United Arab Emirates might grant casino licenses to all seven emirates

6 November 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- A recent report suggests that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is contemplating the issuance of a single casino license to all seven emirates.

This move is targeted at tapping into profitable gaming tourism, while maintaining a degree of control over the industry’s development.

However, there is no assurance that every emirate will opt to utilize its casino license. In particular, Dubai appears to be postponing any plans to introduce casinos.

This was announced after the UAE declared that the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), the main gambling regulatory organization was established. Headed by Jim Murren, the previous CEO of MGM Resorts, has been entrusted with developing a framework for gambling regulations and managing the launch of a national lottery.

Wynn Resorts is now building what will soon be the inaugural integrate resort featuring casino activities. This $3.9 billion project is planned to be ready in 2027 and will be located in Ras Al Khaimah on the artificial island of Al Marjan.

“We are enthusiastic about the awaiting growth in the UAE,” said Bill Hornbuckle, CEO at MGM International Resorts, mentioned in his speech at G2E in Las Vegas. “We anticipate the possibility of 3-4 casinos in the emirates. Each ruler has the autonomy to select their course of action and location. We maintain a positive outlook. Founding an operational gambling establishment in Dubai is a goal, but we take it one step at a time.”

Furthermore, the report indicates that Abu Dhabi is also discovering the chances of presenting casino gaming. Amongst the finest locations under consideration is Yas Island, which is renowned for housing the Yas Marina Formula One Circuit and various other attractions.

In the case of Dubai, its apparent hesitation has not dissuaded MGM Resorts, which is actively putting hard work on a 1,500-room hotel project close to the iconic Burj Al Arab. MGM Resorts has openly expressed its eagerness to incorporate gaming into the development.

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