Another Illegal Business Seeks Government Protection
As seven web shops await Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett’s decision on whether to extend a conservatory order that prevents police from shutting down their gaming operations, another web shop is seeking similar protection.
Attorney Derek Ryan, who represents Bahama Dreams, said the web shop’s owners contacted him last week.
In his affidavit, Bahama Dreams President and Director Antonie Roker said he found it necessary to seek counsel after attorney Wayne Munroe said a conservatory order granted by Justice Jon Isaacs only protected the seven web shops that he and Alfred Sears represent.
“I pray the honorable court grant an interim injunction and restrain the [attorney general] from taking actions whatsoever to prevent, impede, hinder or otherwise interfere with the business operations of [Bahama Dreams] and for the status quo of their business operations to be maintained until final determination of this hearing,” said Roker in the affidavit.
The Office of the Attorney General is asking the court to discharge the conservatory order granted by Isaacs on January 30.
That order prevents police from taking action against operators.
The conservatory order was granted after a majority of voters who voted in a gambling referendum on January 28 said no to web shop gaming and the establishment of a national lottery.
Munroe represents Percy Web Cafe, Island Luck, FML Group of Companies, Asue Draw, Whatfall and Chances.
Sears and Jeff Lloyd represent Paradise Games.
Ryan tried to join a hearing before Sir Michael on Tuesday, but Sir Michael said he had not filed the necessary documents for this be considered.
Bahama Dreams has nine web shops on New Providence and employs 80 employees, according to the affidavit.
Bahama Dreams is constructing six new locations on New Providence and hopes to expand to the Family Islands, the affidavit states.
The first location opened on Okra Hill with six employees in 2011 and a second location was
opened two months later on East Street South, it adds.
The affidavit says meetings between web shop owners and the Ingraham administration created reasonable expectation that Bahama Dreams had the right to conduct its business without the interruption of the government or police.
Munroe and Sears have made the same argument before the court. According to Roker’s affidavit, Bahama Dreams offers a variety of Internet services and online gaming.
The document adds that the company is in full compliance with the law, is in good standing and since its inception has had no interference from the government or police.
“The fact of the matter is that there is a conservatory order in place; an injunction is not in place,” Ryan told The Nassau Guardian.
“They are now trying to get that injunction and we have all of our documents prepared, stamped, final submissions prepared so that we could now get in on these proceedings.”
By Travis Cartwright-Carroll
Guardian Staff Reporter