“I Don’t Think It’s an Issue”: Bob Iger Isn’t As Opposed to the Chapek-Era Gambling As You Think

disney gambling bob iger

Bob Chapek, the former CEO of Disney, left the company amidst controversy and with a significant severance package several months ago. Since then, Disney has experienced major transformations, including a reorganization of top-level executives and extensive layoffs that affected thousands of employees. The Walt Disney Company appears determined to bury the Chapek-era for good… but maybe not everything from the Chapek-era.

Bob Iger Bob Chapek

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek and current Disney CEO Bob Iger / Credit: ABC

Related: Here Lies “Chapek-Era Disney”…

Disney CEO Bob Iger recently gave an interview to TIME magazine, which has been making the rounds. Iger addresses the fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and compared himself to the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs—a comparison unsurprising for any Disney fans who’ve read his biography, “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company.”

But that’s not all he shared. Iger also spoke on the betting entity that ESPN has invested in.

bob chapek espn

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke on the future of ESPN

Related: Bob Chapek Talks Bringing Gambling to Disney

TIME asked Mr. Iger about ESPN investing $250 million in DraftKings, the sports betting outfit, while Disney has also taken off Marvel characters from poker machines.

Bob Iger’s response was simple when asked directly, “Is gambling something that Disney is interested in investing in?”

The popular Disney CEO responded, “Not really.” Iger elaborated that the move is more of an attempt to increase engagement on the platform without having viewers and users leave the app while watching their chosen sport.

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“Partners” statue in front of Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

However, when the interviewer astutely pointed out Mr. Iger didn’t seem too thrilled about the decision, the Disney CEO clarified, “I was probably on the more conservative side about [Disney’s involvement in sports betting] for a long time. But I’ve changed because I think the acceptance of sports betting has grown significantly.”

He added that Disney isn’t directly causing bets to be made; in trying to serve its customers, Disney is connecting consumers to companies that allow them to do that.

Iger concluded succinctly, “I don’t think it’s an issue.”

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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