Contrary to CEO Bob Iger’s calims that the Walt Disney Company, certainly in the near term, will not get involved in the business of gambling, the company in fact owns a significant interest in DraftKings, the company that directly facilitates sports gambling.
A part of the Walt Disney-21st Century Fox deal also includes an interest in fantasy sports and sports betting platform DraftKings.
The deal indirectly is done even as Iger had claimed in February this year that “I don’t see The Walt Disney Company, certainly in the near term, getting involved in the business of gambling, in effect, by facilitating gambling in any way. I do think that there’s plenty of room, and ESPN has done some of this already and they may do more to provide information in coverage of sports, as a for instance, that would be relevant to and of particular interest to gambling and not be shy about it, basically being fairly overt about it. But getting into the business of gambling, I rather doubt it.”
A DraftKings spokesperson has reportedly revealed that a stake in the company that Fox had acquired in the process of a 2015 funding round is now transferred to Disney, which owns the stake through its subsidiaries.
According to a legalsportsreport.com, DraftKings has not moved alongside the Fox Sports Networks, as Disney sold them to Sinclair Broadcasting earlier this month. Disney had acquired the regional sports networks in the original Fox deal, but had to divest as part of the terms.