The chief executive officers of Nevada’s six largest casino operators collected more than $110 million combined in total compensation last year, according to Equilar.
Steve Wynn, former chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, topped the list with $34.5 million in cash and stock.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson ranked second with $26 million, while Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora pulled in $23.9 million.
MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren collected $14.6 million and was the only one among the four top casino executives to see a drop in compensation from 2016.
Murren’s compensation still beat the median pay package for CEOs of U.S. public companies, which was $11.7 million, according to Equilar.
Las Vegas casino operators are coming off a strong year driven by revenue growth in Macau and at home. That helped the companies achieve earnings targets that triggered executive bonuses. Executives often receive the majority of their pay in stock.
Macau gross gaming revenue surged 19 percent last year to $33 billion, the Chinese peninsula’s best result since 2014. Wynn Resorts, Sands and MGM have operations on Macau. Closer to home, Strip revenue per available room rose 2 percent last year to $126, while Strip gaming revenue inched up 1 percent.
Wynn Resorts’ top three executives — Wynn, Matt Maddox and Kim Sinatra — earned a combined $72.6 million last year, double the total for the top three executives at any other gaming company. Sinatra, Wynn Resorts’ general counsel and one of the most powerful women in the industry, earned $13.2 million, about five times the average for people in a similar position, according to Equilar.
She collected nearly double the pay of Penn Nation Gaming CEO Tim Wilmott, who oversees the second-largest U.S. casino operator by properties.
Maddox, who was president of Wynn Resorts last year, earned more than Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, both of whom took in slightly less than $22 million. Maddox replaced Wynn as CEO Feb. 6.
Boyd Gaming Corp. CEO Keith Smith earned $8.6 million, while Red Rock Resorts President Richard Haskins pulled in $5.1 million. A rising Nevada population and falling state unemployment are helping drive revenue growth for locals casino operators like Boyd and Red Rock.
The improving fortunes at Las Vegas casino operators hasn’t gone unnoticed by workers. Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 are seeking a pay raise as they negotiate a new five-year contract with several casino operators, including Caesars, MGM and Boyd.
Resort workers will not be “left behind” as companies make “record profit,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary union, said in a statement this month. Union workers this week gave their negotiators the right to call a strike at 34 resorts if they don’t reach an agreement with operators.
The highest-paid U.S. CEOs last year:
— 1. Hock Tan of Broadcom — $103.2M
— 2. Leslie Moonves of CBS — $68.4M
— 3. W. Nicholas Howley of TransDigm — $61M
— 4. Jeffrey Bewkes of Time Warner — $49M
— 5. Stephen Kaufer of TripAdvisor — $43.2M