Jerusalem. Sheldon Adelson was already a successful businessman and grew to become a casino tycoon, known for expanding midweek convention business in Las Vegas and developing resorts in Asia. He died in 2021.

The Adelsons were among the most prominent Republican donors for years and were high-profile supporters of Israel and Jewish causes in the United States. They were significant donors to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and she was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018. Birthright Israel, a group that sponsors trips for people of Jewish heritage to Israel, said the Adelsons had contributed nearly $500 million over 15 years before reducing funding last year.

Miriam took control of Las Vegas Sands Corp., after Sheldon’s death; Adelson and a family trust in her name own 57 percent of the company according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

What else does her family own?

If the sale is finalized, the Mavericks would be part of a diverse portfolio owned by Adelson. Along with her interests in the gambling industry, she is the publisher of Israel Hayom, an Israeli newspaper, and owns the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Her son, Matan, bought Hapoel Jerusalem, an Israeli club that also plays in the Basketball Champions League, this summer.

And Sands is hoping to develop a casino in Long Island, New York, at the site of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

What is the extent of her relationship with Cuban?

Adelson’s success in real estate development and the prospect for arena development, as well as launching casino gaming and entertainment in Dallas were appealing factors in Cuban’s decision to sell, league sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Cuban said last year that he was going to partner with Sands on a casino and resort in Dallas that would also include a home for the Mavericks, according to the Dallas Morning News.

An expansion of betting in Texas would require significant changes in a state that does not have commercial casinos and does not have legalized sports betting, and instead has two Native American casinos.

“My goal, and we’d partner with Las Vegas Sands, is when we build a new arena it’ll be in the middle of a resort and casino,” Cuban told The Dallas Morning News last year. “That’s the mission.”

(Photo of Miriam Adelson and the late Sheldon Adelson: Victor Fraile / Corbis via Getty Images)