UAE sheikdom says it will allow gaming, announces deal with casino giant

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A sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates announced Tuesday that it will allow casino gaming and has made a deal with gambling giant Wynn Resorts, The Associated Press reported.

Ras al-Khaimah, the fifth largest of seven emirates in the country, unveiled a multibillion-dollar deal with the casino.

Gambling is prohibited by Islam, the official religion of the UAE. However, the country is a significant draw for business and tourism, and the majority of residents are expatriates.

Casino operator Caesars Palace is already present in the Emirates running a resort in Dubai. The resort does not currently allow gambling, however.

The Ras al-Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority will oversee the establishment of a Wynn development in the emirates.

"The department of entertainment and gaming regulation within RAKTDA will consider the social, cultural, and environmental landscape of the emirate and cover licensing, taxation, operational procedures and consumer safeguards," it stated.

The authority added: "The foremost priority of this new division is to create a robust framework that will ensure ... the regulatory structure will address the entire gaming enterprise within integrated resorts, requiring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations (including financial crime laws) from operators, suppliers and employees."

Wynn Resorts is a Las Vegas-based company with resorts also located in Boston and Macau. The Ras al-Khaimah hotel is slated to open in 2026 and will house 1,000 rooms and an array of other facilities.

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