Pre-COVID Pay Restored for Penn National Execs, But 426 PA Employees Not So Lucky

Posted on October 6, 2020 - Last Updated on October 19, 2020

The financial sacrifice endured by top execs at Penn National Gaming due to COVID-19 damage was relatively brief.

As of Oct. 1, the compensation hit is over, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing has revealed. Penn National’s headquarters are in Pennsylvania, as is its flagship property Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse.

Penn also has the Hollywood online casino and now a mobile Barstool Sportsbook live in PA.

Good times not back for everyone at Penn National

While the execs have had their pay restored, it hasn’t meant a return to good times for all of Penn’s employees — or former employees.

As of the end of June 2020, gaming regulators reported that the PA Hollywood Casino employee headcount was down 426 year over year, from 920 employees in June of 2019 to 494 a year later. Table game employees dropped from 256 to just 144. Many jobs will never return.

Pay cuts, stock drop, furloughs

CEO Jay Snowden took a 25% pay cut in April. CFO David Williams and General Counsel Carl Sottosanti both took 20% cuts. According to his base salary (provided below), Snowden’s reduction amounted to over $29,000 per month.

PENN stock dropped below $4 a share in early March, and more bumps followed.

Furloughs idled about 26,000 employees across 41 properties in 19 states during the height of the health restrictions.

Coming back from the brink

But with gambling facilities reopened, the successful rollout of a huge stock offering of more than 16 million PENN shares and the highly touted debut of the Barstool Sports online gaming app, the compensation spigot is back on.

Shares have traded in the $70 range lately.

And recently, the three execs had their base compensation restored.

Additional adjustments

And there are other adjustments, as noted in the SEC filing.

For Snowden:

  • Executive’s new compensation will begin as follows and include: (a) $1,400,000 as base salary and a target bonus of 150% of base salary effective on October 1, 2020, and thereafter; provided that the Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors of the Company shall have discretion to increase the base salary during the term of this Agreement; (b) Executive will be entitled to life insurance in the amount of three times Executive’s base salary which shall be the greater of (i) the base salary under Section 1(a) or (ii) such base salary as approved by the Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors.

For Williams:

  • The Company hereby agrees to employ Executive and Executive hereby accepts such employment, in accordance with the terms, conditions and provisions hereinafter set forth in this Agreement, at the following compensation: $650,000 as base salary effective on October 1, 2020, and thereafter; provided that the Compensation Committee of the Company shall have discretion to increase the base salary during the term of this Agreement.

For Sottosanti:

  • Executive’s base salary shall be $695,250 effective on October 1, 2020, and thereafter; provided that the Compensation Committee of the Company shall have discretion to increase the base salary during the term of this Agreement.
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Kevin Shelly Avatar
Written by
Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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