updated 9/27/2004 3:15:02 PM ET 2004-09-27T19:15:02

Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and Caesars Entertainment Inc. on Monday said they agreed to sell four casino hotels to an affiliate of Colony Capital LLC for about $1.24 billion.

The sale of Harrah’s East Chicago, Harrah’s Tunica, Atlantic City Hilton and Bally’s Tunica is intended to satisfy regulators ahead of the $9.4 billion Harrah’s-Caesars merger announced in July.

State regulatory agencies and the Federal Trade Commission are reviewing the proposed merger, which is expected to close by mid-2005.

Colony, a private investment firm licensed in gaming, owns Resorts International in Atlantic City and the Las Vegas Hilton. Colony also is a partner in Accor Casinos in Europe.

Proceeds will be used to reduce debt, Harrah’s said.

Las Vegas-based Caesars, which has 28 properties, 2 million square feet of casino space and 53,000 employees, reported 2003 revenue of $4.1 billion.

Caesars’ casinos operate under the Caesars, Bally’s, Flamingo, Grand Casinos, Hilton and Paris brand names.

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