The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reportedly considering ploughing significant investment funds into India’s economy in 2024 and beyond.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent meetings with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed have paved the way for a potentially lucrative partnership to be established.
The UAE is considering making a $50 billion investment into India to capitalise on its rising economic potential and strengthen the links between the two nations.
Sovereign wealth funds such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Mubadala Investment Co and ADQ could be involved in the investment.
Modi’s recent trip to Abu Dhabi was his fifth visit to the Middle East nation since he took over as prime minister nine years ago.
The two leaders discussed several potential deals including the UAE securing stakes in key Indian state-owned assets and infrastructure projects.
Gaming Links Could be Forged Between the UAE and India
Gaming is another sector where the two nations may seek to work in partnership, with each currently working towards establishing a suitable infrastructure in their borders.
The UAE is among several Middle East nations currently on track to capitalise on the global popularity of games such as slots, roulette and blackjack.
A new $3.9 billion integrated resort at Ras Al Khaimah will open its doors in 2027 which will include 1,500 hotel rooms, dining, retail entertainment and gaming facilities.
The UAE has established the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) to facilitate a formal framework for gaming companies to operate legally.
Those moves have put them ahead of several of their Middle East neighbours in the race to shake off the shackles of restrictive laws pertaining to gaming.
Kuwait is a great example of this in action, with their government yet to decide whether they will fully open their doors to the gaming industry.
Although Arab players can play online casino in Kuwait, the sites which offer their services there operate under licenses issued in other major gaming jurisdictions.
Kuwait’s reticence to release the handbrake on gaming bears plenty of similarities to the position adopting by the Indian government in recent times.
They recently implemented a 28% levy on the value of bets placed on online gaming, casinos and horse racing – a decision which attracted widespread criticism.
Many respected analysts argued that India should follow the UAE’s lead in recognising the economic benefits in creating a framework for gaming to flourish.
The levy has already resulted in one major international gaming operator withdrawing from the Indian market and others may follow suit over the coming months.
However, while some experts believe the tax burden will be detrimental to the growth of the gaming industry in India, recent developments in Goa paint a different picture.
Goa Decision May Pave the Way for Indian Gaming Boom
Several offshore casinos in Goa recently acquired their No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA), allowing them to freely operate in the Mandovi River up to 12 nautical miles (h/t The Times of India).
MV Majestic Pride, Delta Corporation, High Street Cruises & Entertainment, Golden Globe Hotels and Goa Coastal Resorts & Recreation are the operators who have secured approval.
Having been given the green light to operate, Delta is scheduled to launch a new casino vessel which is double the size of Deltin Royale. This will increase revenue and negate the burden of the levy.
The issuing of the NOCs could be a pivotal moment for gaming in India, particularly with the country working towards forging stronger links with the UAE.
The Indian government will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on how the Middle East nation benefits from establishing a structured framework for gaming companies to operate.
With online sites fully expected to be part of the new landscape in the UAE, gaming could quickly become a hugely lucrative sector there.
Sanctioning offshore casinos to operate in the Goa region will only increase the demand for the industry to be allowed to operate freely across the whole of India.
Given how the situation is evolving in the UAE and India, gaming may well become a massive industry in both nations before the end of this decade.