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UAE’s Path to Legal Casino Market: A Look at GCGRA’s Impact



Buckle up for an expedition into the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) unfolding narrative towards a legitimate casino market.

As we navigate the “Road to ICE Casino and Games,” the spotlight shines on the pivotal role played by the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA). With significant developments since the 2023 show, this journey promises a glimpse into the UAE’s future as a potential gaming hub.

GCGRA: The Catalyst for Change

In a game-changing move, the UAE ushered in the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) in September 2023, signaling its intent to chart a course toward a regulated casino industry.

Operators Seize the Opportunity

Leading the charge is Wynn Resorts, boldly positioning itself to tap into the UAE’s burgeoning gaming market. CEO Craig Billings envisions the UAE as a groundbreaking new frontier ripe for exploration.

Dawn of Legalization

The UAE’s stance on gambling has been resolute, with stringent penalties for offenders. Yet, the GCGRA’s creation marks a pivotal step toward regulated gambling, sparking curiosity about what lies ahead.


Key Leadership Appointments

The GCGRA boasts distinguished leadership with Kevin Mullally, formerly of the Missouri Gaming Commission, at the helm as Chief Executive. Jim Murren, former MGM Resorts chairman and CEO, chairs the board of directors.

Unraveling Regulatory Questions

The future regulatory landscape remains uncertain, with questions lingering about the possibility of online betting and the GCGRA’s jurisdiction over existing raffles like Emirates Draw and Mahzooz.

A Collaborative Effort

Industry players such as Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) and Eilers & Krejcik Gaming have played instrumental roles in shaping the UAE’s regulatory framework, advocating for federal oversight.

Taxation and Revenue

Plans for a 25% revenue tax on mass market gambling and an 8% tax on premium gaming are part of the UAE’s vision for sustainable revenue streams.


Wynn’s Vision Becomes Reality

Wynn Resorts’ Al-Marjan integrated casino resort, set to open in 2027, marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s journey. With construction underway, Wynn holds high hopes for obtaining the Ras Al Khaimah license.

Wynn’s Strategic Advantage

Wynn Resorts’ early foray positions it as a pioneer in the region. CEO Craig Billings underscores the advantages of being first, heralding the UAE as the “most exciting new market opening in decades.”

The UAE’s pursuit of a legalized casino market unfolds as a compelling narrative, driven by the establishment of the GCGRA and visionary operators like Wynn Resorts. This journey holds the promise of transforming the UAE into a thriving gaming destination, paving the way for an exhilarating future. Stay tuned as we witness history in the making on the “Road to ICE Casino and Games.”


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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