Thursday 31. March, 2016

Tony Fung Dumps Plans for Casino at Yorkeys Knob

Tony Fung has decided against incorporating a casino into his $8 billion Aquis Resort at Yorkeys Knob in Queensland. The developer hopes to move forward with the hotel development, leaving the casino licence available for rival gambling operators.

Last year, Aquis was named as the preferred developer for a casino in Yorkeys Knob. Now, the Queensland government has confirmed that Aquis has cancelled the casino and that they are open to casino licence proposals from other operators.

“The government has accepted that the Aquis Group no longer requires to remain in the integrated resort development process to see this development progress,” stated Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt.

“There’s nothing preventing the future consideration of a casino operation at the Yorkeys Knob development. That would, however, be subject to the availability of the regional IRD licence. But, I have to stress that there will be no preferential consideration for a casino licence in the future if a later application is made.”

A spokesperson for Aquis has said that the developer’s focus is now on the hotel and they will consider a casino at a later date. There has been speculation that Mr Fung may be looking to develop a casino on the Gold Coast, rather than in Cairns, after his deal with Chinese developers CCCC International Holdings and Tandellen to acquire property at Surfer’s Paradise.

Contenders for the Queensland casino licence may include International operators, as well as Australian-listed ASF Group which made a deal last year with the Labor Government for a possible $2 billion integrated resort and casino development on the Gold Coast. The Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts are not expected to bid due to their current projects, including Star’s Jupiter’s Casino on the Gold Coast redevelopment and the casino resort at Queen’s Wharf development in Brisbane.

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