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Aquis granted Canberra extension as Justin Fong quits

Saturday, 19 May 2018 18:49
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Australian-listed Aquis Entertainment has been granted an extension by the ACT government to the original 14 May deadline to submit a revised proposal for its planned multi-million dollar expansion of Casino Canberra.

But the company will have to complete any such proposal without one of its key directors after Justin Fung – the son of Chairman Tong Fung – announced his resignation last week. Fung will focus instead on the family’s horse breeding business in Queensland and New South Wales.

In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange, Aquis said it had been granted an “undefined extension” to a recent request by the ACT government to submit plans for its Casino Canberra expansion by 14 May or risk losing the opportunity.

Aquis announced in 2015 plans to spend AU$330 million on a major redevelopment of the Casino Canberra precinct, including building two new luxury hotels as well as world-class dining and shopping outlets. That bid, which centered around permission to operate 500 slot machines on premises, was rejected with the government instead offering 200 slot machines and 60 electronic table games in mid-2016, subject to certain strict conditions. Casino Canberra is not allowed to operate any slot machines under current law.

Negotiations had since slowed to a standstill until April when a government spokesperson announced the new deadline for Aquis to submit its revised proposal.

Aquis stated in its latest filing that it “remains committed to pursuing the company’s vision of delivering a world class project that will contribute significant urban renewal and economic development benefits to Canberra and will continue to progress their plans.”

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