DraftKings Incorporated is now partially controlled by The Walt Disney Company which has a stake in this daily fantasy sports and online betting giant. This came as a surprise as Disney’s officials are known for their negative attitude towards everything gambling-related, and that also includes sports betting. However, it seems that the tides are turning at the moment and that we are up for a big surprise. Yet, before we jump to conclusions, let’s take a deeper look at this piece of news.
Legal Sports Report published an article which states that the US conglomerate The Walt Disney Company, which is the most powerful entertainment company in the world, has acquired its interest in the gambling firm which has headquarters in Boston. However, this did not happen directly, as there were no talks between the representatives of the two companies. In fact, the entire thing happened due to a complicated network.
Some four years ago, Twenty-First Century Fox managed to obtain a deal with DraftKings and made a $300 million investment, thus buying a stake of the company. Fast forward a couple of years, we have witnessed Disney buying the Twenty-First Century Fox along with its Fox Sports division that has been actively cooperating with DraftKings.
In other words, The Walt Disney Company is now an official owner of the stake that was acquired by one of its subsidiary companies, according to an unnamed source at DraftKings, who stated that for Legal Sports Report. Therefore, Disney will own a part of a company that has big plans related to their industry, one of them being opening a land-based sportsbook that will be located in the state of Mississippi. Furthermore, they play to start a mobile online casino and even an app for sports betting for all bettors who live or visit New Jersey.
According to the Legal Sports Report, Disney’s interest in DraftKings can be described as rather surprising, given that its officials have made some really nasty comments about companies that focus on any form of gambling. One of the reasons why Disney became famous as a company that opposes gambling is their effort to put a stop to legalizing sports betting in Florida last year. Namely, they spent approximately $5 million in order to promote the anti-sports betting agenda in the Sunshine State. Some claim that Disney was afraid that sports betting companies would affect their budget and that the tourists would prefer visiting sportsbooks rather than Disney venues.
However, Disney did not stop there when it comes to their effort to stopping gambling deals and activities. As soon as they acquired Fox, they put a stop to a deal that the newly-bough company arranges with Resorts World Genting, a casino company from Malaysia.
Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer for The Walt Disney Company, stated in his update for February earnings that the company would not get involved in any type of sports betting or gambling businesses. Furthermore, he added that it would not “facilitate gambling in any way.” He stated that ESPN could go on and provide updates related to sports that bettors would be able to use and that there was nothing to be shy about it. However, according to Iger, providing relevant information for bettors and getting into the business itself are two completely different things.
To sum up, it is going to get interesting in the future, and the public is eager to hear The Walt Disney representatives talk about being a part of DraftKings.