12:20pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Report: Disney Quietly Ends Marvel, 'Star Wars' Slot Machine Deals
For those of you who like to mix your obsessions by gambling on slot machines decorated by characters from Marvel Comics or Star Wars, you should enjoy it while you can. Disney has announced that it will not be renewing existing licensing deals that allow either Marvel or Lucasfilm properties to be used in connection with any form of gambling.
Disney has been famously anti-gambling for some time, from preventing its cruise ships from housing casinos (in opposition to the industry norm) to campaigning to prevent the expansion of casinos throughout the state of Florida, arguing that gambling hurts the state's family-friendly reputation. That two such high profile Disney properties as Marvel and Star Wars are currently visible on slot machines seems hypocritical at best -- a charge that Disney hopes to avoid by publicizing that current, pre-Disney deals will not be renewed.
The New York Times reports that Marvel will allow existing licenses for its characters to appear on slot machines to lapse as part of its Disney buyout. "Marvel discontinued plans to initiate or renew slot machine licensing arrangements as part of its integration with Disney," the newspaper quotes a Marvel spokesperson as saying, adding that the few remaining license agreements will expire "within the next few years."
Additionally, the NYT notes that Marvel no longer licenses its characters out to state lotteries, and existing Lucasfilm license agreements for slot machines will also be allowed to lapse. The decision not to renew agreements for either company, it's reported, "had been made recently." Fanboys! Time to look into buying some of these slot machines while they're still around. Think of the future collectability!