MGM Resorts International is looking forward to building the new casino in Dubai. According to the company’s chief executive officer, Bill Hornbuckle, MGM set aside a huge space of 150.000 square feet of the property they already own in Dubai to be used as a casino.

Huge plans for emirates:

Hornbuckle was speaking at the recently held Global Gaming Expo, held in Las Vegas. 

He said that the company partnered with the renowned Wasl Asset Management Group and that the Dubai property would be a great choice for the new casino. At the event, he said: “We were there early. We have a project now underway. This island has an MGM, a Bellagio, and an Aria on it. We’re now building a podium and pedestal that could house a casino. We think there will be three or four [casinos] in the Emirates.”

So, when the United Arab Emirates government agrees to allow the casinos, MGM will be ready to conquer the new market. But MGM isn’t the only big company that is considering UAE expansion. Back in 2021, Wynn Resorts revealed its plans for Wynn Al Marjan Island, which might feature a casino as well. The works on the property have already begun, and it is estimated that the resort will be opened in 2027. The casino will be placed on the manmade island of Ras Al Khaimah, one of the emirates.

All of this gives hints that the government is considering opening casinos and integrated resort hubs in the country. On top of that, the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), the first gaming regulatory agency in the UAE, will be established, as revealed in September.

Jim Murren, the former CEO of MGM, will be the chairman, which might be beneficial for the company in case the emirate approves the casino gaming.

Establishing a new market:

Hornbuckle added: “I’d love to be in Dubai with an operating product with a casino in it, but one step and one day at a time. We’re very progressive and excited by what could happen there.”

The United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the world. However, the government doesn’t want to own the casinos, so there are several options that might be accepted. As Hornbuckle states, there is a possibility of two parties taking equity when it comes to the gaming venue or signing the lease agreement.

Allegedly, it might be possible that the long-expected gaming decree was signed by the country’s leaders, but nothing has been released yet.

There is also a lot of speculation about where the new casinos will be based. According to Public Gaming, Knight Frank conducted research, and the results have shown that 59% of respondents think that the new casino will be placed in Abu Dhabi, and 58% think the same about Dubai. Another 48% think that the casinos will be located in the other five emirates.