Australian Gambling – Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung is one step closer to his dream of building Australia’s most lavish resort after winning approval to purchase a neighbouring casino.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this week decided it would not oppose a planned $269 million takeover of the existing Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns by Fung’s Aquis Group.

Aquis also plans to build Australia’s biggest tourist attraction — Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort — at Yorkeys Knob.

The fact that the two casinos are only 15km apart from each other initially drew concerns from the ACCC, but those fears have been allayed.

ACCC commissioner, Jill Walker, was confident that there was likely to be limited crossover between the two operations, staring that the planned resort would attract international VIPs, while the existing Cairns casino would still target local residents and domestic tourists.

“The resort, if developed, would be of a scale that is unprecedented in Australia,” Walker said.