Back in 2014, Aquis Entertainment purchased Casino Canberra, as a way to get into the Australian gambling market. The following year, the company submitted a proposal to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government of the changes that they wanted to make to the casino.
In their proposal, Aquis wanted to have 500 poker machines installed in the casino. However, this did not sit well with the Act government. After a lot of discussions, the two parties agreed to have 200 poker gaming machines at Casino Canberra. Nonetheless, Aquis was still disgruntled by this decision because they intended to use the revenue from the 500 poker gaming machines to finance the expansion.
Aquis Entertainment never followed through with the changes that were agreed on. In recent developments, the ACT government has now given the company a month to finalise the proposed expansion. A spokesperson for Aquis has said that the company is reconsidering the redevelopment.
The redevelopment proposal for Casino Canberra was submitted to the ACT government in June 2017, and it was estimated to cost $256 million.
Upgrades to the casino included six-star villa rooms, a shopping mall, a day spa, seven restaurants, a nightclub and a five-star hotel. Aquis estimated that these upgrades would draw a further 750 000 visitors in the region per year.
Apart from the poker machines, the company also wanted to add 60 table games. With the decision to cut down the number of poker gaming machines the casino has, it seems Aquis may reconsider their plans to go ahead with the expansion.
The attorney general, Gordon Ramsay, said that this expansion of the casino is important because the government plans to reduce the number of poker machines at their local casinos. The aim is to reduce it from 5000 to 4000 in the next coming years.