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League believes Sheldon Adelson wants a path to control of the Raiders

Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson Addresses Hospitality Students At UNLV

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 05: Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson takes a drink of iced tea as he speaks to hospitality students at UNLV on May 5, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas Sands recently announced a donation of USD 7 million to the university’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson has accused the Raiders of wanting too much. The truth could be that Adelson is the one who is looking for more than he should.

Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics, the NFL believes that Adelson wants to acquire a path to a controlling interest in the team. Given that Adelson owns a casino, that could make the process of securing approval for the relocation from 24 total owners more difficult, since the NFL’s willingness to embrace moving a team to the gambling capital of the world may not extend to allowing ownership to transfer to a man who capitalizes on gambling.

Raiders owner Mark Davis likely has an issue with Adelson’s desire to eventually control the team, for obvious reasons. Davis steadfastly has resisted any suggestion of a stadium solution that would entail Davis no longer running the team. Indeed, multiple options for partnering up with a billionaire who would finance a new Oakland stadium exist, but the belief is that anyone who would be plunking down the cash for a venue would also want to buy controlling interest in the franchise.

Adelson’s comments from late last month, after $750 million in free money was finagled from Nevada taxpayers, suggest that the deal that would bring the Raiders to Las Vegas could crater based on the team’s demands.

They want so much,” Adelson said. “So I told my people, ‘Tell them I could live with the deal, I could live without the deal. Here’s the way it’s gonna go down. If they don’t want it, bye-bye.”

The real question is whether Adelson would say “bye-bye” over a deal that doesn’t include a path to control. The thinking is that, although Adelson will push for a path to control of the team, he eventually will relent if that’s what it takes to get a deal done.