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UAE’s first casino is ‘imminent’, says resort CEO

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The UAE could soon open the first-ever casino, with the granting of a license said to be “imminent”, according to the CEO of Wynn Resorts, a Las Vegas-based developer and operator of luxury hotels and casinos.

In a recent interview with Hotelier Middle East, CEO Craig Billings spoke of the company’s first and only casino resort confirmed in the Gulf state, situated in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah.

“We have everything we need to operate gaming in Al Marjan. I expect that we will have our license for Ras Al Khaimah actually imminently,” he said.

“I think there’s confusion here because there’s a lack of understanding regarding individual Emirates versus the UAE as a whole. It’s clearly a 10, as I think I’ve talked about before to a state and federal system. But there should be no concern that there is a legalisation process that needs to occur in order for gaming to occur in that property,” Billings added, noting the UAE’s laws against gambling.

Wynn Al Marjan Island will cost $3.9 billion and is planned to open in 2027, with the casino taking up four per cent of the hotel’s total space.

“[It is] a very high return opportunity for us, we expect. And so, that’s really the focus of our design and development efforts at the moment,” Billings added.

Source: Middle East Monitor 

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