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Australia – Aquis accuses ACT government of 17 months of silence

By - 20 April 2018

Aquis Entertainment CEO Jessica Mellor has said the Australian Capital Territory government stayed silent for 17 months over plans for the company to invest AU$330m into the redevelopment of Canberra Casino.

The government has given Aquis one month to finalise its proposals for a project that will allow it operate 200 slot machines in the casino.

Ms Mellor said: “Aquis lodged the detailed business case for the project in June 2016 and did not receive advice from the government for some 17 months. Legislative changes, passed in late 2017, require a thorough process to be undertaken to determine the impact of such significant regulatory and land use restrictions as those imposed. Aquis has advised the government that this process is ongoing, and, as part of that, their input will be required to clarify a number of outstanding issues.

“Aquis remains committed to pursuing the company’s vision of delivering a world class project that will contribute significant urban renewal and economic development benefits to Canberra and will continue to work with the Government to progress their plans.

Aquis had wanted to install 500 slot machines at Canberra Casino but the government agreed in May 2016 to let it operate 200 slot machines and 60 electronic table games. The government wants Aquis to buy 300 slot machine licenses from local clubs, forfeiting 100 of them, and then installing 200 machines.

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