Aquis Entertainment has been asked to redevelop Casino Canberra in a month or face risk of losing modification rights. The local media outlets such as the Canberra Times have reported that the government has asked the company to wrap the investment proposal by May 14th.
The entertainment company based in Hong Kong made a $330 million bid 3 years back to redevelop Casino Canberra. The earlier plan was setting up 500 poker machines. Aquis Entertainment also wanted to set up several luxury shops, cafes and bars. Owing to changed government laws led to restrictions on pokies machines and since then things have started slowing down.
Aquis was allowed to set up only 200 pokies machines instead of 500, after changes were made to government laws. Coupled with this, the fact that the company will have to pay for 300 device licenses and forfeit 100 made things worse.
The newest financial reports show $13.8 million loss was reported by the Casino Canberra for 2017. So, interest in investing more in fewer poker machines is reduced. The casino lacks a license to offer the poker machines. Aquis executives think 200 devices will not be good enough to surpass financial losses. A company spokesperson said in a recent interview that the government should be realistic in its approach.
Aquis Entertainment bought Casino Canberra back in 2014 and had planned to turn it into a five-star category resort. Local officials were upbeat about chance to boost Australian tourism. The latest developments, however have dampened the upbeat mood to an extent.