Casino Watch Focus has reported many times on Disney’s support of family values and their opposition to gambling. As major battles over gambling expansion unfold, Disney has actively stood firm against expansion in Florida and offered a wide range of support to those who oppose. In an effort to attempt to smear Disney’s image and appear to be hypocritical in their opposition, the New York Times attempted to out Disney claiming they have ties to gambling. The Sunshine State News explains:
Hard to believe for-families Disney could be profiting from casinos, but the New York Times posted a story late Saturday that lays out the “family entertainment” giant’s connection to gambling.
It seems some of the profits from licensing the Amazing Spider-Man and Iron Man slot games you see in casinos across the world come back to Florida’s biggest anti-gambling entity.
In “Gambling Debate Entangles Disney in Florida,” Times writers Lizette Alvarez and Michael Snyder explain that Disney’s piece of the action began in 2009, when it purchased Marvel, its characters and operations. Turns out Marvel has copious licensing arrangements with gambling products, from slot machines to online games to lottery tickets.
At present, Disney-owned Marvel has licensing deals with slot-game makers around the world, with character machines in casinos in Macau, Brisbane, Brussels, Capetown — even Florida.
Disney’s position has remained firm against gambling and they clearly explained that it was their purchase of Marvel that created the connection. They have clearly stated that they have no intention to renew any licensing deals and that once the existing contracts expire, no further link will exist. The Sunshine State continues:
Disney claims its gambling association was unwanted and just came with the deal when it bought Marvel Comics for $4.4 billion on Aug. 31, 2009.
Said the Times, “Asked whether Disney’s ties to the gaming industry, through Marvel, undercut its position on casino gambling, a Marvel spokeswoman said last week that the company planned to shed its connection to slot machines when the various licensing agreements expire. On Saturday, the spokeswoman added that Marvel had signed its last slot machine deal.” It will take a few years for all contracts to expire, the spokeswoman said.
When Sunshine State News asked No Casinos spokesman Michael Murphy in September to explain how the anti-gambling group justifies Disney’s licensing presence in hundreds of casinos, he said, “From a No Casinos standpoint, it’s been widely reported that the Marvel character images were purchased by Disney long after they were licensed by the previous owners to the purveyors of those games.”
Such tactics should probably be expected when a much beloved and influential group like Disney stands up for families and stands in the way of gambling expiation. The issue of destination casinos in Florida is far from over, but Disney’s opposition to gambling is not.
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