In the United States, the boss for The Walt Disney Company has reportedly announced that his firm will not be getting involved in the nation’s nascent sportsbetting industry because to do so would run counter to the firm’s ‘family-friendly’ reputation.
According to a Friday report from Yahoo.com, the revelation from Bob Iger (pictured), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the Walt Disney Company, came as part of a conference call to discuss the media giant’s first-quarter earnings. The 68-year-old’s disclosure also followed rumors that the conglomerate may be considering whether to join firms such as American daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings Incorporated and FanDuel Incorporated in offering sportsbetting services.
In the wake of May’s invalidation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), sportsbetting is now legal in New Mexico, Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. But, Iger maintained that his firm does not have any intention of getting involved in the business of taking sports wagers in these or any other states.
Iger reportedly told investors…
“As sports gambling becomes legal in the United States state by state, is that something that can coexist within the family-friendly Disney brand? I don’t see The Walt Disney Company, certainly in the near term, getting involved in the business of gambling, in effect, by facilitating gambling in any way.”
However, Iger’s pronouncement came despite the fact that his company’s ESPN.com domain regularly produces sportsbetting-themed programs such as the ESPN Chalk and Behind the Bets podcasts. To clear up this seemingly obvious contradiction, the executive drew a distinction between taking wagers and providing associated content.
“I do think that there’s plenty of room and ESPN.com has done some of this already and they may do more. To provide information in coverage of sports that would be relevant to and of particular interest to gambling and not be shy about it, basically being fairly overt about it. But getting into the business of gambling, I rather doubt it.”