Lawmakers in Florida are preparing to discuss expanding casino gambling in the state. It would be a boon to the tourism industry, which is one of the most important parts of the state’s economy. However, not every major player in Florida’s tourism industry is keen to see lawmakers create the opportunity for more casinos to set up shop in the state. In fact, Disney is fighting fiercely to ensure that it doesn’t come to pass.
Disney has long been one of the most important parts of the state’s tourism industry. Its Disney World and Epcot Center properties in the state were the catalyst to make Orlando one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
These are family-friendly tourist destinations, and Disney does not want to see expanded casino gambling cast a shadow upon their sunny image as the perfect place for families to spend their vacation. However, some critics are accusing Disney of playing both sides of the court on the issue.
The problem that these critics have is that there are many ways that Disney is already profiting off of the forms of casino gambling that are already legal in the state. There are casinos within minutes of Walt Disney World that are already contributing to the company’s bottom line.
Disney owns the rights to Marvel Corporation, which is the creator of iconic comic book characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Disney also recently acquired Lucasfilm, which holds the rights Star Wars. There are many casinos in Florida that have slot machines that use Marvel and Star Wars characters as draws for players. These slot machines are putting money in Disney’s pocket, which makes some critics wonder how serious Disney is in the fight against casino expansion in Florida.
As well as slot machines, many of the Lucasfilm and Marvel characters are used to promote lottery tickets across the nation. This includes in the state of Florida. With all of these toes dipped into the gambling pool, it is safe to wonder if Disney is prepared to take the plunge into casino gambling at the same time that they are publicly speaking out against it.