UAE Launches Federal Authority to Regulate Commercial Gaming in Light of Growing Interest Among International Casinos

The United Arab Emirates has set up a federal authority that will potentially organize national lotteries and administer so-called commercial games, which may indicate the imminent reaction to the growing interest from the international companies, involving major casino operators.

Kevin Mullally was selected as the CEO. Kevin used to run an organization that oversaw river casinos in Missouri, USA.

Describing the authority, WAM said it would: «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.»

It is true that casinos in the UAE, especially in Dubai, are seen as a way to attract tourists and increase income. This is especially true for Emirates, which is based in Dubai and carries a large number of passengers. 

According to a 2004 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, plans to establish a casino in Dubai were put on hold out of respect for the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who served as the country’s first president since reunification in 1971.

Indeed, rumors about casinos in Dubai continue to grow. For example, the ship Queen Elizabeth 2 became a hotel after repairs, and deactivated slot machines remained on board. Also, Caesars opened a similar establishment in 2018. Construction work on projects from the casino companies MGM, Bellagio and Aria does not stop. This may be part of a strategy to develop tourism and entertainment in the region.

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