One of Nevada’s largest casino operators is now trying to get a NBA team in Las Vegas.
According to a report from KNPR, MGMResorts CEO Jim Murren is “actively trying” to have a NBA team relocate to the gambling capital of America. Any team would presumably play at the T-Mobile Arena, which MGM developed.
The news comes as rival Nevada casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. is ramping up its plans to build a $1.9 billion NFL stadium on the south end of the Strip. The NFL still needs to vote on whether the Oakland Raiders can relocate.
A controversial $750 million in public funding was approved for the stadium.
While the NFL still opposes legalized gambling, the NBA is an advocate for it.
A NHL expansion team has already been approved for Las Vegas. The team will begin playing in Sin City in October 2017. Reports said that the team will play at T-Mobile Arena.
NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern was recently at the annual Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas to speak about the need for federal sports betting reform.
According to the American Gaming Association, the value of the American sports betting market is $150 billion a year, with less than $5 billion of that wagered legally in Nevada.
About $1.25 billion was bet on basketball last year in Nevada. That was an all-time high, according to data compiled by the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
The other totals were football ($1.7 billion) and baseball ($900 million). Hockey is included in the “other” category, which had wagers in 2015 of about $330 million.
Around $54 million in parlay bets were made last year.
Basketball, baseball and the “other” category all saw record drop in 2015. Football was down slightly from a record high of $1.75 billion in 2014.