Gaming Analysts Expect UAE To Introduce Some Gaming Regulations Before Dec 2023

Gaming Analysts Expect UAE To Introduce Some Gaming Regulations Before Dec 2023 September 19, 2023 September 19, 2023 Carolyn Dutton
 General September 19, 2023 by Carolyn Dutton

United Arab EmiratesSummary:

  • JP Morgan analysts expect some form of gaming regulation from UAE by the end of the year
  • Analysts expect more news once the gaming regulator is established
  • Wynn and MGM are optimistic they will be authorized to run a casino in the country

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) could come up with some form of gaming regulation by the end of 2023, following the recent establishment of a gambling authority in the country, according to analysts at JP Morgan Securities LLC.

UAE Gaming Regulations Could be in the Pipeline

JP Morgan analysts believe these developments in the UAE could signal more big news in the months ahead, including the potential introduction of new gaming regulations required for the issuance of gaming licenses.

For Wynn Al Marjan in particular, UAE authorities are expected to facilitate the process considering the massive benefits that the development can bring to the country’s tourism and economy as a whole, JP Morgan analysts stated in a recent note. The licensing process must also move at the same pace as the financing of the project, they added.

Recent Gaming Developments Suggest Bigger News is Coming

There have been significant gaming developments in UAE in recent months, with US-based casino operator Wynn Resorts unveiling more details about its planned integrated resort project in Ras Al Khaimah, “Wynn Al Marjan Island”, named after the island where it will be built. The $3.9 billion casino complex is projected to open in early 2027.

Wynn Resorts runs multiple properties in the US and also in Macau via its Chinese subsidiary, Wynn Macau Ltd. During the company’s Q2 earnings call in August, CEO Craig Billings indicated that Wynn could be granted a gaming license in UAE “imminently”.

Meanwhile, another US-based gaming group with an ongoing major project in UAE, MGM Resorts International, also expressed optimism that it can obtain the necessary permits to run a casino in the country. MGM is involved in a resort project in Dubai which was initially planned as a hotel-only development.

MGM CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle stated at a recently held investment event that the project could be expanded to include a gaming venue, though he refused to provide a timeline.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the UAE had set up a gambling authority called the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), led by gaming industry veterans from the US. Former MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren was appointed chair of the new regulatory body, with Kevin Mullaly of Gaming Laboratories International serving as CEO.

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world