Bob Chapek Said Disney Will Never Take Sports Bets, But That’s Only Half True

ESPN bets
Credit: Disney
ESPN bets

Credit: Barret Sports Media

At D23 last week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that he had big plans for ESPN. He was unspecific at the time but that was enough to get the rumor mill started. There has been a lot of buzz ever since about the possibility of ESPN taking bets but Bob Chapek says no, kind of. While it’s true that he has said that Disney will never take bets he has a plan to circumvent that which would mean that ESPN will take bets but that it would not do so under The Walt Disney Company name.


Credit: Deadline

About betting Bob Chapek said, “We at ESPN have the ability to do that. Now we’re going to need a partner to do that, because we’re never going to be a book, that’s never in the cards for the Walt Disney Company. But at the same time, to be able to partner with a well-respected third party can do that for us.” So Disney isn’t going to take bets under the Disney name but…Disney is going to take bets.

Disney responds to Dan Loeb

Credit: CNBC

These comments came in response to activist investor Daniel Loeb publicly stated that he believed The Walt Disney Company should “spin off” ESPN because it would be easier for another party to run a sports book. After Bob Chapek’s comments Loeb reversed his position on Twitter saying, “We have a better understanding of ESPN’s potential as a standalone business and another vertical for $DIS to reach a global audience to generate ad and subscriber revenues.We look forward to seeing Mr. Pitaro [Disney’s Chairman] execute on the growth and innovation plans, generating considerable synergies as part of The Walt Disney Company.”

What do you think about the possibility that ESPN could soon take bets on sporting events? Is this a change you’d welcome or would you rather the sports channel remains apart from gambling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.



About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.