Disney is reportedly working on a deal with several big-name sportsbook operators in the U.S. Sources claim that such a partnership would be valued at upwards of $3 billion.
It’s like they always say, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll ask for some milk. If you give a mouse a sportsbook deal, he’ll give his brand to whoever can pay for it.”
Or something like that.
How Would Disney Be Involved?
Try not to get your hopes up for a Disney-operated sportsbook. The agreement on the table stipulates that Disney’s involvement would be limited to issuing ESPN branding licenses.
Even so, the possibilities are limitless. ESPN could easily facilitate live-wagering and become the face of sports betting across the country.
Although the multi-faceted family entertainment group has been shy to associate itself with sports betting, they own and operate one of the largest sports broadcasting networks in the world.
With broadcasting in more than 200 countries, a brand new streaming service, and a prime real-estate sports complex, Disney-owned ESPN has a hold on the industry unlike any of its competitors.
Why Is It Important?
The scope of ESPN’s visibility is enormous and, largely, what makes this deal so valuable. According to the Wall Street Journal, both Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings are looking into branding rights from ESPN.
Caesar’s has been expanding in multiple areas, most recently partnering with The Fiesta Bowl Organization in Arizona. DraftKings has also increased its presence in the industry, becoming one of the first sportsbook partners of the NFL.
This potential deal is being kept completely under wraps, with executives from each of the entities refusing to let out a word on the matter.
If Disney decides to move forward on this proposal, it will be a huge deal for the U.S. sports betting industry. Domestic sports betting is already legal in 32 states, but an endorsement from Disney could be the big push to get other states on board.
What Does The Future Look Like?
Nonetheless, it is unclear how far Disney plans on going in terms of its sportsbook involvement. The group already owns over 5% stock in DraftKings and likely has the funds to buy up more of it.
Who knows, Disney could eventually take over the online and mobile sports betting game altogether. While we don’t imagine that Disney would be so gutsy as to set up betting kiosks in their main parks, the ESPN Wide World of Sports would be an excellent location.
As of now, this news is just chatter. Although it should be taken seriously, we do not have enough information to assume this deal will go through. Disney is reportedly asking for a lot of money and these sportsbooks have several other business ventures at hand.
However, if you have a distaste for Disney, there are several other 18+ sportsbooks available at your disposal. Our site has everything you need to find the right fit for you.