Empowering Female Voices

By Carl Friedmann
DraftKings’ Jennifer Aguiar speaks to Tim Poole after being appointed the operator’s chief compliance officer, discussing her evolving duties, regulatory challenges and Women’s History Month

How have your duties evolved since joining Draftkings?

Since joining in 2016 as head of compliance and risk, my responsibilities have evolved while maintaining a central focus of ensuring DraftKings is in a position to succeed. Back then, the company was navigating through the emergence of daily fantasy sports (DFS) and the state-by-state licensing and regulatory process. In my role, I was tasked with leading the development of the internal DraftKings compliance and risk programs from the ground up, with the primary goal of instilling a culture of compliance across the business. The framework created has been a critical element in positioning DraftKings to enter new states quickly following the legalisation of sports betting and online gaming. As chief compliance officer, I will remain at the forefront of ensuring the company is prepared on day one to meet all the required standards across the jurisdictions we operate, as we continue to launch new products.

 

How challenging is ensuring compliance in multiple states with varying regulations?

DFS, online gaming and sports betting are all regulated on a state-by-state basis, which makes adaptability of processes and product vital. While each state has varying regulation, at DraftKings we’ve created a flexible, scalable platform for our products, which allows us to adhere to whatever the regulatory construct may be. We’ve been navigating this state-by-state framework since our inception, so it is fundamental to our approach, thinking and operations.

 

During women’s history month, is it fair to say the role of women in gaming is growing?

The amount of women in the gaming industry is certainly growing, but not as quickly as many would hope. I think it’s important that we continue to increase the amount of powerful female voices in the room. As a female in the sports tech and gaming industry, and in the midst of Women’s History Month, I am honoured to be recognised and to take on this new role as chief compliance officer, leading the expansion of the compliance, fraud and payments teams as the company continues to rapidly grow and expand.

We believe the best work and innovation comes from diverse perspectives, thoughts, beliefs, ideas and experiences. We work hard to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging that makes our employees feel safe, empowered, engaged, championed and inspired to be the very best. Personally, I’m excited to be joining our executive leadership team, adding a new and different perspective, and executing on the projects at hand.

 

How do you reflect on women's chances of representation in gaming boardrooms today?

The room is changing. It’s no secret that our industry still has a lot of work to do when it comes to equity and leveling the playing field, but it’s nice to see more females being promoted to executive leadership positions, joining the conversation and sharing their perspectives. I’m proud to say that we have a large number of women in leadership positions throughout the company, which is something I feel largely contributes to our overall success and position as a leader in the industry.

I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors and peers who have invested their time and resources into developing me to aid in my success, and I work hard to foster that same investment into other females both at DraftKings and outside the office.

 

What are your personal goals as chief compliance officer?

Personally, I’m committed, and my team is as well, to ensuring we’re the gold standard in compliance in the industry. In this leadership role, I will represent the many women across DraftKings on the company's executive team, so I look forward to bringing new ideas to further promote the company’s efforts in inclusion, equity and belonging, while also demonstrating that not only is their voice important, it’s essential.

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