Canberra casino reopens after refurbishment

Aquis Entertainment owned Canberra Casino will reopen its doors on Friday after a A$14 million (US$10.4 million) refurbishment aimed at international gamblers, local media reports.

On Thursday June 9, Aquis Entertainment and Cox Architecture hosted an opening party with over 600 guests to celebrate the opening.

“Quite frankly, this casino is unrecognisable from what it used to,” said Canberra casino manager Rhiannon Bach to Canberra Times. “It has potential and the opportunity to do this refurbishment was a chance to create space worthy of the nation’s capital.”

The refurbishment comes amid a A$330 million redevelopment to include one six-star ultra high-end hotel and a 100-suite five-star property extending to six storeys.

As part of the expansion, Aquis lodged a proposal with the government to liberalize the market and allow 500 pokies to be placed in the casino, saying a “full-service gaming model” was essential to attract tourists from Asia. This was approved in early May to the dismay of local clubs and hotel owners.

Hong Kong-based Aquis Entertainment predicts its investment could attract almost an extra 750,000 visitors to Canberra a year including high-end Chinese gamblers.