UAE: Big Ticket raffle to resume operations; next draw on June 3

This comes after all major private raffle draw operators paused their operations since the beginning of this year


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 9 May 2024, 1:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 May 2024, 10:19 PM

Abu Dhabi’s popular raffle draw Big Ticket on May 9 has announced that it will resume operations after a temporary halt. The next live draw has been scheduled for June 3.

This comes after all major private raffle draw operators paused their operations in the beginning of this year due to a change in UAE rules and regulations.

According to Big Ticket, the operational pause earlier in April provided them with an opportunity for to assess and confirm its readiness to adhere to the evolving regulatory landscape set by the UAE’s Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) for a safe and regulated commercial gaming environment.

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“We know Big Ticket is a programme that has been part of the lives of members of the UAE community for years, and the resumption of our operations reflects our commitment to delivering a seamless and enjoyable experience coupled with enhanced operations for all participants,” Big Ticket said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

Ticket to the future

Running for over three decades, Big Ticket has been extremely popular among UAE residents. While for some it is a hope for their future, for others it is an indispensable part of their lives. When the closure was announced on April 1, Al Ain resident Rajeev Augustine thought it was an April Fool’s prank. The expat had won Dh15 million earlier this year- an amount he said changed his life.

For Indian expat Sabith, buying raffle tickets has been a way of life for over 7 years. Working as a driver in the UAE, he said it was a source of hope for him. “The 30 days from one ticket to another, I would see 30 different dreams,” he said. “I am really happy that the raffle will restart again because it is a source of hope for us that inspires us forward.”

It is common for many expats to form groups ranging from 4 to 40 people to pool in their money and buy tickets together. Throughout the month of May, anyone who purchases tickets for the upcoming Big Ticket draw will have the chance to win a guaranteed amount of Dh10 million. Customers who purchase two tickets will get one for free.

One operator?

Other operators like Emirates Draw and Mahzooz also paused their operations earlier this year. In January, Mahzooz and Emirates Draw had confirmed to Khaleej Times that the UAE will have only one national lottery operator, who will be licensed by the GCGRA within the first quarter of 2024.

Both companies said they had completed the application process for the National Lottery license.

However, it is now unclear whether Big Ticket will be the national lottery operator or if other operators will be allowed to function alongside each other.


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