MGM Resorts International, a prominent global gaming and hospitality giant, has its sights set on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the country potentially reconsiders its stance on gambling. While Wynn Resorts is already constructing a multibillion-dollar property in the region, MGM believes there is a chance for the UAE to approve gambling in the near future, possibly as early as this year.
Despite previous claims by the UAE government that it would not legalize gambling, MGM Resorts remains optimistic about the possibilities. The casino and hospitality specialist is hopeful that either Dubai or the UAE as a whole will eventually allow gambling activities. The topic is anticipated to be further discussed within the UAE by the end of summer 2023, according to MGM, as reported by Skift.
Wynn Resorts is currently occupied with its ambitious project, building a substantial property on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah. In contrast, MGM Resorts unveiled its plans for a 1,000-room resort in Dubai back in 2017. MGM is eagerly waiting for the UAE to reconsider its stringent stance on gambling, with the hope of adding a casino to the property it manages. However, the ultimate decision rests in the hands of Abu Dhabi and the national government, stated Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resort’s President, and CEO.
Hornbuckle expressed optimism that Dubai, in particular, might be more open to the idea of legalizing gambling, which would be highly favorable for his company. Nevertheless, he affirmed that MGM Resorts would not overlook opportunities in other Arab emirates should they change their views on gambling.
Interestingly, MGM Resorts’ property in Dubai already possesses a 150,000-200,000-square-foot space that can be easily transformed into a gaming hall. However, Hornbuckle acknowledged that only time will reveal whether this transformation will indeed take place.
Wynn Resorts, equally hopeful about the future of gambling in the UAE, remains committed to its Al Marjan Island project. The operator aims to replicate the grandeur of the Las Vegas Strip in this Arabian destination. Despite the country’s hesitance to permit gambling, the development of the Wynn property has progressed smoothly thus far. Recently, Wynn appointed ALEC Engineering and Contracting as the contractor for this unprecedented project in Ras Al Khaimah.
Building excitement among industry enthusiasts, Wynn Resorts recently released concept images showcasing its ambitious project, offering a glimpse into what the future holds. Additionally, the company appointed Thomas Schoen as the President of Wynn Al Marjan, further solidifying its dedication to the venture.
As the UAE’s authorities contemplate the possibility of legalizing gaming, both MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts are eagerly awaiting developments and remain hopeful for the opportunity to expand their gaming presence in this promising market. However, the final decision on this momentous matter will have significant implications for the future of the gaming industry in the UAE.