MGM Resorts International CEO Bill Hornbuckle expressed optimism about the United Arab Emirates (UAE) possibly becoming into a successful center for casino resorts during a speech at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) hosted in Las Vegas. Hornbuckle presented the ambitious project by MGM Resorts and Wasl Asset Management Group in Dubai, which includes a casino as part of its development. This amazing project, which includes MGM, Bellagio, and Aria, has a flexible area of 150,000 square feet while waiting for UAE officials to approve the addition of gaming to the mix.
This declaration follows the UAE’s historic decision to create the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), the country’s first gaming regulatory body. This regulating body’s appointment of former MGM CEO Jim Murren as its chairman marks a significant change in the UAE’s policy toward gambling, which has always been outlawed by Sharia law. Recent evidence suggests that the UAE’s attitude to gaming is about to undergo a paradigm change.
Analysts from JPMorgan have also weighed in, speculating that the UAE may approve a whole gaming framework in 2023, with the recently constituted regulatory body apparently accelerating its operations.
Hornbuckle expressed confidence about MGM’s presence in Dubai, where a casino is already up and running, but he also underlined the need to continue slowly and take things one step at a time in this revolutionary journey.
MGM and Wynn Gear Up for Billion-Dollar UAE Market
Major casino players have taken notice of the UAE’s gaming sector due to its enormous potential. According to industry analysts, the UAE’s gambling business may generate up to $6.6 billion in casino revenue annually, competing with well-known gambling hotspots like Singapore and Macau. Due to this, MGM Resorts and its competitors, including Wynn Resorts, are working hard to become ready for a market that may surpass Singapore, which already has two prestigious casinos, including the famed Marina Bay Sands.
While Dubai is at the forefront of these advancements, other emirates in the UAE are also looking into gaming-related potential. According to a recent study by Knight Frank, 59% of respondents think Dubai will ultimately have at least one gaming location, and 58% of respondents think the same thing about Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, 48% of respondents predict the development of integrated resorts in other emirates.
The UAE’s tourist industry is being redefined by the impending inflow of casinos. The difficulty for other emirates, though, is catching up to Dubai’s sophisticated infrastructure, which includes the busy Dubai International Airport, which admirably handled more than 66 million people in 2022. Hornbuckle is unwaveringly positive about the future despite these difficulties, highlighting MGM’s long-standing partnership with Dubai and its capacity to adjust to a variety of situations, such as stock investments or outright leasing of gaming facilities.
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