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Disney cancels plans for lottery game show

Walt Disney Co. has canceled plans to develop a lottery game show, saying that its involvement might be perceived as encouraging children to gamble. The corporation took the step Friday.

Disney's Buena Vista Television unit in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank had planned to develop and distribute the syndicated half-hour lottery show with Lottery Innovations Corp., an industry group with representatives from 22 state lotteries.

Consumer research by Disney indicated that the company's participation might be seen as encouraging children to play the lottery, said Marian Effinger, a spokeswoman for Buena Vista Television.

Peter Lynch, director of the New York State Lottery and a member of Lottery Innovations, said Disney, other lotteries, governors' offices and legislators had received letters complaining that the show might appeal to children.

Effinger said Disney never intended to gear the show toward children.

Meanwhile, Lynch said that his group has talked to other companies about taking over development of the show and expects to sign a new deal this month.

Effinger said Disney might pursue developing a different game show format.