Dubai: Another raffle operator has announced a pause in operations in the UAE from January 1, 2024.
Emirates Draw, which had recently announced a Dh200million jackpot—the biggest ever prize money in a UAE raffle—became the second raffle operator to suspend activities in the UAE, after Mahzooz yesterday declared a temporary pause in operations in the New Year.
“In compliance with the new directives from the UAE Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), we are temporarily pausing our activities in the UAE starting January 1, 2024, to work on exciting upgrades,” Emirates Draw said in a late night announcement on the New Year’s Eve.
Mahzooz had also cited an industry-wide mandate consistent with the guidance and directives of the regulators as the reason.
“Our aim is to return with an enhanced gaming experience soon,” Emirates Draw stated.
“We will be pausing the sale of tickets in the UAE, after December 31, 2023, until further notice from the regulator,” it said in the updated FAQ on its website.
However, in the answer to a question on whether the move will affect players from outside the UAE, the company said: “The temporary pause in accepting new registrations for Emirates Draw affects players from inside the UAE. This decision is made based in line with regulatory directives that affect our ability to accept new registrations.”
Will winners get prize money?
To a question on whether past winners will get their prize money, it said: “Absolutely. Every prize, whether small or big can be withdrawn and paid in full.”
“Customers can request the withdrawal of any remaining account balance (no minimum amount) even after the pause date of December 31, 2023. Your customer account will remain active even during the pause in Emirates Draw operations. Any balance you have will be secure until we resume operations or until you decide to withdraw it,” the company said, further assuring the customers.
Emirates Draw launched its first game in 2021 and has created seven millionaires, giving over Dh166 million in prizes to more than 800,000 winners, and planting over 17,000 coral fragments to restore the UAE marine life, it added.
The popular raffle draws have been put on hold a few months after the UAE established the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) which is expected to have come up with changes in regulations governing them.