2017’s Top Gaming Industry Salaries Led by Las Vegas Sands CEO, Sheldon Adelson


2017 was an outstanding year for casino operators from all corners of the globe but the true measure of success in the casino industry has always been the annual revenues of the casinos. Considering how shaky the year has been for stakeholders in the industry, it is quite commendable that they managed to overcome a number of obstacles and antagonists to bring in some hefty compensations both collectively and individually.

Adelson’s Records Standard 400 Percent Pay Rise

Las Vegas Sands CEO and chairman, Sheldon Adelson whose net worth is approximately $32.6 billion had his annual salary bumped up from $1 million to $5 million – when combined with his performance-based bonuses, the billionaire’s compensation package cumulatively amounts to well over $17 million a year.

These figures would have been even better had he not withdrawn the $650 million in funding for a proposed NFL stadium. The venture which was a bid to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas came to an end when the Raiders failed to involve Adelson in the arena’s lease agreement.

Steve Wynn Takes Stock Payout

Wynn Resorts CEO, Steve Wynn hit the jackpot as early as January when his company awarded him with $12.5 million worth of stock of which he immediately sold off $5.2 million. Despite starting off the year so well, Wynn, unfortunately, is still being hounded by some expensive stock issues including a lawsuit by Kazuo Okada, a former Wynn Resorts board member who is suing the company over his dismissal in 2012. Okada says the dismissal saw to the redemption of his 20 percent stake in the company and was orchestrated by Steve Wynn himself.

MGM’s Woes

54-year-old MGM CEO James Murren was also among the casino moguls that earned hefty raises in 2017 – his annual salary bump was of about 25 percent thanks to the new contract he received in October 2016 which saw a significant increase in his bonuses and stock awards despite his base pay remaining the same. This will be unlikely to repeat itself next year owing to the lawsuits that MGM Resorts has been recently bombarded with following a tragic mass shooting that occurred in its Las Vegas establishment. Insurance will cover most of the damages but the aftermath of the corresponding legal and public relations implications will most likely spill over and become a stain on its reputation for a while.

Caesars Entertainment Exits Bankruptcy

It is rare to find a casino mogul taking a pay cut to sustain the development of a company but this is exactly what Caesars Entertainment President and CEO Mark Frissora did last year. Even though his annual salary still came to a whopping $9.5 million, he successfully steered the company out of bankruptcy after three years of damnation. Now, the company seeks to spread its wings in Las Vegas as well as many other lucrative global destinations such as South Korea and Brazil. Many other casino operators have been eyeing Asia and the northeastern United States for 2018 – we can expect to have fierce competition between all the interested parties in this regard.

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