MGM International awaits approval for casino-integrated resort project in UAE

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At the recently held Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, CEO of MGM Resorts International, Bill Hornbuckle revealed that their latest project in Dubai, in partnership with the Wasl Asset Management Group, is planned with a flexible area of 150,000 square feet.

Hornbuckle believes that United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to become one of the major casino hubs in the world. MGM currently awaits approval from the local authorities. Notably, its partner, Wasl Asset Management Group, is one of the biggest real estate development and management companies in Dubai.

Three hotel towers with a combined capacity of 1500 rooms, under the brands Aria, MGM Grand and Bellagio, are being planned on a 25-acre resort complex that will be built on a man-made island as soon as the company gets the green signal, reported Asia Gaming Brief.

Last month, the UAE established a federal authority to manage the national lottery named General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA). It is headed by Jim Murren, former CEO of MGM Resorts International, who also served as executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC).

As of now, the UAE penal code classifies gambling as illegal under Article 414. However, many reports, including the one from Bloomberg, suggests that the country can easily generate over $6 billion in revenue from gambling.

Meanwhile, the signs of the UAE moving towards legalization of gambling were being seen from last year when Wynn Resorts announced its plan to establish an integrated resort (IR) with a casino in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.

The layout includes a plan to open a 1,000-room luxury resort with 10 restaurants and lounges, a spa, a convention facility, shopping venues, and a gaming area.