September 23, 2023 2 min read


JPMorgan Suggests UAE May Approve Gambling Framework in 2023

The Unite Arab Emirates may be drawing very close to coming up with a final regulatory framework that will presage the arrival of the Wynn Resorts’ Al-Marjan Island project

This is according to analysts from JPMorgan who seem to be inclined to believe that the newly-established regulatory body, the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority or GCGRA is expected to move quicker than anticipated and possibly present the laws that would make it possible to introduce gambling.

Already the Groundwork for Something Bigger

The regulator earlier this year added a number of well-seasoned industry veterans whose expertise should in theory make it much simpler for the authority to set up everything it needs. Jim Murren was appointed chairman and Kevin Mullay stepped in as the CEO of the new watchdog.

So, why would the GCGRA move so quickly? JPMorgan seems inclined to believe that the regulator is keen to get all details hammered out and make sure that the upcoming $3.9-billion resort spearheaded by Wynn will be arriving in time for its scheduled date.

The upcoming project is expected to have a larger gaming area than Wynn Las Vegas, even, making it a formidable project that is doubly important because of its strategic geographical location. Analyst Joseph Greff said:

We think progress is being made with respect to gaming law enactment, a gaming license being issued, property level financing being secured, and partner equity contributions and construction accelerates. As such, we think investors will start to assess and ascribe the net equity value here.

JPMorgan analyst Joseph Greff

Of course, Wynn Resorts is not the only one hoping to secure a foothold in what would be one of the most lucrative opportunities in the gambling industry.

Las Vegas Giants Ogling the Middle East Opportunity of Their Lives

MGM Resorts International may be looking to establish a non-gaming property in Dubai at first, and hoping to further expand with a casino should local authorities agree to such a transition.

The truth is that Wynn Resorts will definitely retain the upper hand, but this is not to say that by 2027, there won’t be more projects underway in the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates in particular. The GCGRA seems likely to hurry up and present at least a draft of gambling laws in the coming months, and possibly before the year is out.

This timeline actually coincides with MGM’s previous hopes to see the gambling industry in the region get underway even sooner.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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