MGM Resorts International, one of the largest casino and hotel companies in the world, is hopeful that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will soon allow in-person and online gambling in its region, potentially as early as 2023. With rumors swirling about a potential change in the UAE’s longstanding ban on gambling, MGM Resorts is cautiously optimistic about the prospect of expanding its business in the region.
Current UAE Gambling Laws
Gambling is currently strictly prohibited in the UAE due to its Islamic culture, which forbids any activity involving luck or chance, including casino online betting. The UAE is committed to upholding its reputation as a family-friendly destination for tourists and is concerned about the negative impact that gambling can have on its image, as well as the religious standing of its citizens. As a result, it has banned all forms of gambling, including online casinos, sports betting and lotteries — and has stringent penalties for violators.
Are Things Set To Change?
The most popular city in the country, Dubai, already hosts a Caesars Palace, built by casino giants MGM Resorts International. As such, MGM remains hopeful that the country will reconsider its stringent gambling laws, with CEO William Hornbuckle optimistic that the matter will at least be considered within the course of the year.
Further rumors were enticed when the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah announced a deal with Las Vegas stalwart, Wynn Resorts, to develop a multibillion-dollar property on Al Marjan Island, which explicitly included plans to develop “a gaming area.” What exactly that entails remains to be known, but according to Wynns Resorts, its goal is to recreate the Las Vegas Strip in the UAE.
The Benefits and Potential
While the UAE is home to many luxury resorts and attractions, the lack of gambling options has often been considered a disadvantage. Should the UAE greenlight gaming in 2023, this could mean a major boost for the country’s tourism industry. Furthermore, legalizing gaming could mean increased revenue for the UAE government, which could then be used to fund various social programs and infrastructure development projects.
Despite these potential benefits, there are also concerns about the possibility of doing so. Any legalization, therefore, would need to be done carefully and with proper regulation.
The potential legalization of gaming in the UAE is an exciting prospect for many. MGM Resorts International and other gaming companies are watching this development closely and are hopeful that the UAE will soon allow gambling in the country.