Disney is Going into Gambling After Years of Opposition

Gambling

After many years of opposing gambling, Disney seems to have changed its stand. For many years, the company has preferred to associate itself with a ‘family-focused business.’ Due to this, Disney has consistently resisted gambling, citing betting is not a family-focused activity. 

It started from the day Disney purchased Marvel Studios. It immediately stopped all slot machines under the Marvel name. Afterward, Disney bought the Star Wars franchise and did the same thing. 

Florida has remained a battleground for Disney’s anti-gambling efforts

The other states moved with creating gambling laws and signing legalizations. By 2019, many states had legalized both land-based and online gambling. Citizens in those states could access a virtual casino and gamble on their mobile devices. Regardless, Disney was still opposed to gambling, and Florida remained a hot battleground between casinos and Disney. 

Where it all started

It all started in 2012 after Disney completed signing the purchase deal for acquiring Lucasfilm. This is the company that developed Star Wars. The purchase price was 2.51 billion pounds. Before the purchase deal, part of the agreement was for Lucasfilm to discontinue its slots machines business. 

Disney didn’t want gambling to take root in Florida. This was the same time when the crypto market was taking shape fast in the US and the world at large. Disney would cite that Florida was a key family destination and as such, gambling would destroy its good family image. 

What happened that Disney changed its strong stand

Throughout history, most US citizens clearly understood how Disney makes money, but gambling was never one of them. Surprisingly, there was a sudden change of stand from Disney. The surprise was given in an investor’s quarterly meeting called by Disney a few weeks ago. 

During the meeting, Bob Chapek, Disney CEO, suggested that the company was eying other income lines. He mentioned that the company was taking a bigger stride beyond its theme parks, movies, and TV. The big stride was eying the gambling industry pg slot

It might be hard to understand how Disney, having been a strong investor in family entertainment, suddenly takes focus on gambling. It is needless to say that this is the very business that Disney has remained opposed to for many years. There must be something that Disney saw in the gambling field that the Americans might not be seeing. 

The answer was clearly in Chapek’s own words when he said that sports betting has become popular among the youth, and it is time that time Disney and ESPN partnered to bring the services close to them. 

Before this announcement, it was not possible to access ESPN on Disney WIFI. Internet users would get the message that the site contained gambling content. When reflecting on ten years ago when Disney opposed gambling in Florida, it is possible to get more answers. 

Disney’s resistance was not an issue of morality but an issue of competition. Disney has invested heavily in Florida. The entry of casino resorts in Florida would bring stiff competition to Disney resorts in the state. Now that the gambling market is opening up fast, there is nothing Disney can do but venture into it. 

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About the Author: John Watson

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