10 Women Rising in Gaming

January 2023

Lauren Bates

Hometown: Mentor, Ohio

Current position: Vice President of Game Sales – Western Region at Konami Gaming

First position in the gaming industry: Executive Coordinator at Konami Gaming. I will be starting my 17th year with Konami this summer.

Did you apply for work in other industries?

I interned as a writer for NPR and worked at a small upscale fashion company my senior year at Ohio State. After graduation, I applied for numerous sales/marketing positions.

Do you think it was easier to find a job in gaming than other career paths?

At the time I graduated from college, Ohio was experiencing a pretty significant brain drain. And many graduates were relocating out of state for opportunities (keep in mind at the time Ohio did not have approved gaming, which has since changed). I came across gaming while on vacation visiting a friend and was amazed at the number of opportunities, overall excitement, and earning potential. The opportunities seemed endless and the growth potential unlimited.

What do you like about working in gaming?

I love working with the people and since day one, every day has been different (there’s never a dull moment). Whether it’s internal or external customers, every day brings a different challenge and opportunity to work with people on all sorts of projects and initiatives.

Did anything surprise you about the industry when you first started?

I was surprised at the magnitude of the business (and the significant expansion potential throughout the US & internationally. And while it was big business, it appeared to be such a close-knit group of people.

Were you familiar with gambling before landing a job in the industry? What were your thoughts about it before starting to work in gaming? Has your impression of the industry changed at all?

Outside of a couple of trips to Las Vegas and playing video poker with my grandma on cruise ships, I was not. Looking back, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m so thankful I took the leap of faith on this great industry to move to Las Vegas and start my career in gaming. I am a passionate advocate for the gaming industry. It continues to evolve, grow, and be more exciting than ever as we enter 2023.

Can you envision making a career in the gaming industry? What are your long-term goals?

I have already had an incredible career in the gaming industry and look to forward to many more years in senior leadership. I hope to make a significant contribution to the advancement of women in the industry through my executive roles at Global Gaming Women (currently 1st VP and will be President starting January 2024) and aspire to sit in the C-suite of a major gaming provider or operator.

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