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JP Morgan predicts soon release of gambling regulations in UAE

September 19, 2023 World Emerging MarketsIndustry Updates

Analysts at JP Morgan Securities LLC anticipate that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will issue some form of gaming regulation before the end of the year. The establishment of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) is responsible for this development. Jim Murren, the former chairman and chief executive officer of MGM Resorts International, is now the chairman of the GCGRA, while Kevin Mullally is the organization’s CEO.

Analysts view these developments as significant due to the executive team’s industry knowledge and connections to U.S. gambling operators and regulatory authorities. They observe that U.S. gambling operators have previously shown interest in the UAE, and recent developments suggest that momentum is developing.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. will manage the $3.9 billion Wynn Al Marjan Island casino resort on Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Marjan Island. The opening of this endeavor is anticipated for early 2027, pending the acquisition of a gaming license. MGM Resorts International also believes it can be granted permission to operate a casino in the UAE, specifically in Dubai.

However, the timing of licensing for Wynn Al Marjan Island remains uncertain, as it involves educating lenders unaccustomed with gambling, which is a new concept in the region. The United Arab Emirates is motivated to streamline the licensing procedure because it brings economic benefits such as increased tourism, employment, income, and land values.

To advance, the licensing process must be aligned with project financing, which has historically relied primarily on cash and equity from joint venture partners. Wynn Resorts is overseeing efforts to obtain approximately $2 billion in leverage from international and local institutions to fund the project.

The emergence of gaming regulation in the UAE is indicative of a growing interest in the region’s potential for the gaming industry and the economic benefits it can provide.

Original story by: GGRAsia

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