UAE national lottery licence: Mahzooz completes application process

Companies were told to pause their operations last December by the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Fri 12 Jan 2024, 1:12 PM

Last updated: Sun 14 Jan 2024, 3:38 PM

Popular weekly raffle draw Mahzooz has completed the application process for the lottery licence and is awaiting approval from the gaming regulatory authority, an official of the weekly draw said on Friday.

Suzan Kazzi, head of communications at Ewings (operator of Mahzooz), said: “The national lottery licence will be awarded to one raffle draw operator in the UAE.”

During the end of December 2023, the weekly raffle draws in the UAE, including Mahzooz and Emirates Draw, were told to pause their operations by the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), which was formed in September 2023.

“We (Mahzooz) were asked to submit our application to apply for the licence. However, we were told that only one raffle operator in the UAE will be awarded the lottery licence to continue the operations,” Kazzi said.

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According to Kazzi, GCGRA started accepting the applications in the third week of December 2023 and the deadline to submit the application was the first week of January. “Despite the holiday season, we submitted our application and we believe our track record and the number of winners and payout will help us get awarded the licence,” she added.

Kazzi noted: “We ceased our sales on January 1st, 2024, as directed by the regulators in line with our values of integrity and transparency and most importantly because we recognise the value in the regulators’ efforts towards creating a regulated and responsible gaming environment in the UAE”.

“We are optimistic regarding the national lottery license for several reasons,” underlined Kazzi, explaining: “We have proven track record of changing people’s lives through Mahzooz’s excellent performance for the past three years, during which we created 66 millionaires and gave away over Dh500 million to more than 2 million winners worldwide.

“We have reached more than 10,000 people through our CSR outreach program. Also, our existing customer base, infrastructure, team of international experts with over 127 years of combined experience from mature markets and network of partners can be leveraged to immediately start the new operations as soon as given the green light,” she added.


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