Tony Fung Abandons Great Barrier Reef Casino Resort Bid
Hong Kong tycoon, Tony Fung, has given up on his plans to build a casino in Cairns. Citing unstable global casino conditions, the billionaire has abandoned his $8 billion, six-year bid for a Great Barrier Reef Casino Resort and will focus instead on a luxury hotel complex in the Cairns region.
The $8.15 billion development was expected to transform Cairns by attraction around a million visitors per annum, creating thousands of jobs and injecting billions of dollars into the economy.
In April, he pulled out of the Integrated Resort Development process, but did not rule out the possibility of a casino development in Cairns at a later date. At the time, the company planned to focus on its hotel development project. Now; however, Aquis has confirmed that they will no longer be applying for a casino license and Mr Fung has announced that he is in the midst of advancing negotiations with the State Government and Cairns Regional Council for land development approval.
“My original concept was casino-led,” stated Mr Fung.
“But the whole casino industry is not the same as it was 26 months ago. It has been six years and lots of time, money and effort on my side, but the market has changed.”
“Cairns is still one of the most beautiful tourist destinations on earth. In Yorkneys Knob, the potential for development is secure; now it is in real estate.”
With Aquis’ decision to withdraw from the casino license application process, an opening for a new license application now exists in Queensland. The government has made it clear that Aquis will be eligible to apply for the casino license if it becomes available in the future; however, they will not be granted “preferential consideration”.
March 23, 2017