Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Scott Billings stated that the business would open a casino in the United Arab Emirates luxury resort it is currently constructing. This is unprecedented in the Gulf Arab region, where gambling has traditionally been prohibited.
The Gulf has historically had more stringent Islamic laws than the rest of the Middle East, so the casino would be a radical departure.
The notion of a new casino arises during intense rivalry in the Gulf. In a region diversifying its oil-based economy, the UAE’s business and tourism hub is competing with Saudi Arabia’s rapidly opening borders to become the destination of choice.
Gulf Arab Opening Up?
The casino, initially discussed in January, would be constructed on an artificial island off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah and will open in 2026.
During its third-quarter earnings conference call, Wynn Resorts, a publicly traded business in the United States that constructs and operates high-end casinos and hotels, informed investors of its ambitions to construct an integrated resort in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
During the results call on Wednesday, CEO Craig Billings stated that the casino at Wynn Marjan would be “somewhat larger” than the company’s largest casino in the United States, Wynn Las Vegas.
“When you consider a market where you will be the only operator for some time, you don’t want to underbuild the casino, but you also don’t want to lose that sense of energy,” Billings explained.
Billing stated that Wynn is concentrating on the UAE project and ensuring it is executed properly. “Currently, the majority of our design and development efforts are focused there.”
The first casino in the Gulf Arab region will be constructed near Ras Al Khaimah on the artificial island of Al-Marjan. These plans were made public for the first time at the start of the year. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.
When it opens in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, in 2026, the 1,000-room Wynn Marjan casino will be the first in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
Gambling is prohibited by the strict Islamic regulations that govern the United Arab Emirates; for sure, Wynn Resorts outdid themselves here.
It Is Happening
Ras Al Khaimah is one of seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the lesser-known and smaller emirates. Caesars Palace operates a resort without a casino in Dubai’s regional business area, while MGM Resorts International is constructing a resort.
Wynn views the UAE as a crucial region for achieving its goal of expanding its operations globally. Wynn Resorts, according to Billings, was “quite focused” on the UAE project, which offered “tremendous, extremely high return potential” Consequently, he stated that they were focusing all of their current “design and development efforts” on this region.
According to the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, the emirate’s tourism development authority has already established a division to regulate integrated resorts and a new Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation to “consider the emirate’s social, cultural, and environmental landscape and cover licensing, taxation, operational procedures, and consumer protections.”
Mid-September, Related Companies announced its intention to collaborate with Wynn Resorts to construct a casino in the western section of Hudson Yards. Like the United Arab Emirates, which is regarded as one of the last uncharted gambling frontiers in the world, Manhattan is one of the last unexplored gambling areas with enormous untapped potential.
The concept of a new casino arises during intense rivalry in the area. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are rapidly opening up, competing to become the most desirable travel destination.
Last Updated on by Ryan