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UAE Establishes First Gambling Regulatory Board

As part of its efforts to legalize casinos and lotteries, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has established a federal agency to control commercial gambling. UAE Gambling Regulatory Board

The government-owned Emirates News Agency (WAM) confirmed the information on September 3. The General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) is the name of the recently established authority.

It pledged to establish a “world-leading regulatory framework” for commercial gaming and the national lottery in the United Arab Emirates, which is increasingly poised to become the first Gulf nation to legalize gambling at land-based casinos.

The UAE has named Jim Murren as the authority’s chair and Kevin Mullally as its chief executive, indicating that it wants to use US gambling and gaming talent for its new regulator.

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.

Kevin Mullally

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Although UAE government representatives have stated that there are no immediate plans to legalize gambling, casino owners are growing more optimistic that a shift is being explored as the nation works to maintain its status as a top tourist destination.

The emirate has already seen an influx of newcomers and tourists largely stemming from its handling of the pandemic and attractiveness as a wealth haven.

The introduction of casinos could further boost its tourism sector — a key pillar of the emirate’s economy — that’s been booming and escaped much of the geopolitical and economic uncertainty elsewhere in the world.

Omar Tamo, Reporter Bloomberg

After unveiling plans to create a $3.9 billion integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE’s second-largest city, the US casino giant Wynn Resorts anticipates “soon” receiving a license from the regulator.

For the UAE, where Islam serves as the primary foundation for legislation, allowing and regulating gambling would be a significant change. Islam forbids gambling, which is currently outlawed in the nation and punishable by a fine or a two-year prison term. UAE Gambling Regulatory Board

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