Raffles and competitions in the UAE will be suspended from January 1st

Players hoping to hit the jackpot in one of the UAE’s raffles and draws will have to put their dreams on hold as operators have been ordered to suspend operations from Monday.

Previously, residents could win anything from a few dirhams to Dh200 million from companies such as Mahzooz, Emirates Draw, Big Ticket and Dubai Duty Free.

“In accordance with applicable commercial gaming regulations, Mahzooz will temporarily cease operations from January 1, 2024,” the operator said.

“The pause is the result of an industry-wide mandate in line with the new role of regulators to provide a well-regulated gaming environment in the UAE.”

The General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority was established in the UAE in September.

“As we take this pause, we would like to thank you for the incredible support you have shown us over the last three years. Mahzooz has always strived to uphold the highest standards of transparency, accountability and integrity in gaming, and this pause is a testament to our commitment to these principles.”

There is no set date when the raffles will resume.

Article No. 355 of UAE Law considers all forms of gambling to be a criminal offense. These include lotteries and penalties that can result in jail time, fines, or both.

Some exceptions to lottery laws in the UAE have resulted in some companies authorized by the Ministry of Economy being allowed to operate raffles and competitions.

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Updated: December 31, 2023, 2:04 p.m

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