Jim Murren and Kevin Mullally as Chairman and CEO of GCGRA

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Jim Murren and Kevin Mullally as Chairman and CEO of GCGRA

In a press release issued on Sunday, it was unveiled that Jim Murren, the former head of MGM Resorts International, has assumed the role of Chairman of the newly established General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) in the UAE.

Murren, an experienced iGaming expert, will play a pivotal role in guiding the country as it ventures into the iGaming industry and embarks on the growth of its inaugural casino resort, the Wynn Al Marjan Island, an ambitious project estimated to cost approximately $3.9 billion.

Managed by Wynn Resorts Ltd, this project holds significant importance in a region where attitudes toward gambling are gradually evolving. Despite this shift, the GCGRA’s primary focus remains on constructing a comprehensive regulatory framework, a task well-suited for experienced individuals like Murren, who possess a deep understanding of the industry and the challenges it faces in emerging markets.

Craig Billings, CEO of Wynn Resorts, commented on the prospect of the casino resort’s realization, indicating that the group anticipates an opening date in early 2027. However, this timeline remains subject to change in the months or years ahead, emphasizing its fluid nature.

Murren’s appointment is not the only noteworthy development within the GCGRA. Kevin Mullally has also been elected as the Chief Executive of the regulatory authority, marking another significant step in its formation.

Mullay’s professional background includes a significant tenure at Gaming Laboratories International LLC, where he held the positions of Vice President of Government Relations and General Counsel. Additionally, he gained valuable experience during his time with the Missouri Gaming Commission. These combined experiences equip him with a diverse skill set and a wealth of expertise that will greatly benefit the regulatory efforts.

Jim Murren expressed his enthusiastic response to the appointment of Kevin Mullally, emphasizing the invaluable contribution Mullally will make due to his unparalleled knowledge in the field. Murren stated:

I am delighted by Kevin Mullally’s appointment. His extensive expertise in this domain will be instrumental in crafting a regulatory framework tailored to the needs of the UAE.

The collective wealth of experience in the private, public, and regulatory sectors brought by these two appointments significantly bolsters the GCGRA’s ability to oversee the introduction of the country’s inaugural resort, complete with a casino and the authorization of gambling within the United Arab Emirates’ borders.