The CEO of Walt Disney Company has recently announced that his firm will not involve itself in the emerging sports betting industry in the United States. The company prides itself on being family-friendly and he believes the association with this industry would tarnish the companies repute. There have been rumors surfacing that the conglomerate may want to join sports betting firms including, but not limited to, DraftKings Incorporated and FanDuel Incorporated which are American Daily Fantasy Sports operators. Iger addressed these rumors and revealed that they have no such plans at the moment.
This revelation, according to the Friday report of Yahoo.com, came from Bob Iger who is the CEO and Chairman of Walt Disney Company, as part of a conference call held to discuss the corporation`s earnings for the first quarter.
In stark contrast to Iger`s pronunciation, his company`s ESPN.com domain produces sports betting themed programs on a regular basis. This aspect also fueled the rumors pertaining to the company joining this nascent industry. The ESPN Chalk and Behind the Bets podcasts are examples of such programs.
To provide some clarity on this issue he drew a contrast between providing associated content and directly taking wagers. He further added:
“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.”
The Eight States:
Sportsbetting has now been made legal in New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. This occurred in light of May`s refutation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Despite this, Iger maintained that his firm does not have any inclination towards becoming a part of this business and taking sports wagers in any state.
It has been reported that Iger has 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.”