Rather than setting up its own betting platform, the company — officially titled the Walt Disney Company — is planning to become involved with gambling via a partnership with ESPN.
“We’re also moving towards a greater presence in online sports betting, and given our reach and scale, we have the potential to partner with third-parties in this space in a very meaningful way,” said Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek on Wednesday during a conference call, Forbes reported.
The opportunity may present some challenges for the family-friendly company. A former ESPN executive told The Hollywood Reporter that Disney waited longer than its competitors to advertise sports betting firms and still doesn’t place ads for cryptocurrency trading.
This strategic partnership would allow Disney to tap into the betting revenue stream via a convenient third-party. ESPN is owned jointly by Disney and Hearst Communications, with the former holding the majority stake.
“We do believe that sports betting is a very significant opportunity for the company, and it’s all driven by the consumer,” said Chapek, per Forbes.
“It’s driven by the consumer, particularly the younger consumer that will replenish the sports fans over time and their desire to have gambling as part of their sports experience,” he continued.
In March, the company announced another huge sports deal with the NFL that will span ten years. Beginning in 2023, Disney will pay an estimated $2.6 to 2.7 billion USD per year in exchange for the rights to televise its games.
In other sports news, DeMar DeRozan says he thought his Lakers deal during the free agency period was set.