Why Fungs shelved the Cairns re­sort

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Scott Mur­doch

AQUIS has blamed the Asian gam­ing down­turn and the fall in cashed-up Chi­nese gam­blers vis­it­ing Aus­tralia as the re­sult of stricter chi­nese gov­ern­ment con­di­tions for its move to per­ma­nently shelve its multi-bil­lion-dol­lar Yorkeys Knob casino de­vel­op­ment.

Aquis Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Justin Fung, the son of Hong Kong bil­lion­aire Tony Fung, said the casino mar­ket in Asia had slowed dra­mat­i­cally in the past year and there were few signs that a turn­around was im­mi­nent.

“We had pro­posed the de­vel­op­ment at Yorkey’s Knob but un­for­tu­nately that project is on hold for the time be­ing,” he said.

“At the mo­ment, we are work­ing on some new de­vel­op­ments plans.

“What was fea­si­ble then is not com­pat­i­ble with the gam­ing mar­ket in South­east Asia and Aus­tralia.”

Mr Fung said the Chi­nese gov­ern­ments’ gam­bling crack­down un­der Xi Jin­ping’s ad­min­is­tra­tion had the big­gest im­pact on re­gional wa­ger­ing lev­els was.

“The [Cairns] project would have been pitched to­ward tourism,” he said.

“We are still in­cred­i­bly bullish on Chi­nese tourism in the fu­ture,” he said.

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