In Australia and the Chairman for Aquis Entertainment Limited has reportedly told investors that his firm continues to be interested in redeveloping its Casino Canberra property via a proposed makeover that could run to as much as $256 million.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the revelation came from Tony Fung Wing-Cheung during a conference call with investors to discuss his company’s latest annual financial results. The source detailed that the Sydney-listed enterprise is now planning to reengage with the Labour-led government for the Australian Capital Territory in hopes of ultimately being given permission to refresh the 26-year-old property.
Aquis Entertainment Limited reportedly spent just over $5 million in 2014 to purchase the ageing Casino Canberra and submitted plans the very next year that was to have seen the venue transformed via the addition of two hotels, luxury shops and high-end restaurants as well as a revitalized gaming floor featuring as many as 500 slots. However, this plan was ultimately denied in December of 2018 owing to regulatory uncertainty and financing issues in addition to local laws that forbid the enterprise from operating that many slots.
However, Fung reportedly told investors that his company ‘remains committed to the redevelopment of the property’ and that the post-coronavirus recovery of Canberra represents ‘the greatest opportunity’ to carry out such a renewal. This purportedly comes after Aquis Entertainment Limited balked at a counter offer from the government that was to have allowed a new-look Casino Canberra to feature up to 200 slot machines and 60 electronic gaming machines that were to be subject to strict conditions.
Fung reportedly declared…
“We will be holding discussions with the government this year to discuss the conditions in place with regards to the redevelopment and electronic gaming machines. We are looking forward to the opportunity to deliver to Canberra the kind of world-class entertainment precinct that our capital city deserves and to creating many new employment opportunities and further securing all existing roles within our business.”
Fung reportedly earlier described the planned Casino Canberra redevelopment as ‘a once in a lifetime tourism infrastructure opportunity’ and reiterated this stance last week by pronouncing that the proposal ‘still forms part of our longer-term strategy for growth in Canberra’. This comes after the operator divulged that it had manage to reverse an earlier $3.1 million deficit to record a full-year profit for the twelve months to the end of December of approximately $620,000.