Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung‘s proposed Aquis resort in Queensland, Australia cleared a major hurdle after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) dropped its opposition to the group’s planned takeover of the $269 million Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns.
The ACCC initially opposed the purchase on the grounds that Aquis’ buy-out of the Reef Casino would shut down competition between the casino and Fung’s proposed $8 billion Aquis development. But after a thorough investigation, the organization decided to give the deal its blessing.
“The ACCC understands that the resort, if developed, would be of a scale that is unprecedented in Australia. The total expenditure required to develop the first stage alone would be over $5 billion,” Commissioner Jill Walker told the Courier Mail.
“The ACCC was satisfied that, if developed, the Aquis Resort will focus primarily on international VIP customers because the size of its proposed investment would require a much higher return than could be obtained from non-VIP customers,” she added.
In contrast, Reef Casino will focus its attention on luring in locals and domestic tourists who gamble from gaming machines in lieu of the more expensive table games. That leaves out any kind of competition between the two casinos considering that both will target different markets.
Aquis CEO Justin Wong welcomed the ACCC’s decision and promised that the acquisition of Reef Casino would play a big part in the company’s enormous and elaborate plan to turn the Aquis integrated resort into one of the biggest and most prominent gaming hubs in the region.
All systems appear to be running smoothly for Aquis these days. In addition to the ACCC’s decision, the company also hosted a roadshow for potential investors in the integrated resort, including one for China’s biggest companies, the state-owned China Poly Group.
The corporation specializes in international trading and real estate development and has over $67 billion in assets to tap into. But it also recently came under fire when one of its subsidiaries, weapons manufacturer Poly Technologies, was sanctioned by the US State Department for providing weapons to North Korea, Syria and Iran.