Caesars Approves Pay Raises for Executives Amid Pandemic

Following the merger of Eldorado and Caesars, Caesars approved pay raises for five executive employees.

Caesars’s Board of Directors Approved Managerial Salary Raises

Following the merger by Eldorado and Caesars, Caesars has set a plan for pay raises for the company’s management. Earlier this week a Compensation Committee meeting approved that five of the company’s executives will be receiving pay raises. Document filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission shows an insight on the raises which were approved:

  • CEO Tom Reeg’s salary will be increased to $2 million from $1.6 million in 2019
  • Chariman Gary Carano’s salary will be increased to $1.4 million from $1.1 million
  • COO Anthony Carano’s salary will rise to $1.3 million from $1 million in 2019
  • CFO Bret Yunker’s salary will be increased to $1 million, from $750,000
  • Chief Legal Officer, Ed Quatmann’s salary was $600,000 and will increase to $750,000

The Compensation Committee approved these adjustments based on the advice and recommendation of its independent compensation consultant after taking into account the market competitiveness of the named executive officers’ compensation packages following the merger,

reads the document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As a reason for the increase in salary and bonus incentives, the company pointed out the increased roles and responsibilities of the executives. Here, it is important to mention that following the megadeal merger, a new regional gaming giant was created in the US. Under the name of Caesars, the giant is managing 52 properties in 16 U.S. states.

Difficult Time for the Gaming Industry

The COVID-19 spread in the U.S. and the consequent shutdown of many businesses was a heavy hit for multiple industries. The gaming industry across the country was also impacted. Most states, ordered a shutdown of their casinos and other entertainment venues back in March. Now, looking at data from the American Gaming Association, we see that 843 commercial and tribal casinos have already reopened. On the other hand, some 147 commercial and tribal venues remain closed.

And although the bigger part of operators have returned back to business, most venues are operating under reduced capacity. Besides the reduced capacity, the operators are following additional health and safety guidelines. Those guidelines were introduced by each state’s local authorities in order to reduce the spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19. With that in mind, thousands of jobs were placed at risk and many furloughs and layoffs were announced in the last few months.

Turning our eyes to Caesars once more, there is high chance that the idea for a pay raise was introduced before the COVID-19 pandemic. Cited by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, UNLV’s College of Hospitality, associate professor Toni Repetti said: “Had it not been the times we are in now, I am not sure anyone would think this is out of line.” She continued by outlining: “Unfortunately, this deal is coming down at the same time as COVID, and in times like this when they are cutting jobs … it looks bad.

In that line of thoughts, professor Repetti said that the merger may have pushed the pay raises. Whenever a major merger or acquisition is taking place, many companies choose to introduce pay raises for their managerial staff. This is done in order to keep them in the organization, Repetti added.

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