Mitch Garber is a real life, rags to riches story. At one point in life, he was broke and borrowing money to pay for school supplies. Flash forward decades later, and he’s now one of the wealthiest men in the gambling industry.
Garber just received a generous payout of $210 Million from Caesars Entertainment Corp for his recent success with the online division of the company. Garber heads up online gaming for Caesars and pulled off what could be one of the biggest deals in the company’s history.
In 2011, Garber convinced former CEO, Gary Loveman to purchase a small startup social-gaming company called Playtika. Playtika specialized in social games like slots on Facebook. At the time, Playtika was bringing an annual revenue of $10 million and had a dozen employees.
After hearing Garber out, Loveman and the board agreed to buy Playtika for $110 million and invest another $140 million in similar avenues, bringing their total investment to $250 million. Playtika is expected to make $400 million this year and is now one of the largest players in that market. Playtika is most known for Slotomania; a free slot game that can be played on Facebook.
So why would a company that is trying to restructure its debt pay $210 million to their online CEO?
In the summer of last year, Caesars sold Playtika and its subsidiaries to a Chinese consortium for $4.4 billion. Proceeds from the sale helped Caesars to restructure debt and cease bankruptcy plans for their main entity.
Much of Garber’s payday came in the form of shares held in Playtika ($40.3 million). And cashed-equity ($168.3 million). A meager $1.7 million was earned in salary and bonuses directly from Caesars.
Garber’s success comes as no surprise to some. The Canadian-born CEO worked as a lawyer for various gaming firms as a consultant in the past. He once ran PartyGaming Plc prior to joining the team at Caesars in 2009.