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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sportsbooks are flummoxed over what to do about the lack of sports events.

Why it matters: 2020 was supposed to be the year that sports betting really took off, with many more states expected to legalize betting in coming months.

Now that sports are being cancelled across the globe due to the coronavirus, sportsbook operators are looking for contingency plans.

  • "These are unprecedented times to be sure," said Joe Asher, CEO of UK-based sportsbook operator William Hill, in an interview with Axios.
  • "Obviously the timing was pretty bad, coming right before the NCAA tournament, and basketball and hockey being on hiatus," says Asher. "But this too shall pass."
  • "A lot of industries are being hit and this is one of those industries that's being disproportionately impacted."

What's next: Asher says that William Hill, like most companies, is focusing on making sure that its employees that work in casinos are safe.

  • From a business perspective, he says the company is focusing on sports that are not cancelled yet, or ones that are still being played without live audiences, like certain fights, rugby and Mexican soccer.

Yes, but: From a business perspective, Asher says William Hill isn't thinking big about esports from a betting perspective just yet.

  • "We've done a few esports things in the past and I think given this slowdown, it's something we'll look at, but it's modest in the overall scheme of things.

Go deeper: Media companies eye sportsbook partnerships to juice engagement

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.