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Australia's Crown Resorts signs several deals to cut debt

[SYDNEY] Australian casino operator Crown Resorts said on Thursday it had signed several deals to divest assets to cut debt, including selling interest in a site on the Las Vegas Boulevard for US$300 million.

Crown Resorts has been retreating from a decade-long foray into Macau, the other big global gaming hub, amid a broader Chinese crackdown on corruption. In May, it quit its remaining stake in Macau-focused Melco Resorts and Entertainment, freeing up cash to pay off debts.

Last week, the casino operator was slapped with a class action lawsuit for allegedly failing to inform shareholders of a marketing campaign in China that resulted in staff arrests and a slump in the share price.

The company, part-owned by billionaire businessman James Packer, said it expects gross proceeds of US$264 million from the sale of the Las Vegas site to a unit of Wynn Resorts Ltd .

Separately, it said it will sell two floors at the Crown Sydney Hotel Resort to Packer for US$60 million.

Crown will also sell part of its interest in the property and operations at Ellerston, New South Wales, for US$62.5 million to Consolidated Press Holdings Pty Ltd and another entity associated with Packer's sister.

It also confirmed talks with online betting firm CrownBet regarding the sale of a 62 per cent interest, together with loans advanced by Crown, for US$150 million.

In addition, Crown said it intends to sell 4.2 million shares in casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp, valued at about US$54 million.