In 2014, we – Star Wars Report – featured an article titled “Star Wars Original Trilogy Themed Slot Machines.” The Trilogy was some of the first few slot machines that carried commercially licensed games from Lucas Films. Unfortunately, they will be discontinued in 2017.
People who used to play these Marvel-themed and Star Wars slots in actual casinos are unsurprisingly disappointed by the news. Even Penny Slot Machines, a site that features new slot games, was confused by the move.
“This is very odd, because the ‘Star Wars’ slot was incredibly popular, often with lines waiting to play them,” the website explained. “The reason why it’s difficult to find star wars slots in casinos is not clear, but perhaps they were charging the casinos too much money to have them installed and the machines went to Asian casinos that are prepared to pay more to have the most advanced technology on the slot floor? Who knows?”
There is, however, a real reason for the pull out and its all down to Disney and its acquisition of the Star Wars franchise.
Disney, which purchased all the rights to LucasFilm for over $4 billion in 2012, is using its reputation and influence to fight plans for new casinos in Florida, which is unofficially the most family-friendly state in the U.S.
Disney has always been steadfast against gambling, preventing its commercial cruise ships from having even the slightest form of gambling to promoting casinos in any of its animated films and games.
However, Marvel and Star Wars games are still featured on some hosting sites. The Wolverine game, for example, is still be featured on the UK-based gaming portal Betfair. Disney explains that the Star Wars and Marvel-themed games that are still visible online are under contract. When these contracts expire, they will not be renewed.
A spokesperson from Disney said that the decision to completely remove slot machines carrying the company’s recently purchased brands has been known internally for quite some time now. However, it was only last year when the news became public.
“Marvel discontinued plans to initiate or renew slot machine licensing arrangements as part of its integration with Disney,” said the spokesperson. “The handful of remaining license agreements have expiration dates within the next few years. LucasFilm would follow suit, though it might take several years for branded slot machines to disappear altogether.”
Casinos, however, assert that Disney doesn’t dislike gambling per se but is fearful of the intense competition in the industry.
“Disney’s internecine warfare against integrated resorts in Florida under this pretence demeans them significantly,” said Michael Leven, a spokesperson for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.
Las Vegas Sands is eyeing Florida as a potential place for a new casino.
The purchase of Lucasfilm gives Disney rights to put a family-friendly touch to every new Star Wars film. The success of Rogue One has silenced critics who mentioned in the past that Disney could destroy the direction of Lucas’ magnum Opus.Powered by Sidelines