United Arab Emirates to legalize casino gambling

In a bid to attract more and more tourists, the United Arab Emirates (led by the emirate of Dubai) announced on Monday the creation of a regulatory authority to control the gambling market in the wealthy Muslim Gulf state. Eventually, the United Arab Emirates should make casino gambling legal, making the territory a major future gambling destination.

A regulatory framework for gambling in the United Arab Emirates

Every year, Dubai welcomes millions of visitors from the four corners of the globe, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East. But there’s something missing to complete the landscape of artificial marinas, towering skyscrapers, five-star restaurants and gleaming sports cars: casinos! Although lottery games do exist in the Emirates, blackjack, roulette and slot machines are prohibited by Islamic law.

The United Arab Emirates, aware of this shortcoming and eager to offer tourists and expatriates everything they ask for, are considering building land-based casinos on their territory. Ahead of this major project, a General Gaming Regulatory Authority has been officially created. For the time being, its role is to set up a formal regulatory framework, as revealed by the Emirates’ news agency, WAM.

Chaired by an American, Kevin Mullally – who has held similar positions in Missouri, USA – the UAE regulatory authority will establish ” an efficient, safe and responsible gaming industry through strict guidelines “explains WAM. It also goes without saying that the local regulator will be responsible for managing the national licensing process, thus facilitating the exploitation of the economic potential of gambling in the country.

What about Wynn Resorts’ gigantic hotel complex with integrated casino?

In February 2022, we informed you that the Emirate of Ras el-Khaimah was planning to build a world-class casino-resort on the island of Al-Marjan. Led by the Wynn Resorts group, the project has not fallen through: the multi-billion-dollar development is due to be launched soon, and coincides perfectly with the Emirates’ desire to launch new initiatives to attract foreign investors and diversify their sources of revenue.

The United Arab Emirates, which now tolerates the cohabitation of unmarried men and women, as well as the consumption of alcohol, is one of the least conservative countries in the Persian Gulf.

Kayleigh Williams