After having met stage one requirements of investment proposal guidelines, Aquis Entertainment Ltd (ASX:AQS) can now submit a case to the ACT Government for its $307 million redevelopment plan for the Canberra Casino, according to Proactive Investors.
Acquired in August of 2015, Aquis has since invested $14 million in the Australian Capital Territory’s first legal casino which reopened on June 10 this year. The Hong Kong-based company believes that transforming the casino landscape in Canberra will help to create jobs and boost the economy, and in addition to other developments has proposed building two hotels along with a new mega-casino resort. Other additions include a luxury shopping mall and new restaurants and bars.
Aquis believes that as many as 617,000 new visitors would be brought in by the new project and that more of them would be international tourists, specifically high rollers from Mainland China, a shift from the precinct’s current business, the majority of which consists of locals.
The proposal was submitted by Aquis with the understanding that it would proceed based on the government’s decision whether or not to break the exclusivity that other Canberra clubs had on slots. And last month Aquis was approved for 200 of the 500 slot machine licenses it had requested. A decision that has not been looked on favorably by Canberra clubs who believe the government’s decision threatens their existence.
Another decision favoring Casino Canberra was recently made by the ACT government when it approved additional automated games at the casino, which many believe will result in the reduction of casino floor staff.
Trading during May at the Casino Canberra’s temporary gaming facility, which the company has been operating since it acquired the casino in August, was steady with GGR reaching $1,562,749. And as of March 31, 2016, the company had a cash balance of $7.7 million.