The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently discussing the possibility of becoming the first Gulf state to legalise gambling. Casino operators, consultants, and lawyers have shown optimism due to early discussions taking place.
Wynn Resorts Plans for $3.9 Billion Resort
Wynn Resorts Ltd., a Las Vegas-based hotel and casino operator, recently announced their plans for a $3.9 billion gaming resort in the UAE.
Other casino operators have also held informal talks with UAE authorities regarding gambling, and some are searching for hotels to place casinos in. If the UAE allows gambling, it could bring in around $6.6 billion of iGaming revenue every year.
Angela Hanlee, a senior gaming and hospitality analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said, “Dubai and other emirates have the potential to be transformed into bustling leisure-gambling markets.”
Mixed Messages from Officials
As discussions continue, uncertainty remains regarding the seriousness of each proposal and the main driving forces behind the talks. UAE officials have presented contrasting opinions on the subject of gambling.
One Dubai official claimed that the necessary infrastructure for casinos is already established, whereas another official firmly denied any plans to permit gambling in the region. This lack of consensus leaves the future of gambling in the UAE open to interpretation and speculation.
Implications for the iGaming Industry
If the UAE legalises gambling, there will be significant implications for the iGaming industry. The three most important implications are:
- Increased competition: The introduction of legal gambling in the UAE will result in increased competition in the iGaming industry, as more operators enter the market.
- New opportunities for iGaming companies: With the legalisation of gambling, iGaming companies will have the opportunity to expand their businesses in a new and potentially lucrative market.
- Growth of the tourism sector: Legalised gambling in the UAE could attract more tourists, especially to Dubai, and boost the tourism sector, which is a key pillar of the emirate’s economy.