Atif Nader
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UAE Gaming Shift: GCGRA Suspends Prize Draws

Cover image for post UAE Gaming Shift: GCGRA Suspends Prize Draws
UAE Gaming Shift: GCGRA Suspends Prize Draws
UAE Gaming Shift: GCGRA Suspends Prize Draws

In a significant move, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has initiated a suspension of all prize draws across the nation, impacting popular draws like Mahzooz and Emirates Draw.

This decision, effective from January 1, 2024, marks a major change in the UAE’s gaming landscape.

However, there is a strategic motive behind this decision.

The UAE aims to create a comprehensive framework for regulating national lottery and commercial gaming.

Operators of renowned prize draws, which have historically offered jackpots up to $54 million, were instructed to halt their activities within the UAE.

Both Mahzooz and Emirates Draw have confirmed the suspension to their customers.

“In compliance with applicable commercial gaming regulations, Mahzooz will temporarily pause operations from January 1st, 2024. The pause is a result of an industry-wide mandate consistent with the guidance and directives of the regulators. We look forward to resuming our mission of changing people’s lives soon and we genuinely appreciate your understanding during this short break.”

Mahzooz Statment

The establishment of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) last September is a pivotal development.

Tasked with creating a well-regulated gaming environment, the GCGRA’s move to suspend prize draws signifies its immediate impact on the gaming sector.

The authority’s focus is on establishing a socially responsible gaming environment, adhering to local laws and the highest standards.

A Lucrative Past

Before the suspension, prize draws like Mahzooz and Emirates Draw were a significant part of the UAE’s gaming landscape.

Mahzooz, relaunched in 2020 as the GCC region’s first weekly live draw, offered grand prizes of up to $5.4 million.

The Emirates Draw, with its tiered prize categories, had a grand prize of up to $54.5 million.

Economic and Social Influence

These prize draws not only offered substantial winnings to participants but also played a role in the UAE’s economic and social spheres.

They attracted a diverse range of participants and contributed to the entertainment sector’s vibrancy.

The suspension of these draws, therefore, might have wider implications for both the economy and the gaming culture in the UAE.

Future of Gaming in the UAE

As the GCGRA steps in to reshape the regulatory framework, there is anticipation of new licensing structures and gaming policies.

The UAE, known for its adaptive and forward-thinking approach, may witness a significant transformation in its gaming and entertainment sectors.


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