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Dubai Government has issued a statement denying social media reports that the emirate has started issuing licences for gambling activities.

The Government of Dubai Media Office said reports circulating on social media about the gambling licences are “incorrect,” without giving any further details.

Gambling is not permissible in the UAE although the government allows some organisations to run competitions and raffles, as long as they have express permission from the relevant regulatory bodies.

Unlike other countries in the Middle East, the UAE also has separate laws that relate to online gambling. Its Cyber Crimes Law sets out penalties for anyone caught operating an online gambling business. Internet service providers are required by law to block websites that provide illegal content, and that includes gambling-related content.