Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung, who made headlines last year with plans for a massive casino complex on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, has added the country’s Casino Canberra to a bid announced last year to acquire the Reef Casino in the northern Queensland city of Cairns, not far from his proposed Barrier Reef site.
Fung’s Aquis Casino Acquisitions will spend A$270 million for Reef Casino Trust, the property’s ownership entity, whose partners include Casinos Austria International and hotel giant Accor, and the Canberra property in the Australian Capital Territory southwest of Sydney at the other end of the continent. Casino Canberra is also controlled by CAI.
The Reef Casino board has already recommended shareholders approve the offer. Ninety percent must approve for the takeover to go through. Regulatory approvals and other conditions will also have to be met.
Fung’s plans for his 750-acre, $4.2 billion Aquis Resort at the Great Barrier Reef include five hotels, a casino with 1,500 slot machines and 750 table games, more than 1,300 apartments and luxury villas, a golf course, a 25,000-seat sports stadium, high-end retail, a man-made lake and reef lagoon and one of the world’s largest aquariums.
Wealthy Asians, particularly high rollers from China, are the target market.
He’d like to open by 2018 and says the complex will create more than 26,000 jobs when it’s fully operational.