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UAE paves way for casinos, sets up regulator for gaming, lottery

The United Arab Emirates has created a federal authority to potentially run a national lottery and what it describes as “commercial gaming,” likely a sign that it is on the verge of allowing gambling as major casino operators flock to the Gulf Arab nation. The state-run WAM news agency carried an announcement on the creation of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority, without offering many details about its structure or operations. It named Kevin Mullally as its CEO. Mullally once served as the executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission, which oversaw that US state’s riverboat casinos. “I am delighted to have been appointed as the inaugural CEO of the GCGRA,” Mullally said in the statement. “With my experienced colleagues, I look forward to establishing a robust regulatory body and framework for the UAE’s lottery and gaming industry.” Mullally did not immediately return a request for comment from Associated Press. Also named was Jim Murren as the chairman of the authority’s board of directors. Media in Nevada, home to the gambling city of Las Vegas, identified Murren as a former chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, which also runs casinos.

Describing the authority, WAM said it would “create a socially responsible and well regulated gaming environment, ensuring that all participants adhere to strict guidelines and comply with the highest standards”. “It will coordinate regulatory activities, manage licensing nationally and facilitate unlocking the economic potential of commercial gaming responsibly,” it added. Casinos long have been rumoured to be considered as a way to raise money in the UAE and boost its tourism industry. (Source: The Business Standard)

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