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Sheridan: If/when Mark Cuban runs for President, he has a message for sports gambling antagonists

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Cuban has 50-1 betting odds to be the next President of the United States. Odds on him meeting Warren Buffett at a Dairy Queen in the next two weeks are not yet listed.

Cuban, a frequent political commentator, declined to answer a direct question from about whether or not he will run for the office now held by Donald Trump. But the maverick owner of the Dallas Mavericks did provide his thoughts on the wide-open U.S. sports gambling landscape that changed on May 14 when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA.

Cuban has been a proponent of legalized sports gambling since before NBA commissioner Adam Silver penned his famous op-ed for the New York Times. In 2004, Cuban made headlines by mulling around the idea of launching a sports betting hedge fund. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, he called the U.S. Government “hypocritical” for not legalizing betting. And when asked about the antagonists aiming to prevent a regulated, nationwide sports betting umbrella, Cuban had a message for those people.

“As far as concerns, I’m concerned for those people who have issues with gambling,” Cuban said via e-mail. “Hopefully we will use some of the revenues to be preemptive and supportive of those with challenges.”

That response can be interpreted several ways, but Cuban (via e-mail) declined Wednesday to clarify.

One thing Cuban was clear on is his stance that legalized sports betting will undoubtedly “create more awareness, interest, attendance and viewership,” which are “all positives for the business or basketball.”

The U.S. sports gambling industry is estimated to be a $450 billion business, but nobody really knows for sure because so much of the wagering takes place in the dark economy, which has now become the grey economy.

The industry self-polices itself well, and the FBI watches everything, but the underground action controlled by organized crime will never go away for one simple reason: Those who cannot get credit from traditional lending institutions can always get it from the guys who break your thumbs if you don’t pay up on time.

All of this is relevant today as the unofficial end of summer is upon us, because Americans’ attention in the political arena will now turn toward the midterm elections. And once those are out of the way, the jockeying for the Democratic nomination in 2020 will begin. is listing Trump as the heavy favorite (+150) to win on Election Day 2020.

The next contender after him is 53-year-old California Senator Kamala Harris, who won Barbara Boxer’s seat in the 2016 election.

She won two six-packs of beer last June in a bet she made with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

The Senator from the state that the Russians carried in the last election paid up while wearing a Stephen Curry jersey and cracking Kevin Durant jokes after the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals.

No word on whether he blamed J.R. Smith or punched a blackboard.

Elizabeth Warren is listed at 10-1, Joe Biden is 12-1, Bernie Sanders (who has Russian blood) is 12-1, Michele Obama is 20-1, Oprah Winfrey is 50-1, Al Gore is 70-1, LeBron James is 100-1, Chelsea Clinton is 200-1 and Kanye West has the longest odds in the field at 500-1. (Cynthia Nixon is not listed. We tried asking her, but she kept interrupting. OK, that’s a joke).

The odds of a non-politician running for the highest office in the land should probably be a little lower after what we saw two years ago.

Supporters show up for the President Donald J. Trump’s Make America Great Again Rally. Andrea Melendez/Naples Daily News via USA TODAY NETWORK

Nothing could deter Trump, who savaged his rivals in the Republican debates with impunity, said and tweeted whatever struck him at the moment, and continues to leave the Democrats scrambling to find a way to match wits with him while trying to stifle his agenda.

They are having about as good of a year as the Baltimore Orioles.

Eventually, somebody will capture the public’s attention on the Democratic side.

And people who follow politics closely believe that person may be Cuban, who was a commentator on Fox News (playing the designated Democratic punching bag) during the lead up to the 2016 Presidential Election.

It was not the easiest or most comfortable position to be in, but the “somebody’s got to do it” rule applied.

Sort of like putting Cuban on the spot when it comes to asking him whether he’ll make a run for Presidency.

A partial transcript of our e-mail exchange:

GMS: The midterm U.S. elections are approaching, and there are already reports of Russian hacking. Be that as it may, where do you see the country going politically this Fall as Election Day nears?

Cuban: Pass

GMS: The Democratic Party does not yet seem to have a national candidate that people want to rally around, and your name has been thrown into the mix. So please give us an accurate statement on the likelihood, or lack thereof, of where your mind is at on this issue. How much consideration are you giving to running for President in 2020?

Cuban: Pass

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sits courtside. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For those keeping score, Cuban used the pass two more times than Sam Darnold did for the New York Jets last weekend in their final tuneup for the NFL season. Darnold, the No. 3 pick in the draft, sat out the preseason finale but will still be the starter Monday night when the Jets open against the Lions on Monday Night Football, which will not televise the national anthem, but of course you can bet on how many players won’t stand.

The Lions are favored by 6 1/2 points, and the over/under on drunken Lions fans flooding the Greektown casino currently stands at 2,500.

Some of those fans may have a gambling problem, which leads us back to Cuban’s answer about gambling addiction and treatment.

If he was referring to people with gambling addictions, GA — like most 12-step programs — is funded by contributions from those attending meetings.

What a federal subsidy to that organization might look like is a huge grey area.

But the grey area is what exists today in the U.S. sports gambling industry, with activity that was illegal prior to May 14 not existing in the grey area of “it is not illegal anymore, even if it is not explicitly legal.”


The commissioners of the four major sports leagues are advocating for a 1 percent cut of all money wagered on professional sports, but they are encountering resistance on a state-by-state basis as different legislatures consider different sets of rules.

Cuban stated that Congress needs to “pass a federal law dealing with gambling.” When that might happen is anybody’s guess.

“I have no idea,” Cuban said in his e-mail. “If I did, I would place a bet on it :)”

At 50-1, he is an interesting prop bet … and probably a safer prop bet than taking his Mavericks to win the NBA championship at 240-1.

For now, Cuban is leaving us all guessing. Sort of like anticipating the next time Trump will tweet something confusing and/or outrageous. Personally, I think he will run. His life is right, the time is right.

I usually refrain from giving gambling advice. But in this case, I sort of have a gut feeling. Make the Cuban bet at 50-1, it has loads of value, especially keeping in mind that Trump was once 200-1 before he was elected.

2020 Presidential Election Betting Odds (via

Donald Trump 3-2
Kamala Harris 8-1
Elizabeth Warren 10-1
Joe Biden 12-1
Bernie Sanders 12-1
Mike Pence 16-1
Michelle Obama 20-1
Cory Booker 25-1
Kirsten Gillibrand 25-1
Beto O’Rourke 30-1
Mark Cuban 50-1
Oprah Winfrey 50-1
Eric Holder 50-1
Julian Castro 50-1
Bob Iger 50-1
Andrew Cuomo 50-1
Sherrod Brown 50-1
Deval Patrick 50-1
Gavin Newsom 50-1
Dwayne Johnson 60-1
Jamie Dimon 60-1
Hillary Clinton 60-1
Michael Bloomberg 60-1
Howard Schultz 60-1
Amy Klobuchar 60-1
Eric Garcetti 60-1
Al Gore 70-1
Keith Ellison 70-1
Mitt Romney 70-1
Scott Walker 70-1
Marco Rubio 70-1
Ted Cruz 75-1
Tim Kaine 75-1
George Clooney 75-1
Carly Fiorina 75-1
Rand Paul 75-1
LeBron James 100-1
John Cena 200-1
Tammy Duckworth 200-1
Chelsea Clinton 200-1
Tim Cook 200-1
Evan McMullin 250-1
Nancy Pelosi 250-1
Jeff Flake 250-1
Kanye West 500-1

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Written by Chris Sheridan

Chris Sheridan is a veteran sports journalist who previously covered the NBA for ESPN. He worked for the Associated Press for 18 years, and also served as the 76ers beat writer for Sheridan is the host of Sports Betting Tips, a podcast covering all things gambling.

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