Deveaux (dba Percy Web Café) et Al v The Attorney General; Paradise Games Ltd (dba Paradise Ltd) v The Attorney General

JudgeAdderley, J.A.
Judgment Date22 May 2014
Neutral CitationBS 2014 CA 86
Docket NumberSCCivAPP No. 96 of 2013 & SCCivAPP No. 97 of 2013
CourtCourt of Appeal (Bahamas)
Date22 May 2014

Court of Appeal

Allen, P.; John, J.A.; Adderley, J.A.

SCCivAPP No. 96 of 2013 & SCCivAPP No. 97 of 2013

Deveaux (dba Percy Web Café) et al
The Attorney General
Paradise Games Limited (dba Paradise Limited)
The Attorney General

Mr. Wayne Munroe, with Ms. Italia Cartwright, counsel for the 1st — 6th applicants in 96/2013.

Mr. Alfred Sears, with Mr. Jeffrey Lloyd, counsel for the applicant in 97/2013.

Mr. Loren Klein, with Ms. Melisa Wright, Mr.s Darcel Williamson and Mr. Darren Henfield, counsel for respondent in 96/2013 and 97/2013.

Civil Practice and Procedure - Stay of proceedings — Application for a stay, pending appeal— Interlocutory Injunction — Conservatory Order — Appeal dismissed.

Adderley, J.A.

On 17th May, 2013 we dismissed the application of the applicants for a stay, pending appeal, of the ruling of the Honourable Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett made 9th April, 2013 (“the Chief Justice's judgment”) whereby he refused an application by the appellants for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the police from discharging their duties as they considered it proper to do in relation to the business of the applicants, and discharged a Conservatory order to the same effect that had been granted by Isaacs Sr., J..


The plaintiffs who were licenced under the Business Licence Act to carry on the business of “web cafe” were generally suspected to be allowing their facilities to be used by patrons to engage in on line lottery or gaming. They did not have the requisite licence under the Lotteries and Gaming Act (“the Act”).


The conservatory order had been granted by Isaacs Sr., J. on 30th January, 2013 five days before the issue of generally indorsed writs on 4th February, 2013 in Supreme Court Actions number 2013/CLE/GEN/00150 and 2013/CLE/GEN/00151 (“the Writ Actions”).


As stated in the Chief Justice's judgment the Writ Actions sought declarations on the following issues:

  • “(i) whether the activities of the Plaintiffs are prohibited by the Lotteries and Gaming Act.

  • (ii) whether the provisions of the Act are ultra vires [Article 26 of] the Constitution; and

  • (ii) whether the defendant by threatening to Prosecute the Plaintiffs for breach of the Act have violated their legitimate expectation to have been granted whatever licences were necessary to ensure that their activities were not in contravention of the provisions of the Act.”


The conservatory Order had been sought and obtained ex parte days after a non-binding referendum conducted to obtain the public's opinion on whether web shop gaming should be regulated and taxed, and a public pronouncement in the press had been made by the Prime Minister, the RT Honourable Perry G Christie, following the negative result. The statement read in part as follows:

“…all, offending web-shop owners and operators are placed on notice that all their gaming operations, including all online gaming and the numbers games, must cease with immediate effect. Failure to do so will leave all such web shop owners operators and web shop gaming patrons exposed to arrest and criminal...

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