Does Mickey Mouse Have a Gambling Problem?

Written by Jason Simpkins
Posted November 26, 2021

Look, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Mickey Mouse isn't the sweetheart everyone thinks he is...

I know we all loved him as kids, but as you get older you start to see things in a different light, a harsher light even. 

For example...

You might not be aware of this, but Mickey Mouse is a known counterfeiter.

Just look at this...

disney dollar
People say cryptocurrency is worthless, but then what the hell is this?

For decades this bozo has been running a money-printing operation parallel to the Federal Reserve and no one says anything about it.

And just like the Fed and the U.S. government, Disney is actively devaluing its currency. No, folks, Disney dollars don't go as far as they used to.

I hear park-goers are practically pushing them around in wheelbarrows at this point.

disney dollars inflation

Of course, that's neither here nor there.

I just wanted to establish that Mickey Mouse is no stranger to sordid affairs before moving on to his next racket.

You see, Mickey's top henchman, Bob Chapek, who serves as puppet-CEO of The Walt Disney Co., recently laid it all out on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call.

"We're also moving toward a greater presence in online sports betting," Chapek said. "And given our reach and scale, we have the potential to partner with third parties in this space in a very meaningful way... Suffice to say, we continue to see enormous opportunity in sports and all of this, the rights deals, our innovative programming and the flexibility achieved through our DTC business, which saw ESPN+ subscribers increased by 66% over the past fiscal year alone."

Indeed, as the proprietor of ESPN, Disney has a very enticing entry point into the sports betting market. And that market is growing quickly.

Sports betting revenue surged 53% last year to $237.5 million, according to the American Gaming Association. And that's just the official market. There's more money still to be lured out of the shadows.

And the industry as a whole could be worth a staggering $43 billion by 2025, according to research firm H2 Gambling Capital.

That's the direction this is going. Like the cannabis market, sports betting is having a bit of a moment. It's being embraced by the mainstream, rather than shunned.

It wasn't always that way. Leagues used to politely ignore gambling — fearful that any interaction with betting would jeopardize the integrity (or the perceived integrity) of their respective sports.

But that's no longer the case.

To the contrary, the NBA and the NFL have even gone so far as to integrate gambling advertising into their programming, giving prominent placement to sportsbooks companies like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars Entertainment.

The same, now, is true of Disney.

Just two years ago, former Disney CEO Bob Iger was quick to dampen any speculation that Disney would make this kind of move.

And even now, I'm seeing speculation that getting involved with gambling might not suit Disney.

"Sports betting might be a significant opportunity, but also a potentially big headache," Hal Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital Management, told Sportico. "This is already an area of tremendous competition, and Disney is already starting from behind many others. Also, mixing reporting at ESPN with betting operations might eventually lead to conflicts of interest."

My opinion differs, however.

I don't think Disney is going to have any problems with gambling. There's plenty of room at the table, and the open secret in America these days is that no one really cares about "conflicts of interest" anymore.

Of course, that doesn't mean Disney is the best way to play the rise in sports betting — though it will certainly help accelerate the market's growth.

If you want to know how best to play this trend, then you should check out Jimmy Mengel's latest report.

He's done extensive research on the subject and can tell you everything you need to know.

And unlike Mickey Mouse, Jimmy's no rat.

Fight on,

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Jason Simpkins

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Jason Simpkins is Assistant Managing Editor of the Outsider Club and Investment Director of Wall Street's Proving Ground, a financial advisory focused on security companies and defense contractors. For more on Jason, check out his editor's page. 

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