Latest News

Back to Latest News back


ACCC won’t oppose Aquis’ casino plan

ACCC won’t oppose Aquis’ casino plan
August 22, 2014

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of the Reef Hotel Casino (Reef Casino) in Cairns by Aquis Reef Holdings.

Aquis' plans to develop a major integrated resort and casino at Yorkeys Knob 15 kilometres north of Cairns would see the city having two casinos,

In a related transaction, Aquis also proposed to acquire the Canberra Casino from one of the main unitholders in the Reef Casino Trust.

Explaining the agency's decision, ACCC Commissioner Jill Walker explained “the ACCC carefully reviewed the proposed acquisition by Aquis of the Reef Casino because it has the potential to reduce the future number of casino owners in Cairns from two to one."

“However, the ACCC’s investigations suggested that there was likely to be limited competition between the Reef Casino and the Aquis Resort in the absence of the proposed acquisition.

“Development of the Aquis Resort is still at an early stage, and is conditional on a number of factors. Nonetheless, the ACCC understands that the resort, if developed, would be of a scale that is unprecedented in Australia. The total expenditure required to develop the first stage alone would be over $5 billion.

“The ACCC was satisfied that, if developed, the Aquis Resort will focus primarily on international VIP customers because the size of its proposed investment would require a much higher return than could be obtained from non-VIP customers.

“In contrast, the vast majority of the Reef Casino’s customers are non-VIP Cairns residents and domestic tourists, making bets at relatively low stakes. The Reef Casino makes most of its revenue from gaming machines, rather than from table games.”

The Aquis Resort is currently one of two proposals shortlisted by the Queensland Government for the award of up to two casino licences as part of regional integrated resort developments. Facilities at the Aquis Resort would include eight hotels, high-end retail shopping, an aquarium, two theatres, and convention and exhibition facilities.

The Queensland Government is expected to make a final decision on whether the Aquis Resort will receive a casino licence in 2015.

Gold Coast businessman Michael King has been appointed to project-manage Aquis' development

King was the co-founder of MFS, the financial services and leisure company that collapsed spectacularly in 2008 with debts of about $3 billion.

MFS subsidiary MFS Living and Leisure owned and operated leisure properties including the Mt Hotham and Falls Creek ski fields and the Melbourne Aquarium.


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


AUSTRALIAN MADE. BUILT NOT BOUGHT. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


Pico Play

Pico is a global leader in Total Brand Activation. We specialise in engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. Leveraging a track record in experience design that spans half a…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Venues



Mattioli provides award winning painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. We’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning…

read more

Aquatics / Recreation / Safety



Humanforce is a global provider of workforce management solutions for companies who need flexibility to manage complex workforces. Companies use Humanforce to manage everything from time and…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Technology / Venues



Lander & Rogers' Sports Business Group is the leading sports law practice in Australia, representing over 150 national and international sporting bodies. Our clients include international…

read more




Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness


HTS Group Ltd

HTS Group Ltd provides a complete design, system integration, installation and maintenance package to the transportation, traffic engineering, parking and sports timing industries in New Zealand,…

read more

Aquatics / Events / Sport / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business