Why Disney Is Backing Anti-Casino Initiative in Florida


Nov. 1 2018, Updated 8:05 a.m. ET

Initiative pits Disney against MGM

Walt Disney (DIS) has spent about $20 million to support a Florida ballot initiative that seeks to restrict casino expansion in the state. If the so-called Amendment 3 passes in the November election, no casinos could open in Florida without first obtaining 60% state-wide voter approval.

Disney’s support for Florida’s Amendment 3 pits it against MGM Resorts International (MGM), which opposes the initiative and has contributed about half a million dollars to the campaign against the amendment. The initiative requires 60% voter support to pass, and there have been intense campaigns around the issue.

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Resorts business accounted for nearly 35% of revenue

Disney is supporting the initiative to restrict casino expansion in Florida because it believes that it would pose a risk to the state’s standing as a family-friendly destination. Disney runs resorts in Florida that cater to tourists visiting the state. Its parks and resorts business contributed more than 34.2% of Disney’s overall revenue in June.

Casinos and resort companies’ revenue growth

Disney’s parks and resorts business generated revenue of $5.2 billion in the June quarter, up 6.0% YoY. MGM Resorts’ revenue jumped 7.9% YoY to $2.8 billion in the same period.

Casino and resort companies Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Marriott International (MAR), and Boyd Gaming (BYD) reported revenue growth of 6.2%, 6.0%, and 2.1% YoY in the June quarter, respectively.

Disney’s parks and resorts business yielded an operating profit of $1.3 billion in the June quarter, up 15% YoY.


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