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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In recent weeks, Illinois and New York have introduced bills that would allow in-person sports betting at sports stadiums and arenas — and the Chicago Cubs are considering opening a sportsbook inside and outside of Wrigley Field.

Why it matters: Sports venues are among the most underutilized pieces of real estate on Earth. NBA teams play 41 home games per year, NFL teams play just eight, and when you go to those games, it's not like they let you hang out. Here you have this immaculate structure and they're ushering you out the door.

  • Once in-stadium betting arrives, it could transform the game-day experience, giving fans a place to congregate before and after the game as opposed to, say, the bar across the street.
  • Even those without tickets would likely be drawn to the on-site sports book, which would presumably be accessible from outside and could spawn additional investment in the surrounding area (restaurants, shopping).

Be smart: The teams would outsource the actual bookmaking, as that would be considered a conflict of interest. So they'd basically be operating sports betting lounges. Think TVs, couches and kiosks.

The bottom line: "Imagine Madison Square Garden — in the heart of midtown Manhattan and located atop the busiest railroad station in the Western Hemisphere — repurposed as the world's largest sportsbook," writes The Athletic's Daniel Wallach.

  • "The economic impact of such an arrangement could be a game-changer for states."

Go deeper ... Media companies' newest wager: Their commitment to sports betting

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Aug 17, 2021 - Sports

The sports world's "decacorn"

Expand chart
Data: Crunchbase; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

Fanatics has nearly tripled in value over the last year. Now, the e-commerce giant wants to expand into new businesses like sports betting, ticketing and media.

Driving the news: Fanatics closed a $325 million funding round last week that values the company at $18 billion, making it the world's 12th-most valuable private company, per CB Insights.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 9 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.