SportsJam with Doug Doyle: DraftKings Head of Sportsbook Digital Jamie Shea

Jan 27, 2020

Jamie Shea is DraftKings Head of Sportsbook Digital.
Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO

With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, sports betting is expected to be at an all-time high in states like New Jersey.

 Gov. Phil Murphy signed New Jersey sports betting into law in June of 2018, and the first legal bets were place three days later.

DraftKings is a global sports technology and entertainment company that believes life is more fun with skin in the game.  It was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Boston, MA but last June DraftKings unveiled its new office space in Hoboken, NJ.

SportsJam host Doug Doyle recently sat down with DraftKings Head of Sportsbook Digital Jamie Shea to talk about the growth of the company and her introduction into the sports betting industry.

She says she has more than 65 people working at the Hoboken office.

The DraftKings offices in Hoboken, NJ opened in June of 2019.
Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO

"It's a big business.  It takes a lot of work.  We have a fraud team here making sure everything is on the up and up, reviewing everything that goes up.  We have a compliance team to make we are following all the regulations.  We have our CRM team which is working with data to say what did people like on the site?  We want people to stay engaged and keep betting on the site.  Then we have a whole team that is also looking to see do we have the right content up there?  Do we have enough content up there?  Is there another bet we could put up there?  What line could we put up there?  We have our whole team just really working together to make sure that DraftKings is the best it can be.  People have been clammering to work at DraftKings because it's an amazing place to work."

DraftKings Sportsbook Digital offices are in Hoboken, NJ
Credit DraftKings

Why have sports betting been so successful and why is it growing in New Jersey?

"Sports betting is having a little bit of fun, having some skin in the game.  I'm sure everybody has made a bet with their friend, 'I bet you five dollars the Chiefs are going to win the Super Bowl.'  This just takes it to another level.  It's regulated.  We have tools in place to help with problem gaming.  It's just something where we are caring about the customer and we're trying to give them the best content possible.  There's nothing wrong with sports betting.  It's fun.  It makes every game more exciting.  So for me whenever PASPA (The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) was repealed that was a big party day.  I'm really happy New Jersey really pushed for it.  This is great for revenue for the states.  If it's down responsibly, if it's done legally, what we're doing its taking it out of the dark and into the light, regulating it and helping people if they do have issues with problem gaming we have resources available."   

Shea credits for father for getting her hooked on sports betting and the excitement around it.

"My dad is definitely a gambler.  He likes to play poker, he love the horses so he owned some race horses when I was growing up, had a greyhound as well.  So I grew up in Florida.  I remember meeting trainers and going to horse auctions.  I really got into then and really saw how much fun it could be and how exciting it was, but I wanted to be on the business side of it.  I'm less of the better and more the person who wants to see what should those odds be, what does the math say?"  

The Hoboken offices of DraftKings have plenty of sports memorabilia on the walls and desks
Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO

Before moving to New Jersey, Jamie Shea opened and ran several sportsbooks at big casinos in Las Vegas.  Shea says the sports betting industry is not just a man's game anymore.

"I definitely seeing a lot more women involved.  You see it with broadcasters.   Women have always loved sports, it's just now we're being more vocal and we're getting those opportunities.  You know with PASPA being repealed, there's a lot more jobs.  So there's a lot more women who can come in."

Shea says mobile live betting has made a big difference for DraftKings.  The DraftKings Sportsbook app launched in New Jersey in August of 2019 and she says the company has seen an unprecented amount of growth.

To find out more about DraftKings, you can visit their website.

Click above to hear the entire conversation with Jamie Shea and find out what kind of Super Bowl bets can be made.