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

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging. Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  4. World: Australian city to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  5. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  6. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Bond investors see brighter days

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. government bonds could breakout further after yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked up to their highest since early June last week.

But, but, but: Strategists say this move is about an improving outlook for economic growth rather than just inflation.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

The dangerous instability of school re-openings

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Schools across the country have flip-flopped between in-person and remote learning — and that instability is taking a toll on students' ability to learn and their mental health.

The big picture: While companies were able to set long timelines for their return, schools — under immense political and social strain — had to rush to figure out how to reopen. The cobbled-together approach has hurt students, parents and teachers alike.