Dubai Likely to Legalize Gambling This Year

MGM Resorts International, a Las Vegas-based entertainment corporation, has announced that gambling will be legalized in Dubai this year.

According to Skift, Bill Hornbuckle, President and CEO of MGM Resorts, expressed hope that the UAE will legalize gambling “as soon as this year.”

MGM Resorts said in 2017 that it will create a resort in Dubai, although the release only referenced the launch of 1,000 hotel rooms and 10 villas, not any casinos.

Hornbuckle stated that MGM Resorts’ owners intend to improve this resort by incorporating gaming. He did, however, highlight that the choice rests with the national government and noted that any developments in this area will be announced by the summer.

The CEO also stated that the business is looking at opportunities for legalizing gaming in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Even though the major focus is on Dubai, Hornbuckle revealed that if Dubai does not pass any rules, he may establish a casino in Abu Dhabi instead.

Even though there is ample room in Dubai for a casino, MGM Resorts is waiting for more development before committing to any location. Hornbuckle stated that legalizing gaming will be up to the governors of each Emirate.

Competitor of MGM Resorts in UAE

Wynn Resorts, another Las Vegas-based corporation, is building a resort on Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), making it a possible competitor to MGM Resorts.

According to Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings, the Wynn-Marjan project would contain an 18,500-square-meter casino when it opens in 2026. The emirate is actively developing gaming legislation based on Singaporean and US norms.

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