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UAE Establishes General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority to Pave the Way for Gaming and Lottery Industry

Home / Latest Developments / UAE Establishes General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority to Pave the Way for Gaming and Lottery Industry

In a notable development, the UAE has taken a significant step towards introducing a regulatory framework for a national lottery and commercial gaming by creating the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA).

The GCGRA’s establishment signifies a significant move towards allowing gambling activities within the country, and its aim is to oversee and regulate this burgeoning sector. To lead this endeavor, Kevin Mullally, formerly the executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission, has been appointed as the CEO of the GCGRA. In his role, Mr. Mullally expressed his commitment to establishing a robust regulatory body and framework for the UAE’s lottery and gaming industry.

While it’s important to note that gambling is currently prohibited in the UAE, several authorized raffles, such as Mahzooz (formerly known as Emirates Loto), offer substantial multi-million dirham prizes to participants.

In addition to these developments, the UAE has long been rumored to be opening its doors to casinos, with Ras Al Khaimah set to host the first establishment in 2027. This 18,500 square meter casino will be part of the Wynn resort on Al Marjan Island.

According to UAE news agency Wam, the GCGRA’s primary objective is to create a socially responsible and well-regulated gaming environment. It will oversee licensing nationwide, aiming to unlock the economic potential of commercial gaming within the UAE.

The GCGRA has also appointed Jim Murren as its chairman. Mr. Murren, a former chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, brings extensive expertise from the casino industry to his role.

In recent developments, Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings anticipates the group’s gaming license for Ras Al Khaimah to be granted “imminently.”

Research conducted by real estate consultant Knight Frank in June revealed that the upcoming Wynn resort and casino could significantly influence property investment decisions in the emirate. Nearly one-third of high-net-worth individuals surveyed indicated an increased interest in investing in Ras Al Khaimah. While no specific plans have been unveiled yet, 42 percent of respondents in the survey anticipate further casino developments in the country.

In June, David von Rosen-von Hoewel, the entrepreneur behind the global lottery betting platform Lottoland, expressed confidence in eventually being able to offer the service in the UAE. His optimism is reinforced by the UAE’s progressive steps, including plans for Ras Al Khaimah’s first casino, signaling a shift in regulations. We, at Al Kabban & Associates, eagerly anticipate sharing the forthcoming laws, legal framework and regulations governing the gaming and gambling industry in Dubai and the UAE

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