Court blocks web shops closure

Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs
Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs

NASSAU — Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs has granted an injunction that will keep web shops from shutting down.

Attorneys Wayne Munroe and Alfred Sears were before the judge this morning representing a group of web shop bosses.

Last night, Prime Minister Perry Christie ordered an end to all web shop gaming in The Bahamas after voters on Monday overwhelmingly voted against the regulation and taxation of web shops, and the establishment of a national lottery.

As many as 3,000 people reportedly work in the industry. Some web shops were closed this morning while the matter was before the courts but many were open.

Munroe said the injunction “holds the status quo with regard the applicants before Justice Isaacs until the matter comes before the judge who will hear it”.

Issues of concern

He said the issues that will be tried are whether what the numbers bosses do is caught by the Lotteries and Gaming Act and whether that Act is constitutional.

Munroe said Sears has also indicated that he intends to argue that the operators had a legitimate expectation to operate as they would have met with officials under the Ingraham administration to discuss possible regulation, and their licenses would have remained in place.

Munroe said the matter is being forwarded to Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett who will either assign it to another judge or hear it himself.

The matter was heard in Justice Isaacs’ chambers.

According to Munroe, representatives for the crown (Loren Klein and Darren Henfield) indicated that they intend to present evidence in the matter.

Munroe represents Island Game, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall and Chances

Sears represents Paradise Games. (Nassau Guardian)

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