In the Bahamas, the owner of a Freeport web shop gaming operation is reportedly appealing to the nation’s highest court for a second time after being told that its business license may be canceled.
According to a report from The Tribune newspaper, Jarol Investment, which operates the Chances Games outlet in the archipelago nation’s second largest city, had last month sought a Supreme Court injunction against the Grand Bahama Port Authority after being told in December that the quasi-governmental body planned to act against web shops that were “operating in breach” of their business licenses.
The newspaper reported that a January 25 letter from Fred Smith, an attorney for the Grand Bahama Port Authority, had further warned that these actions could include the cancellation of their authorizations unless operators agreed to amend their licenses and pay significantly higher fees. The lawyer wrote that the body was attempting to “bring some order” to the current state of affairs and begin licensing Freeport-based web shops to conduct online gaming activities.
However, Carlson Shurland, attorney for Jarol Investment, told The Tribune that the Grand Bahama Port Authority has no authority over its operations with only the Gaming Board For The Bahamas permitted to cancel or amend its gaming license.
As such, he reportedly explained that the operator had filed a petition with the Supreme Court in March seeking an injunction against the Grand Bahama Port Authority “interfering with and/or cancelling” its business license or increasing its fees until the courts determined who holds the ultimate regulatory authority for web shop gaming enterprises in Freeport.
But, March 27 saw Supreme Court Justice Petra Hanna-Weekes reportedly dismiss the action and state that there was “no serious issue to be tried” as the entire basis for the injunction had been a letter whose contents had since been completely “rescinded” by Smith and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
Shurland has now told The Tribune that an appeal has been filed while Raymond Culmer from Chances Games reportedly proclaimed in the initial injunction request that his business has “an excellent prospect of success” with the action based on the fact that the Grand Bahama Port Authority has never been granted regulatory authority over gaming.
In the first request, Culmer moreover reportedly asserted that Chances Games contributes “significantly to the economy of Freeport and the quality of life of Bahamian citizens, especially its employees” while he claimed that the Grand Bahama Port Authority had been “aware of the services being provided to its customers and at no time during the currency of the license did [it] invoke, complain, challenge or threaten to “cease and desist” or suffer sanctions for non-compliance”.