Online Gambling Possibly Being Made Available This Year in the UAE

Online Gambling Possibly Being Made Available This Year in the UAE

This September marks one year since the UAE introduced a new regulatory agency to enforce commercial gambling laws. In that time, little has happened for those looking to gamble online in the UAE at a casino online real money. Still, the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) should be finalizing its framework this year, with hopes of online casinos going live in the 3rd or 4th quarter. Here’s everything you need to know about the GCGRA and online gambling in the UAE.

Is Online Gambling Legal in the UAE?

Almost. While politicians passed a law this past year creating GCGRA and greenlighting the way for legal gambling, there are still a few hurdles left. No operators can legitimately offer services in the UAE at this point in time, as gaming is illegal due to religious laws. That said, there are some things that certainly look like gambling and are legal. For example, betting on camels or horse races is permitted but strictly regulated by the UAE.

Is online gambling legal in the UAE

If you’re an online bettor looking to play from the UAE, it’s best to hold off at this point until the GCGRA puts together its framework and issues licenses to operators. You’re protecting yourself this way, too, as there’s no real recourse if you lose money at another site operating illegally.

Who is in Charge of the GCGRA?

The GCGRA is being led by industry giants Kevin Mullally and Jim Murren. Both have years of experience in the gambling industry, with Murren being a former CEO of the famous MGM Resorts International. Mullally will be CEO of the GCGRA, while Murren will be chair. These two are undoubtedly at the top of the game and make perfect choices to bring online gambling to the UAE in a safe and regulated way.

How to Gamble Online Safely in the UAE?

Once online gambling is available in the UAE, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. While the framework and regulations are yet to be released, it stands to reason that the process for finding an online casino and gambling safety will be the same as in other parts of the world.

Playing at Licensed Casinos

Licensed casinos are the best places to play for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, you know that you’re playing at a regulated establishment. Unregulated online casinos can be scamming you without you even realizing it. Regulated online casinos have proven to be fair, offering competitive odds in the best interests of players.

The other benefit of a licensed casino is that you have a path of recourse should anything go wrong. Regulated institutions are held to standards and laws. If they do not follow these, players have a legal venue to recuperate losses and make changes. Unlicensed casinos often operate overseas, with no connection to a regulatory agency or the ability to take them to court.

Utilizing Bonuses and Promotions

There will undoubtedly be a rush of bonuses and promotions once the first online casinos begin opening up in the UAE. They will all be offering various bonuses to draw players as the virtual gambling gold rush starts. Understanding how to read the terms and conditions of bonuses will help you figure out what site is the best for you.

Utilizing Bonuses and Promotions

Look out for wagering requirements, which tell you how much you have to bet before the bonus is eligible for withdrawal. For example, a $100 bonus with a 10x wagering requirement needs to be bet for a total of $1000 before it can be withdrawn. This is important because it often makes a highly appealing bonus not so good once you read the terms.

Practicing Safe Gambling Habits

Once the GCRA finishes drafting their framework, it will undoubtedly have stipulations on promoting safe gambling habits and offering players ways to self-exclude themselves. There will also be an uptick in organizations offering gambling help services in the UAE, in an effort to help players stay safe and keep online gambling entertaining. Keep the following in mind if you do decide to gamble online:

  • Bankroll Management: Set aside a certain amount of money you can comfortably afford to spend. This is your bankroll, and you should never dip into other funds if you have a series of bad bets. Remember, never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  • Limiting Yourself: Keep your gambling sessions short. Online gambling should be fun and entertaining. Longer sessions can remove the excitement of online gambling. Similarly, if gambling ever feels stressful or not fun, it may be time to take a break.
  • Never Chase Losses: Chasing losses is a common downfall for both beginner and veteran bettors. The outcome is always the same. Chasing your losses is a surefire way to make rash decisions and wind up with more losses. Take a breather and return when your head is clear and you feel comfortable gaming.


As the UAE stands on the brink of a potentially transformative era in online gambling, the meticulous work of the GCGRA  is pivotal. Under the seasoned leadership of Kevin Mullally and Jim Murren, the GCGRA is poised to introduce a robust framework that will not only legalize but also regulate online gambling, ensuring that it is conducted in a safe and responsible manner.

For residents and visitors eager to explore online casinos, the forthcoming regulations promise a secure environment aligned with international standards of fair play. The anticipation of online gambling’s legalization is set to redefine entertainment options within the UAE, boost tourism, and contribute significantly to the economy, marking a new chapter in the nation’s dynamic and progressive narrative.

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