Sports betting is no longer taboo, and this is apparent by Disney’s latest announcement. The global entertainment leader recently declared it would be looking to expand into legal sports betting. This means you could be finding NFL odds live on a Disney themed sportsbook in the future.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek recently declared Disney has a significant opportunity in sports betting. This came as a shock to the system for the industry because Disney has always been a mainstream corporation. The thought of the company even speaking of legal sports betting in 2021 when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was eliminated in 2018 would have been crazy.
Nevertheless, in Disney’s mind, there is room for legal sports betting and fairytales. It will be a complicated process for Disney to maintain its fairytale image with sports wagering, but the lucrative upside is worth the challenge.
The Sports Betting Boom
The reason sports betting has gone from a taboo industry to one of the largest in the United States in a short period is because of the demand. There is a massive demand for sports betting, which has generated a significant chunk of revenue for the parties involved.
The American Gaming Association stated that in October 2020, there were over $3 billion placed in sports bets. Fast forward one year to October 2021, New Jersey had a handle of half this amount on its own. The total revenue for sports betting in 2020 was $237.5 million, up 53% from 2019.
The 2021 mark is expected to be leaps and bounds above this number when the year concludes. By 2025, sports betting will be worth $43 billion, so the Walt Disney Company is looking to get involved.
Fairytales may make a lot of money, but sports betting could be an excellent addition, ensuring Disney stays on top in multiple sectors of the economy. DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars currently own a majority of the market, but Disney could quickly enter the fold with enough financial investments.
The Walt Disney Company owns ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports. This will be the primary way Disney gets itself into the wagering fold throughout the United States.
Disney and Sports Betting
Disney plans to enter sports betting through ESPN. If ESPN could incorporate sports betting the correct way, it will print money in the industry.
Chapek stated, “Strategically, sports betting gives us the ability to appeal to a much younger sports fan who has a very strong affinity for these sports. So it’s definitely a place we want to be. It is all driven by the consumer … particularly the younger consumer that will replenish the sports fans over time. They desire to have gambling a part of their sports experience.”
Disney has already made multiple partnerships, and the largest was a $3 billion deal with DraftKings. There are other reports that ESPN+ will play a role in an exclusive sportsbook for the company.
All ideas are on the table, but the sure bet is that Disney is finding its way into sports betting.