UAE raffle draw pause: Winners of Dh25,000 second salary, Dh10 million to get payouts on time

The temporary pause is in line with the latest directives from the Gaming Regulatory Authority in the country


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Tue 2 Jan 2024, 11:15 AM

Last updated: Wed 3 Jan 2024, 8:24 AM

Raffle draws in the UAE have confirmed that winners will receive their prize money despite all games being instructed to pause operations from Monday.

The temporary pause is in line with the latest directives from the UAE Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA) - a federal body set up in September. It was not immediately clear when other gaming companies will follow suit, although Mahzooz said this is an "industry-wide mandate" that "aligns with regulators' efforts to create a well-regulated gaming environment in the UAE".

Paul Chader, head of operations at Emirates Draw, said that the winners of the Fast5 game will continue to receive Dh 25,000 every month even during the pause.

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Mahzooz told Khaleej Times that the latest two millionaires will be paid as per the usual procedures within 2 to 3 weeks.

“Our winners enjoy an immediate lump-sum payout. Therefore, apart from our latest two millionaires, all previous winners will receive their prizes imminently, exactly like all our previous winners, in full, within two to three weeks of their win,” said Suzan Kazzi, head of communications, E Wings (operator of Mahzooz).

“As for the winners of smaller prizes, the withdrawal of their prize money will not be affected by the operations pause. They will be able to withdraw their credit as per the usual procedure,” added Kazzi.

Resumption of services

According to Mahzooz, they are in talks with the regulatory body, and the licensing is in progress. “Ongoing communication concerning the potential granting of the National Lottery license to Ewings is in progress. The application process has started and will be completed this week in compliance with the set deadline, beginning of January 2024. While we did everything within our capacity to commit to the deadline despite the holiday season, our visibility on future timelines is limited, as the regulators will be diligently reviewing all applications submitted by the UAE draw operators,” said Kazzi.

Mahzooz hopes to resume operations as soon as the license is granted, hopefully in the first quarter of 2024.

However, Emirates Draw has not given any specific date or timeframe for the resumption of their services. “We do not have any timeframe and will be resumed until further notice from the regulatory [body],” said Paul.

New games and initiatives

Emirates Draw has said that they will be introducing more exciting games when they resume their operations. “We have plans to introduce new games and initiatives in alignment with the GCGRA in the UAE as well as abroad,” said Paul.

Mahzooz’s future plan will revolve around offering a better gaming experience. “Mahzooz has become a strong homegrown brand with an international outreach, and any future plans will revolve around offering an equally compelling, if not superior, better gaming experience. Our commitment to providing an exceptional offering remains unwavering, and we look forward to resuming operations with a supercharged draw as soon as possible,” said Kazzi.


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