May 2, 2023 3 min read


UAE Might Greenlight Gaming in 2023, MGM Resorts Hopes

MGM Resorts is hopeful that, by the end of the year, the United Arab Emirates will consider legalizing gaming

MGM Resorts International, a global gaming and hospitality giant, is currently eyeing the situation in the United Arab Emirates, where Wynn Resorts is building a multibillion-dollar property. The country previously claimed that it will not legalize gambling in spite of the aforementioned property but MGM Resorts thinks otherwise.

The company is hopeful that either Dubai or the UAE as a whole will approve gambling in the near future. In fact, this may be further discussed in the UAE as soon as this year, MGM believes, as cited by Skift.

While Wynn is currently occupied with building a large property on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, MGM isn’t a stranger to the UAE either. In 2017, the casino and hospitality specialist unveiled its plans for a 1,000-room Dubai-based resort.

MGM hopes that the Arab country will eventually reconsider its harsh stance on gambling, allowing MGM to add a casino to the property it manages. However, the decision will ultimately be in the hands of Abu Dhabi and the national government, said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resort’s president and chief executive officer.

Gaming Will Likely Be Discussed by the End of Summer 2023

Hornbuckle is optimistic that the UAE will at least consider the matter by the end of summer 2023. However, he realizes that each emirate might have a different stance on this.

The CEO noted that the potential launch of gambling in Dubai is what matters the most to his company. However, he added that his team will not miss out on the opportunities in other Arab emirates, should they back down on their disdain for gambling.

Coincidentally, MGM Resorts’ property in Dubai has a 150,000-200,000-square-foot space that can be easily converted into a gaming hall. However, Hornbuckle conceded that only time will tell whether this will happen.

Wynn Is Just as Hopeful

Speaking of gambling in the UAE, Wynn Resorts continues with the development of its Al Marjan Island property. The operator’s ultimate goal is, in its words, to recreate the Las Vegas Strip in the UAE.

While the country is still reluctant on allowing gaming, the project has progressed without major hiccups so far. In March, Wynn named ALEC Engineering and Contracting as the contractor of its unprecedented property in Ras Al Khaimah.

A few days ago, Wynn shared the first concept images of its ambitious projects, allowing industry enthusiasts to take a peek at what’s to come. A few days later, the casino and entertainment company named Thomas Schoen as the president of Wynn Al Marjan.


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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