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UPDATE 1-Eldorado Resorts to merge with Caesars Entertainment in $17.3 bln deal

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June 24 (Reuters) - U.S. casino operator Eldorado Resorts Inc has agreed to merge with Caesars Entertainment Corp in a $17.3 billion cash-and-stock deal, including debt, the companies said on Monday.

Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter, reported on Sunday that Eldorado had clinched a deal with Caesars.

Eldorado's offer of $12.75 per share represents a premium of about 28% to Caesar's closing price on Friday and an equity valuation of about $8.54 billion.

Caesars, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2017, operates casinos with the Harrah's and Horseshoe brands.

The company had 53 properties in 14 U.S. states and five countries outside the United States at the end of March, and its long-term debt stood at $8.79 billion.

Eldorado has a market value of about $4 billion. It had long-term debt of about $3.06 billion at the end of March. The company owns and operates 26 properties in 12 U.S. states.

Eldorado and Caesars shareholders will hold about 51% and 49% of the combined company's outstanding shares. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)