Great Barrier Reef to Have Casino Thanks to Chinese Backing

30th March 2016


A proposed $8.15 billion casino and resort slated for Yorkeys Knob is now even closer to development thanks to an alliance with two Chinese-backed groups to provide financial backing and development. Tony Fung's Aquis Great Barrier Reef casino and resort is a long-awaited project which proposes to transform the coastal strip north of Cairns into an international standard casino, resort and convention centre which will encompass eight hotels with a total of 7500 rooms as well as an artificial lake and golf course.

Aiming to become another of the Great Barrier Reef attractions which will draw in plenty of overseas tourists, the casino and resort is the next project for Hong Kong based tycoon Tony Fung, who also owns the International Beach Resort on the Gold Coast, a string of sites along the waterfront and was poised to do a $160 million deal for the Sheraton Mirage Resort before walking away from the deal in December.

Fung has managed to strike a deal with Chinese state-owned group CCCC International Holding and Chinese developer Tandellen, with formal announcements on their stake in the project expected within a matter of weeks. However Aquis Great Barrier Reef casino and resort is already advancing its alliance with CCCCI and Tandellen with the announcement that the deal has already received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

This comes despite World Bank investigations into corruption on a 2000-2007 CCCC International Holding road project in the Philippines. Although debarred from working on road projects until January 2017, Federal treasurer at the time Joe Hockey expressed his support of the project, stating he was satisfied that the investment is not contrary to the national interest.

Aquis Great Barrier Reef casino and resort will be another jewel in the crown for CCCC International Holding, reinforcing their broader strategy to grow their construction and engineering projects while also diversifying into hotel and residential investments.