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DraftKings’ Sportsbook Operation Expands via Hiring Spree and Office Openings

Less than two weeks removed from launching the first online sportsbook in New Jersey, daily fantasy sports (DFS) leader DraftKings pushed forward with efforts to capitalize on the post-PASPA era.

In a statement issued on August 14, DraftKings announced the opening of a new office in San Francisco, with a second office opening in Las Vegas to follow at a later date.

Additionally, DraftKings revealed the hiring of three new employees who possess previous experience in the sports betting industry – Jamie Shea, Frank Kunovic III, and Sean Hurley.

Matt Kalish – a DraftKings’ co-founder who serves as the company’s chief revenue officer – offered the following comments in a press release:

“The bar for hiring talent at DraftKings is set extremely high, and our success in being first to market in New Jersey with mobile sports betting is the direct result of our skilled team.

I am excited to welcome this new group of executives, while expanding the company to San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Presence in these international hubs of technology and gaming, respectively, allows us access to a tremendous talent pool and strengthens our position as leaders in this dynamic industry.”

Trio of New Hires Bring Wealth of Sportsbook Experience

Shea – DraftKings’ new head of digital sportsbook operations – spent more than a decade in Las Vegas climbing the sports betting industry ladder, where she worked as race and sports supervisor for venues like the Flamingo, Venetian, and Stations Casinos. Her previous position with International Game Technology (IGT) saw Shea serve as Sports Betting and PlaySpot Specialist from October of 2016 until July of this year.

Kunovic – the new director of retail sportsbook operations for DraftKings – spent the last 15 years serving in the same role for Caesars Entertainment. During that tenure, Kunovic supervised the sportsbook operations for more than 20 bet shops located in Nevada casinos like Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Harrah’s, and Planet Hollywood.

Hurley – who takes over as DraftKings’ new head of commercial growth – previously served as the company’s head of sportsbook from February to August of this year. During that time, Hurley oversaw the development of launch of DraftKings’ first sportsbook platform, which went live in New Jersey earlier this month. He also worked with U.K. sportsbook service Amelco from 2017 to early this year, and continues to hold a position with the San Francisco-based Sports Data Labs.

Bay Area Office Opening Follows Boston Expansion

One week before the San Francisco and Las Vegas offices made headlines, DraftKings announced chief marketing officer Tom Goedde and chief product officer Andy Yang. Both will be based in Boston, the city where DraftKings’ headquarters have been located since the company’s founding in 2012. Per a press release, DraftKings expects its Massachusetts-based workforce to expand by 75 percent over the next year, so the company is in the process of constructing a new 105,000-square foot headquarters slated to open early next year.

And while DraftKings’ first foray into sportsbook operations is limited to online and mobile betting in New Jersey, the company is keen on entering the brick and mortar market as soon as possible.

To that end, DraftKings forged a partnership back in July with del Lago Resort and Casino to operate that venue’s sportsbook – provided New York passes legislation to regulate sports betting.

Jason Robins – the chief executive officer and co-founder of DraftKings – provided the following comment on the del Lago deal:

“New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators and we are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience, both at a physical sportsbook and on mobile when permitted.”