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Arab Americans

The Maloof Brothers

The Maloof brothers

The Maloof family is a prominent Las Vegas family, who are owners of numerous business properties in the Western United States. The origin of the family name is Maalouf and is of Lebanese descent. The family is Lebanese via their paternal grandfather. Originally from New Mexico, the Maloof’s success really began with the distributing rights of Coors Beer in the Southwest region of the US in 1937. It was from this highly successful distribution service that the family was able to expand their empire. The Maloofs were the owners of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA from 1998 until 2013. The family consists of George J. Maloof, Sr., his wife Colleen, and their children: Adrienne Maloof, Joe Maloof, Gavin Maloof, George J. Maloof, Jr., and Phil Maloof.


The family owned a sports franchise in the SacramentoCalifornia market — the NBA’s Sacramento Kings from 1998 until 2013 when The Maloof family sold the 65% of the team they owned to a Sacramento group led by Vivek Ranadive for $347 million who were committed to building a new arena downtown that had previously been rebuked by the Maloofs.[1] The Maloofs had acquired a minority interest in the Kings in 1998 and took majority control the following year, with Joe and Gavin operating the franchise. As part of the purchase of the Kings, they also acquired the team’s sister franchise in the WNBA, the Sacramento Monarchs. The Maloofs operated the Monarchs until 2009, when the WNBA was unable to find a new owner and the team folded. Prior to the sale of the team, a previous deal had been reached, selling the Kings to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and investor Chris Hansen, who had hoped to move the team to Seattle. This sale was nullified on May 15, 2013, when the NBA Board of Governors denied the relocation in a vote of 22-8.[2] The Maloof family also briefly owned the Houston Rockets from 1979-1982. The Rockets made the NBA Finals in 1981. The team was sold to Charlie Thomas in 1982.

Las Vegas

 Palms Casino Resort

In 1994 the Maloof family bought the Fiesta Hotel in Las Vegas for $8 million, selling it in 2000 for over $185 million. The money was reinvested into the creation of The Palms hotel and casino.

The Maloofs sold their beer distribution in an unsuccessful attempt to save the Palms and Palms Towers. Shuan Demarsio now owns 98% of the hotel. The Maloofs were left with 2% ownership. The Palms is currently going through a re-branding led by Joe Magliarditi. The Maloofs have expanded their business ventures into entertainment with the creation of Maloof Productions andMaloof Music. The primary focus of Maloof Productions is developing and producing film and television projects. Through its television division, Maloof Television, they have produced the reality series Bullrun for Spike TV[3] in 2007, Speed Channel[4] in 2009, and Living Lohan, the E! reality series running in 2008.[5] They are currently developing Rebuilding the Kingdom with Reality Television Producer Mark Burnett.[6] The film division, Maloof Motion Pictures, produced the 2005 film Feast and is currently developing The Big Biazarro, starring Pierce Brosnan.[7]

Maloof Music, which is a joint venture deal with Interscope/Geffen Records/A&M Records and Maloof Productions, is currently working with singer Ali Lohan.


 Joe Maloof in San Diego promoting the Maloof Money Cup

Founded in 2008 by Joe and Gavin Maloof, the Maloof Money Cup is a competition for both professional and amateur skateboarders. The Orange County, US, dates of the contest series include the US Pro Men’s and Women’s Street Championships, the US Pro Vert Championships, and the Maloof Money Cup AM Championships.

A spring New York date and a fall (autumn) South Africa date were added in 2010 and 2011, respectively. In 2012, the Maloofs have focused on the South African event, entitled the Maloof Money Cup World Skateboarding Championships, and canceled the Orange County event due to logistical issues.[8]

US$1 million bounty

For 2011, the Maloofs offered US$1 million to the first skateboarder to win four Money Cup contests (at that time, Chris Cole had won three contests), but this award has yet to be attained by a competing skateboarder.

Additional lines of business

In addition to their gaming business, the Maloofs had exclusive proprietorship rights to the distribution of Boston Beer Company,CoorsCoronaGuinnessHeinekenMillerRed Bull, and Tecate products throughout New Mexico. They sold Maloof Distributing in 2010 to Admiral Beverage Corporation.

The Maloof Companies are one of the largest single shareholders in Wells Fargo Bank.

Family members

The family consists of George J. Maloof, Sr. deceased, and now headed by his wife Colleen, followed by their children:

  • Joe Maloof (born Joseph George Maloof November 15, 1955)
  • Gavin Maloof (born Gavin Patrick Maloof October 9, 1956)
  • Adrienne Maloof (born Adrienne Maude Maloof September 1, 1961)
  • George J. Maloof, Jr. (born George Joseph Maloof, Jr. September 2, 1964)
  • Phil Maloof (born Phillip James Maloof May 16, 1967)

Phil Maloof, a New Mexico state senator in the late 1990s, ran unsuccessfully against Heather Wilson for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district in 1998.

Albert Maloof Sr., a cousin of George J. Maloof, Sr., is best known for his distribution empire in the Southeastern United States.

Popular culture

  • The Maloofs frequently appeared on the television show, Las Vegas.
  • Phil Maloof owns the console of the Barton organ installed at Chicago Stadium.
  • In the song “I’m Blooded” Lil’ Wayne says … “and I own my own team I’m like a Maloof…”
  • The Maloof brothers made a cameo in Lil’ Wayne‘s music video Lollipop, which was filmed at Gavin Maloof’s multi-million dollar mansion in the Southern Highlands Golf Club, Las Vegas.
  • The Maloof brothers also make a cameo in David Banner’s “Get like me” video alongside baseball player Barry Bonds.
  • They also make an appearance in Ludacris‘ music video, “What Them Girls Like“.
  • Joe and Gavin appear in Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas” music video, partially filmed at The Palms Resort and Casino.
  • On March 28, 2010, Gavin appeared as a guest judge on Celebrity Apprentice 3, filling in for Ivanka Trump.
  • Adrienne Maloof appeared in Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.[9]


The Maloof family, especially Joe and Gavin, were under heavy fire in 2006 when they proposed building a new basketball arena in downtown Sacramento and were able to put a tax increase proposal on the fall election ballots. They wanted the taxpayers to pay for the majority of the arena instead of paying for it themselves. The proposal involved a quarter-cent sales tax hike aimed at raising $1.2 billion over the next 15 years. The city was divided between those who supported it and those who disapproved of it. There were rumors that the Maloofs were threatening to move both the Sacramento Kings and the Sacramento Monarchs to Las Vegas if they did not get a new arena. In November, voters overwhelmingly voted against the proposal.[10]

A proposal to build a new arena at Cal Expo (the State Fairgrounds) which would include an upgrade to the fairgrounds as well as retail and housing developments was presented and accepted by the Cal Expo Board of Directors on February 27, 2009 but fell apart soon after, leaving Sacramento without a new arena.[11]

In late 2010, the Maloof family began negotiating with officials in Anaheim, California in an effort to move the Kings franchise to that city, despite repeated assurances that the team would stay in Sacramento. On March 29, 2011, the City of Anaheim approved bond measures aimed at assisting the Kings move. Finally, on May 2, 2011, the NBA put a halt to the move to Anaheim, California because the current bills that were owed to the city of Sacramento, California gave the city just cause to keep them in Sacramento. In June 2011, the Maloof brothers, Joe and Gavin, (along with successful investor Ghassan El Morabit), sold majority share of the Palms to two lending companies (Leonard Green & Partners LP in Los Angeles and TPG Capital in Texas), allowing them to continue building their stadium.[12]

Upon the news of a possible relocation, Sacramento Kings launched a grassroots effort with pledges of over $800,000 to go to a new arena. This and other grassroots efforts, along with Mayor Kevin Johnson‘s presentation to the NBA Board of Governors, convinced the NBA to delay any relocation authorization for one year. Within this one year time frame (deadline: March 2012) a completed arena plan, with funding, must be in place.

The plan for the Entertainment and Sports Complex (ESC), as of July 2011, is for it to be built on the former railyard site in downtown Sacramento. Funding mechanisms will be disclosed on or about September 8, 2011 and are expected to include a variety of methods including User Fees on events and products sold at the ESC. It is to be expected to be a public-private partnership. Parking garages within 1/8th of a mile of the proposed ESC are to be sufficient for ESC parking with over 8,000 unused spaces. Preferred parking in the form of a garage next to the ESC may be requested by the primary tenant and will add to the cost. Public transportation will be available as well.

They backed out of another arena deal in spring 2012.

In February 2013, they agreed to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, who promised to relocate the team to Seattle and rename them the Seattle SuperSonics. Kevin Johnson brought a group together led by Vivek Ranadive to keep the team in Sacramento. The local fan base rallied behind him in an effort to keep the team. The new ownership group was established and a deal struck with the city to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento. On May 15, 2013, the NBA Board of Governors denied the relocation bid, effectively nullifying the sale to the Seattle group. The following day, the Maloofs agreed to sell the team to the Sacramento group.

During the months leading up to the sale, the Seattle group raised their offer twice and it was reported that the Maloofs were going to refuse to sell to the Sacramento group. At one point, the Chris Hansen group had offered to buy 20% of the team with the Maloofs retaining their majority ownership, even after the Sacramento group came together with an offer. However, Sacramento continued to work directly with the NBA, and the Maloofs sale to the Sacramento group eventually went through.

The Kings, under the Maloof’s guidance, are one of two NBA teams (Along with the Minnesota Timberwolves) not to make the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. According to the ESPN 2012 Ultimate Team Rankings, in just 9 years, the Sacramento Kings, under ownership of the Maloofs, have dropped from #4 to #121 out of 122 sports franchises based on a number of categories including Ownership (ranking dead last), Stadium Experience and Fan Relations.[13]