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Proposed Cairns "Mega" Casino

Cairns "Mega" Casino Becoming a Reality

Written By Carla Harris

Cairns

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently joined government officials from the State of Queensland to green-light plans for a multi-billion-dollar casino and entertainment resort near the tropical tourist destination of Cairns. Dubbed the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort, this “mega” casino is the brainchild of Hong Kong businessman and billionaire investor Tony Fung, who is embarking on the project with hopes of attracting legions of big-spending Chinese gamblers to Northern Australia.

Although Mr. Fung’s holding company, Aquis Reef, already owns and operates a casino in the Greater Cairns Area, ACCC officials anticipate little crossover with the new mega-casino. Aquis’s existing casino caters primarily to local residents and domestic vacationers who typically make low-stake wagers. The proposed Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort, by contrast, will focus on attracting VIP tourist customers from overseas. ACCC Commissioner Jill Walker has released a statement saying that the new Aquis resort, if developed, “would be of a scale that is unprecedented in Australia.”

Located roughly 13 kilometers north of Cairns in the beach community of Yorkeys Knob, the planned project is slated to include nine luxury hotels with a combined total of 7,500 rooms, 1,200 apartments, 135 villas, a 25,000-seat sports stadium, one of the largest aquariums in the world, a full-service convention and exhibition center, a 13-hectare reef lagoon, an 18-hole golf course, a number of theaters, and plenty of high-end retail shopping. Of course, the resort will also feature extensive, state-of-the-art gambling facilities with approximately 750 gaming tables and 1,500 gaming machines.

Committed to protecting the Greater Cairns region and helping it thrive, Tony Fung is proceeding with all relevant social and environmental safeguards firmly in place. The Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort will provide area residents with roughly 9,300 long-term construction jobs and 10,000 permanent positions upon completion. If all goes according to plan, the mega-casino will open its doors sometime in 2018.

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