Posted inRegionalNews

UAE progresses towards commercial gaming in 2023

Is this a sign the UAE will soon allow commercial gaming?

commercial gaming

UAE establishes gaming regulator for commercial gaming

The United Arab Emirates has announced a federal authority in order to run a national lottery and “commercial gaming”. Many are speculating that this is a sign the region will soon allow gambling.

The Emirates News Agency, WAM, made an announcement on Sunday about the creation of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority but did not share any information regarding the structure or operations.

WAM said it would “create a socially responsible and well-regulated gaming environment, ensuring that all participants adhere to strict guidelines and comply with the highest standards. It will coordinate regulatory activities, manage licensing nationally and facilitate unlocking the economic potential of commercial gaming responsibly.”

Globally respected regulator Kevin Mullally has been appointed CEO of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority. He has previously served as the executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission. The commission oversaw the United States state’s riverboat casinos.

In a statement, he said, “I am delighted to have been appointed as the inaugural CEO of the GCGRA. With my experienced colleagues, I look forward to establishing a robust regulatory body and framework for the UAE’s lottery and gaming industry.”

In 2022, Ras al-Khaimah announced a multibillion-dollar deal with Las Vegas-based casino giant Wynn Resorts. Authorities in RAK would not directly describe the hotel as having gambling, though Wynn has described the project as involving the “subsequent management of an integrated resort”, which refers to a hotel that includes a casino and other amenities.

Casinos are a rare sight in the Middle Eastern region, but construction work is ongoing involving projects for casino firms MGM, the Bellagio, and Aria. Adding such an activity in the UAE is likely to help boost its profitable tourism industry.

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