Times Staff and Wire Reports

MGM Grand to Acquire Australian Casino: The Las Vegas-based hotel and casino operator said it has agreed to take over Diamond Beach Hotel & Casino in Darwin for about $75 million, which includes the assumption of debt. MGM Grand Inc. will purchase the casino from the London-based Aspinall group, which also operates casinos in London and France. Diamond Beach currently has an exclusive casino license in the Darwin area through 1998. MGM Grand said the transaction is contingent upon the exclusive license being extended through 2005 and on other approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed later this spring. MGM Grand shares soared $4.50 to $30.25.

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