The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is worried about a Hong Kong billionaire’s bid to buy and build Cairns casinos.
Australia’s competition watchdog has concerns about a Hong Kong billionaire’s bid to own two casinos in far north Queensland.
Tony Fung wants to buy the Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns and build a six-star mega casino resort just 15 kilometres north of the city at Yorkey’s Knob.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it is worried about one person owning two casinos in one city.
“The ACCC is concerned that the proposed acquisition has the potential to deprive customers of the benefits of competition between these casinos,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
He said competition led to promotions, rebates, price reductions and improvements in the quality of service at casino gaming tables.
The Queensland government has given Aquis, a company controlled by Mr Fung, pre-approval to develop a casino at Yorkeys Knob.
The development is in the pre-planning phase and must obtain a number of planning and environmental approvals before building can begin.
The Liberal National Party administration expects to make a final decision on the casino licences next year.
In a related transaction, Aquis is also proposing to buy Casino Canberra from a major shareholder in the Reef Casino Trust.
The ACCC has called for public submissions on the Aquis takeover bids, with a decision due on August 21.