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Disney accused of ‘hypocrisy’ in South Florida gambling debate

by  in Comic News Comment

Disney is under fire from a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank for opposing a plan that would allow casino developers to build massive resorts in South Florida, all while the entertainment giant licenses its Marvel comics superheroes to gambling websites.

The Institute for Liberty, an opponent of healthcare reform that characterizes itself as “an aggressive defender of the rights of individuals to pursue the American dream,” has launched a television ad called “Disney’s Dark Side” that accuses the company of hypocrisy: Although the House of Mouse contends it’s “protecting Florida’s family-friendly image,” IFL argues it’s more concerned with these resorts encroaching on Walt Disney World’s market share.

“The truth?” the TV spot’s narrator says. “Disney’s so-called family-friendly image includes profiting from licensing comic book characters to online casinos.”

That’s certainly true. An online search for “Marvel casino slots” brings up countless results — including, plainly enough, Marvel Slots, which provides information on games featuring Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, Captain America, Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four. Blade, Daredevil and Elektra also have their own slots (as you can see in the image above). Of course, it’s not only Marvel: Warner Bros.-owned DC Comics has a deal with Cryptologic for online slots featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Sandman, Watchmen and Green Lantern, among others. There’s also one based on Mike Mignola’s Hellboy.

But neither Warner Bros. nor Dark Horse has a dog, or a resort, in the South Florida casino fight. You can watch the TV spot below.

“DISNEY’S DARK SIDE”: New TV Ad Exposes Disney’s Hypocrisy on Gaming, Doubletalk on Family Values

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2012 — The Institute for Liberty (IFL), a Washington-based advocacy organization, today launched “Disney’s Dark Side,” a television advertisement highlighting the company’s hypocrisy in opposing legislation currently under consideration in the state legislature that would allow for the construction of destination resorts in South Florida while bringing important reforms to Florida gaming laws.

“Disney has taken the public position of being morally opposed to gaming, while quietly profiting from the licensing of cartoon characters to online casinos,” said Andrew Langer, president of The Institute for Liberty. “Disney’s opposition to the construction of new, job-creating destination resorts has nothing to do with protecting Florida’s family-friendly image, and everything to do with protecting its own bottom line and stomping out any potential competition. That goes against the basic principles of free markets.”

Langer continued, “Disney recently laid off 1,400 Florida workers, but is earning billions in profits. Now it’s spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby against job-creating private investments, at a time when nearly one million Floridians are out of work.”

“Disney’s Dark Side” Script:

Why is Disney opposed to a $6 billion investment to help jumpstart Florida’s economy?

They say they’re protecting Florida’s family-friendly image.

The truth? Disney’s so-called family-friendly image includes profiting from licensing comic book characters to online casinos.

And while Disney’s shareholders rake in the profits, they’ve cut 1,400 Florida jobs.

Disney isn’t protecting Florida. They’re protecting their bottom line.

Let’s jumpstart Florida’s economy creating tens of thousands of jobs by allowing destination resorts.

The Institute for Liberty is a non-profit policy organization, involved in grassroots activism. It focuses on small business, entrepreneurship, and federal public policy. You can find out more on the web at http://www.instituteforliberty.org and www.disneydarkside.com.