Jamie Shea Highlights Need for Player Education in US Betting Industry

In the competitive landscape of US sports betting, Strive Gaming’s Chief Marketing Officer Jamie Shea emphasizes the importance of educating bettors about the benefits and availability of in-play betting. Shea, who previously held the position of VP of Sportsbook at DraftKings, shared these insights during an appearance on the upcoming episode of Xtremepush’s podcast, Experts in the Room.

Despite the legalization of online betting in the US (excluding Nevada) over five years ago, with DraftKings leading the way in New Jersey, Shea observes that the full potential of live betting remains largely untapped in the American market. He argues that sportsbooks need to focus on educating bettors to realize this untapped potential fully.

Shea also points out the significance of retaining players, especially those acquired at considerable costs. He advocates for a strategy that prioritizes increased personalization over general, costly bonus schemes. According to Shea, aligning operators’ acquisition budgets with the players’ lifetime values is essential, a trend that is already becoming evident in the industry.

Furthermore, Shea highlights the critical role of Strive Gaming, a US-focused platform provider, in identifying problematic player behavior. This approach is in line with the data-driven strategy for offering personalized services, ensuring responsible gaming practices and long-term profitability in the igaming sector.

“The education of the player is the best retention tool, as it teaches them how to play,” said Shea, speaking to Xtremepush’s New Business Account Executive and podcast host, Will Hansen.

“A lot of the time, customers just don’t even realize that certain bets exist. One of the things that’s driving me crazy right now in the US industry is in-play. Why is that not bigger? Seventy per cent of bets should be in-play, as they are in Europe, because it’s fun and provides instant gratification.

“I would love to see that happen in the US. We need to educate the players on how it works and where they can find it in an app and that’s where push notifications come in. Brands should be doing all they can to let the customer know that hey, there is this wager available, and it’s a lot of fun.

“Every time that I’ve sat down with people and taught them how it works, they love it, and it becomes their go-to.”

“After the first bet on August 1st, 2018, in New Jersey, it was a free-for-all,” she added. “Nobody knew what should be done or how it should be done, just that they wanted as many active customers as possible. And so it was a bonus here, a bonus there.

“Unfortunately, as everybody came to realize, this set the customer up with an expectation that isn’t realistic, because those offers can’t last forever. It also created a lot of promiscuity within the different brands through ‘promo hunters’ and it started to become a race to the bottom. Nobody was profitable.

“Having Strive Gaming and Xtremepush in the US market allows for so much more targeted marketing, so that bonuses aren’t just thrown at everyone. It allows us to look at what resonates with certain player types, as a targeted and measured approach.”

“For me, it’s a very personal topic,” she said. “I grew up with my dad losing his business and that’s because gaming was not regulated. Nobody was texting him and asking him how he was doing back in 1984. One of the great things about having all of this data available is you can look to see, has someone changed their behavior dramatically?

“I’m very cognizant of player interactions with us. Our customer service team is extremely well-trained to notice when certain trigger words, for example, suggest a person might be having a problem. We can’t be their therapist. We can’t know everything they are thinking. But what we can do is provide the right tools to enable people to keep enjoying sports betting and iGaming, in a very responsible manner that isn’t going to affect their lives.”

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