The first-ever license to allow casino operations in the UAE could be issued ‘imminently’ according to the boss of Wynn Resorts.
The Las Vegas major has the first and only casino resort confirmed in the country, in Northern Emirate Ras Al Khaimah.
In the group’s Q2 2023 earnings call, CEO Craig Billings spoke about the upcoming Wynn Al Marjan Island. He said: “We have everything we need to operate gaming in Al Marjan. I expect that we will have our license for Ras Al Khaimah actually imminently.”
Billings touched on the current laws for gaming in the UAE, where gambling is not allowed.
He said: “I think there’s confusion here because there’s a lack of understanding regarding individual Emirates versus the UAE as a whole. It’s clearly a 10, as I think I’ve talked about before to a state and federal system.
“But there should be no concern that there is a legalisation process that needs to occur in order for gaming to occur in that property.”
Wynn Al Marjan Island will comprise 1,500 keys, including rooms, suites and villas, along with two dozen restaurants, a spa, an events centre, and a theatre for “unique production shows.” Wynn states the resort is designed for longer visits and “day trips” from those across the six other emirates. With this in mind, there will be nightly laser and light shows, much like in Las Vegas.
The US$3.9 billion integrated resort will be home to the UAE’s first confirmed casino when it opens in 2027. The casino will take up four percent of the hotel’s total space.
Source: Hotelier Middle East