Former MGM chief Murren named chairman of a new UAE gaming authority
Former MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren will be chairman of a gaming regulatory authority established by the United Arab Emirates.
A statement released Sunday (Pacific Time) by the UAE’s news agency said Murren will chair a board of directors for the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), which was established to introduce a regulatory framework for a national lottery and commercial gaming.
“The GCGRA will create a socially responsible and well-regulated gaming environment, ensuring that all participants adhere to strict guidelines and comply with the highest standards,” the statement said. “It will coordinate regulatory activities, manage licensing nationally and facilitate unlocking the economic potential of commercial gaming responsibly.”
Former Missouri Gaming Commission Executive Director Kevin Mullally was named CEO of the GCGRA. Mullally spent the last 17 years as general counsel and the head of government affairs for Gaming Laboratories International, the industry-leading gaming equipment testing facility.
“[Kevin Mullally] brings unparalleled category experience and will be invaluable in creating a fit-for-purpose regulatory framework for the UAE,” Murren said in the statement.
The UAE is made up of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
Wynn Resorts is building a $3.9 billion integrated resort development on the man-made Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah. Wynn first announced the project, the first legal gaming operation in the UAE, 16 months ago.
Last month, Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings said the company should have its license to operate a casino in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah “imminently” even though the project won’t open until 2026.
Two other Nevada-based casino operators already have non-gaming locations in the UAE and other gaming companies are reportedly exploring the possibility of entering the region.
Caesars Entertainment opened Caesars Palace Dubai and MGM Resorts International is part of a Dubai development that will include two hotels branded under MGM Grand and Bellagio names and a collection of MGM Signature villas.
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