Disney, which for many years has battled against the expansion of casinos in Florida, is ending a number of licensing deals which are viewed as hypocritical to the anti-gambling stance. The company will no longer licence Marvel and Star Wars characters for use in slot games and lottery tickets.The announcement coincides with the Florida legislature preparing to address the issue of whether Las Vegas-style casinos should be allowed in the state. The Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista draws 52.5 million visitors each year and Disney is worried that gambling will hurt the state’s family-friendly brand.
While Disney is anti-gambling to the point of not having casinos on their cruise ships, Marvel continued signing licensing agreements after it was bought by Disney in 2009 for $4.6 billion. A Marvel spokeswoman said that the last deal was made two years ago and the company has “discontinued plans to initiate or renew slot machine licensing arrangements as part of its integration with Disney.” Those that remain will be allowed to expire.