In Australia, the government for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has reportedly declared that it is only prepared to continue supporting the $257 million plan to redevelop Casino Canberra if the firm behind the scheme agrees to several conditions it laid out as part of legislation passed in November.
According to a Sunday report from The-RiotAct.com, Casino Canberra was purchased in late-2014 by Aquis Canberra Holdings (Australia) Proprietary Limited, which is controlled by Hong Kong-based businessman Tony Fung, with the operator planning to revitalize the property via the addition of hotels, shops and restaurants as well as up to 200 slots and 60 fully-automated gaming tables.
However, the government has now reportedly stated that it will only grant approval for the slots if the firm confirms within one month that it intends to fully implement the redevelopment plan and agree to follow November legislation that would institute AU$2 ($1.55) maximum bet limits alongside mandatory precommitment measures.
“Approval to operate the machines was given on the condition that the casino operators would proceed with their planned redevelopment of the casino precinct in the city’s east supporting a renewal of the area,” reportedly read a joint statement from ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay. “The government has not received critical information required for the process to move forward.”
The-RiotAct.com reported that Aquis Canberra Holdings (Australia) Proprietary Limited has since released a statement declaring that it remains committed to the Canberra redevelopment project in its entirety but that the government may have to wait for more details due to the size and complexity of the scheme.
“The legislative changes, passed in late-2017, require a thorough process to be undertaken to determine the impact of such significant regulatory and land use restrictions as those imposed,” reportedly read the statement from Aquis Canberra Holdings (Australia) Proprietary Limited. “We have advised the government that this process is ongoing and as part of that its input will be required to clarify a number of outstanding issues.”