Raffle draws paused in UAE: What’s next for operators?

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Raffle draws in the UAE have been temporarily stopped. ARCHIVE

Big Ticket is latest to pause operations. What’s next for raffle draw operators in UAE?

The UAE’s oldest running raffle draw Big Ticket was the latest major operator to pause operations in the UAE this month following directives from the UAE Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA).

Abu Dhabi-based Big Ticket conducted its last draw on April 3, giving away “all its prizes” after it announced a pause of operations from April 1. Mahzooz and Emirates Draw made a similar move in January.

Other UAE-based raffle draw and gaming operators also paused operations, including Abu Dhabi-based scratch card operator Dream Island, and small number draw operators Little Draw and Go Win. There was yet no announcement from Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire, which conducted its latest draw on April 3.

Why are raffle draws being paused?

According to Big Ticket, Mahzooz and Emirates Draw, the pause in their operations is in line with directives from the GCGRA, which was established last year to regulate gaming activities in the UAE.

Both Mahzooz and Emirates Draw have confirmed that the UAE will have only one national lottery operator, and that the license will be awarded by the GCGRA within the first quarter of 2024. The regulator is currently conducting a thorough selection of applicants for the national lottery licence, according to reports.

When would raffle draws resume?

No details have been given when the games would resume, but it is expected that the operator that will be granted the national lottery licence will be allowed to resume the draws.

What are gamers doing in the meantime?

In its social media accounts, Emirates Draw announced that while it has paused operations in the UAE, it “continues to be open to players outside the country”. ICA/Expat Media

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