According to state news outlet WAM, the UAE has established a government institution to oversee gaming and has engaged veterans from the US gambling business to manage it.
Years of anticipation that the UAE might legalize gambling, which is outlawed throughout the conservative Gulf area, were put to rest when it was revealed that Ras Al Khaimah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates, will establish a $3.9 billion Wynn Resort (WYNN.O) including a casino.
The plans to legalize gambling come against the backdrop of increased economic competitiveness in the Gulf, particularly with Saudi Arabia. The UAE has implemented a slew of liberal law changes in an effort to preserve its position as the region’s commerce, tourist, and financial centre.
The General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority’s chairman is Jim Murren and chief executive is Kevin Mullally, WAM said.
“With my experienced colleagues, I look forward to establishing a robust regulatory body and framework for the UAE’s lottery and gaming industry,” WAM quoted Mullally as saying.
Mullally was at Gaming Laboratories International for more than 17 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, he was executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission that regulates riverboat gambling. Murren was chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts International from 2008 to 2020, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“The GCGRA will 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,” WAM said.