September 4, 2023 2 min read


UAE Gambling Regulator Appoints Jim Murren and Kevin Mullally as Chair and CEO

The former boss of MGM Resorts International has been appointed the chairman of the united Arab Emirates’ newly-formed gambling authority, a Sunday press release confirmed

Jim Murren is a seasoned iGaming veteran who will now be the chairman of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), which will help the country set up its gambling industry and establish its first casino resort, the Wynn Al Marjan Island.

Gambling Regulator Readying for First Casino Resort

The project is estimated to cost around $3.9 billion and is one of the most ambitious projects in the country. The project is managed by Wynn Resorts Ltd and comes at a time when gambling in the Middle East is slowly beginning to not be a taboo anymore.

Regardless, the GCGRA wants to focus on building a robust framework which will be possible under the leadership of individuals such as Murren, a seasoned gambling industry veteran who is familiar with how the industry works and what challenges to expect in nascent markets.

Commenting on the prospects of realizing the casino resort project, in the meantime, Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings said that the group was expecting the property to open at the beginning of 2027.

This information was shared by the chief executive during Wynn Resorts’ second-quarter earnings and is still a moving target and not set in stone, meaning that the resort’s release schedule may indeed change in the coming months or years.

Murren’s appointment is not the only one the GCGRA had to report, as Kevin Mullally has been elected chief executive of the regulator, making for two important appointments that the watchdog has completed.

Seasoned Industry Veterans in Public and Private Affairs

Mullay has previously worked at Gaming Laboratories International LLC, where he served as VP of government relations and general counsel. He also did a stint with the Missouri Gaming Commission, which means that he brings a comprehensive mix of skills and experience to the regulator.

In welcoming the news, Murren was very pleased to be joined by such an esteemed individual and said: “I am delighted at the appointment of Kevin Mullally. He brings unparalleled category experience and will be invaluable in creating a fit-for-purpose regulatory framework for the UAE.”

The mix of private, public, and regulatory experience that the GCGRA has received through these two appointments will prove invaluable in helping the watchdog preside over the arrival of the country’s first resort that is expected to have a casino and allow gambling to take place on the territory of the United Arab Emirates.


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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