The Chinese backers behind the proposed multi-billion dollar Aquis resort on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has confirmed that it will drop plans to include a major casino element, in order to hasten the property’s prospective opening date.
The $8bn (E7.04bn) Aquis Great Barrier Reef resort is being financed by Hong Kong-based father/son duo Tony and Justin Fung. Original plans for the site looked to construct an enormous casino gaming floor alongside a 4,000 room luxury hotel and lagoon park. The gaming element required Aquis to make an Integrated Resort Development application, but local media have quoted Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt as saying that the Fungs opted to omit the casino from their phase one construction plans.
“The government has accepted that the Aquis Group no longer requires to remain in the integrated resort development process to see this development progress,” Pitt said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “I understand that changing market conditions will see a change in the design concept.”
The decision creates an opportunity for other regional contenders to make their own bid on the newly available license. While Aquis has indicated that it will carry forward its casino plans to a later stage of the resort’s construction, the Queensland authority has confirmed that the company will receive “no preferential consideration” when it comes to any future bidding process.