CFO Compensation in the Gaming Industry


By Keith Kefgen & Erin Freehill

The CFO is typically the second most important role in a public company behind the CEO. That is clearly the case in the gaming industry. As most industry leaders know, Aethos™ conducts a study of gaming CEO pay each year, so we decided to look at the state of CFO pay as well. Our analysis included 33 public gaming companies, that includes operators and manufacturers. The data represents CFO total direct compensation, including base salary, short and long-term incentives and other pay, reported in percentile format and includes cuts at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles for each component of compensation. The raw data is provided here.


The base salary of the group ranged from USD $273,900, at the 25th percentile to USD $721,000 at the 75th percentile. Gamehost’s CFO Mr. Craig M. Thomas had the lowest salary at USD $175,000; in contrast to Ken Barton at Crown Resorts who had the highest base salary of USD $1,261,938. The median CFO salary at USD $437K was higher than the median in both the hotel and restaurant sectors.


Incentive compensation makes up a large portion of executive pay today. Gaming CEOs had over 80% of their median compensation come in the form of incentives. For gaming CFOs it was nearly 70%. Incentive pay for CFOs ranged from USD $189,8321 at the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile at USD $1,946328. James Kohn, CFO from Nevada Gold Casino had the lowest incentive package at USD $22, 324, while in contract, William Clifford CFO of Gaming and Leisure Properties made USD $7,653,615 in incentives.


Total direct compensation is the combination of all components. The total direct compensation percentiles were the following; at the 25th percentile a CFO received USD $471,256 and at the 75th percentile, USD $2,554,020 in total direct compensation. The highest paid CFO in the industry was William Clifford, who received a grand total of USD $8,519,881. In contrast, the lowest paid CFO was Craig M. Thomas who received a total of USD $200,600 a year in direct compensation.

As with our CEO analysis, the size of a pay-check matters but performance is even more important. In our next instalment, we will conduct a pay-for-performance analysis to see which CFOs actually earned their pay, regardless of size.