Fungs plan “Macau-style” resort
After more than a year of negotiations and regulatory hurdles, it’s official: Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung and his son Justin will buy the struggling Casino Canberra, in the business district of Australia’s capital city. The Fungs will pay AUS$6 million (US$4.9 million) for the property, which has been in decline for years.
Last February, the Fungs’ Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort Group entered into a share purchase agreement to buy the casino from Casinos Austria International. At the time, Justin Fung promised to revive property, telling the Canberra Times, “If successful, we will start working immediately to grow Casino Canberra and start creating tourism and jobs.”
The deal, approved by Australian Capital Territory Racing, Gaming Minister Joy Burch and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, means a major redevelopment is in store for the casino, which will be transformed into a “large-scale entertainment/leisure complex with hotel,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Reuters provided more detail, saying Aquis plans “a Macau-style casino and resort” that is expected to attract more high rollers and international travelers. It will have “7,500 hotel rooms, theaters, conference centers and a sporting precinct with an 18-hole golf course.”
Burch said Tony Fung “demonstrated his delight at the opportunity to invest in Canberra. The sale is a clear demonstration of the interest being shown by overseas investors in Canberra. It is a vote of support for our economy and indeed the Canberra community.”