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Australia's Crown sells out of Vegas

2 min

Sydney (AFP)

Australia's Crown Casino said Monday it had finalised the sale of its interest in a Las Vegas site it had formerly earmarked for a casino.

Crown's majority-owned Alon Las Vegas Resort sold its stake in a piece of land on the Vegas strip for US$300 million to American gaming giant Wynn Resorts, Crown said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Mogul James Packer's Crown will take about US$264 million of the proceeds, the statement reads.

With revenues from Chinese high rollers waning, Crown last year shelved plans for an expansion into the lucrative Japanese market and has sold its stake in Macau's Melco joint venture, concentrating instead on its Australian operations.

The casino operator is undergoing a revamp after 19 current and former employees were held for 10 months in China on charges of luring rich Chinese to Australia. They were released last August, but the case hurt Crown's high roller revenues.

Anti-corruption laws in China prohibit organising gambling activities overseas for its wealthy citizens.

Crown is now focusing on its casinos in Melbourne and Perth, and developing a Aus$2.4 billion (US$1.9 billion) gaming resort in Sydney which Packer has called the "most important building built in Australia for a long time".

Shares in Crown were down 0.08 percent Monday to close at Aus$13.06.

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