Hong Kong based Aquis Entertainment invested $14 million into the Canberra casino to give the casino a complete makeover. The company teamed up with Cox Architecture to throw a launch party on June 9th as the casino will open its doors to the public from June 10th. The opening party saw more than 600 guests in attendance and the proceeds from the party were donated to the Ricky Stuart Foundation and the Lifeline Canberra.
The Canberra casino will be run by general manager and vice president Rhiannon Bach who used to work at one of the major casinos in Macau before Aquis Entertainment successfully recruited her to oversee the refurbishment of the casino.
In a statement, Bach said “Quite frankly, this casino is unrecognisable from what it used to. I will be blunt, when I came to this casino from Macau I thought to myself this is the worst casino I have ever seen in my life. But it has potential and the opportunity to do this refurbishment was a chance to create space worthy of the nation’s capital.”
Aquis Entertainment is looking to transform the casino scene in Canberra and has proposed to build a new casino resort along with two new hotels that is estimated to cost around $330 million. The company believes that a mega casino resort in Canberra would help transform the Australian capital, create thousands of jobs and provide a much needed financial boost to the economy.
Aquis submitted its proposal to the ACT government on the understanding that it would be willing to proceed with its $330 million project provided the government would break the exclusive hold that clubs in Canberra had over pokie machines and provide Aquis with 500 pokie machine licenses. The ACT government recently made a decision in favour of Aquis in May 2016 but limited the number of pokie licenses to just 200.
The company believes that this new project will bring in more than 750,000 new visitors to Canberra and a number of these visitors will be VIP gamblers from Mainland China. Bach believes that more international tourists will start visiting Canberra since international flights have now been approved and there are direct flights from Singapore.
Canberra clubs have not been happy with the ACT government’s decision to award pokie licenses to the Canberra casino as they believe it could send a number of clubs out of business and threaten the livelihood of a number of employees who work in these clubs. The Canberra Vikings Group has already decided to move in a new direction after proposing a major development project in the south of Canberra.