American casino developer Wynn Resorts has set its sights on a new market, and one that has never before allowed gambling: the United Arab Emirates.
The Nevada-based casino giant on Tuesday announced a multibillion-dollar deal with the UAE emirate of Ras al-Khaimah that will see it open a 1,000-room luxury hotel with 10 restaurants and lounges, a spa, a convention facility, shopping venues and a gaming area.
The announcement came in tandem with a statement from the Ras al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority introducing a new division, called the Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulation, which will regulate “integrated resorts” that include hotel operations, entertainment spaces, restaurants, spas, retail shops, convention areas and “gaming.”
“Gaming” is often used synonymously with gambling in the context of hospitality and leisure venues, though it was not clear whether this explicitly meant cash betting. RAKTDA was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.