Disney Lobbies to Prevent Las Vegas Style Gambling in Florida, Why Are People Shocked?

There is a big article in the Orlando Sentinel regarding Disney’s efforts to lobby the state for items it sees as beneficial to tourism in Central Florida. One of those items is a push to keep Las Vegas style casinos out of Florida, a trend which Disney sees as shifting the focus of travel away from families (Disney’s bread and butter) and toward twenty-somethings (a market for which Disney has very little to offer).

Disney certainly has a right to protect their interests. But also recall that they’ve hedged their bets. When they built the Boardwalk Inn near EPCOT they included some pre-wiring in the plans that would make it very easy for them to add slot machines and other types of gambling there. I’ve heard the same thing for the Swan and Dolphin, however, I hope Disney was smart enough to put something in the contract that would prevent that. But you never know.

Are you for or against an expansion of gambling in Florida? Would you be in favor of Disney opening a casino on property?

20 thoughts on “Disney Lobbies to Prevent Las Vegas Style Gambling in Florida, Why Are People Shocked?”

  1. I would hate to see Disney add casinos on property; that would be inappropriate for them. But I also don’t see how they can keep casinos out of the entire state of Florida if that’s what residents want. If Disney doesn’t have anything to appeal to 20 and 30 somethings, it only has itself to blame.

  2. Is it inappropriate on Disney property? Yeah, but the whole state? Nope. I live in New Orleans, and having a casino right downtown has really revived the whole area surrounding it. They bring in the dough. Dough that Florida needs. And hey, Disney might get bumps up on their babysitting services if parents pay for it for a few hours so they can take a run at a nearby Casino so there are ways they can vicariously benefit without having it on property. But I disagree that Disney has nothing to offer 20 somethings. Food and wine fest is spectacular, and my 20-somethings sister and her friends travel there every year just for it (during a time of year when disney is slow cuz school age kids are in…. ya know… school.) do they need more events like that? could be cool, espcially during slow seasons to fill the gaps.

  3. The other issue is that Vegas-style gambling can be done anywhere in the state, and on the relative cheap; that impacts the whole Orlando area and WDW, regardless of whether Disney adds slots to the Boardwalk, etc.

    Are 20-somethings the most common casino gamblers? Even if so, and even if Disney had something specifically to draw in that demographic, Vegas casinos in Florida could only be competition of the sort Disney would naturally be against seeing.

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  5. In every home there has been, is and will be a kids’ room. And no adult ‘bar’ in the parents’ room or living room can detract from the special place of the kids’ room.

  6. As a “20-something” myself, I know that Disney has plenty to offer me. People think we flock to Universal Studios because of their thrill rides- but, I’d take Expedition Everest and Space Mountain over other Florida coasters any day.

    I think that Disney, in this case, should really look at cruise lines. Tons of cruise lines have casinos in them, yet are still deemed as “family cruises”. I have been on plenty of cruises, and I haven’t heard a single person complain about casinos on a family cruise. And, trust me, us 20-somethings are not the ones gambling. Where are we getting that money to gamble? All that is going into college! If anything, casinos at and around Disney World would only attract more money from paying PARENTS.

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  9. Not sure where you heard that about the wiring for potential slots, but Disney is 1000% against any gambling on or near their property and preferably not even in the same state as one of their resort properties. So, the alleged wiring is not factual at all.

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  11. Not new to me… Disney and Universal has always told they are against Casino gambling in Florida. Had they forgot that the only ones that are allowed to operate Casinos in Florida are the Seminole Tribal’s owned Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, South FL? Also, did Disney and Universal forgot the legislation that was passed back in 2005-06 that mandated the use of slot machines, inside the local Parimutuel facilities in South Florida? In fact I don’t need gambling or slot machines to be placed in the Theme Park areas of Central Florida. I would ban the use of slot machines in both Orange and Osceola Counties. Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, Lake and Polk Counties may also ban or not the slot machines, but keep them out of the theme park area.

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  13. I would be very unhappy if gambling ever came to Walt Disney World. I doubt the accuracy of the wiring for the Boardwalk Inn. If Disney really had a desire for gambling, it would be offered on their cruise ships — and it’s not!

    I know that when a new Hyatt Regency Resort was built in Maryland, EVERYONE said that the place was wired for slots, but now that slots are legal, there aren’t at the Hyatt.

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  15. Hey, if I were Disney, I’d be looking into this as a possible solution for their Pleasure Island problems… but then, this is coming from one of those 20-somethings. ;-)

  16. If Disney was to have gambling, it would need to be placed at the intersection of the Westway and 429. Currently, there is nothing built there. While on property, it would be far enough away from all the attractions and hotels. It would have excellent access to Interstate 4 and to the Florida Turnpike via 429.

  17. Disney should clearly position themselves as an Amusement Company and not an entertainment company and clearly differentiate themselves from the other ‘hospitality business’ companies. This will clarify its stance on certain issues or its opposition to accepted norms of entertainment.

  18. I would like to see something happen with DTD, I get the fact that noone was hanging out in the clubs anymore so it wasn’t cost effective to keep them open, but how about putting some adult places, that families can still go to if they want but are closed to only adults at night….. Senor Frogs is always a popular bet in touristy areas.

    1. Although I must add that the new bowling lanes will be a nice addition, a place for families to play, and a good place for adults to have a drink if they choose.

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