Easter Sunday Explosion Shuts Down Gibraltar Poker Sites
Play on popular online poker sites was brought to an abrupt halt on Easter Sunday when a massive power outage occurred following a fire at a Gibraltar power station. Thankfully according to the police and government, no-one was hurt in the incident.
Events began around 1pm local time at the Waterpoint Power Station when Engine Number 1 caught fire due to a mechanical failure. The generator exploded causing a larger fire, billowing out large clouds of smoke. As a result production of power ceased, causing disruption to a large percentage of the Rock.
Fire Affects Party Poker – Poker Sites Offices Near To Power Station
There are currently 26 international online gambling companies who have base themselves in Gibraltar due to its low taxes, making up an important part of the local economy. In addition to sites’ operations being affected by the loss of power to Gibtelecom, the territory’s leading telecommunication network, many big names such as Party Poker, Ladbrokes and Betfred have headquarters close to where the explosion happened.
William Hill’s offices, adjacent to power station, saw around 50 employees being evacuated by the police and fire crews. The UK bookmaker’s online operations were down for two and a half hours. "It's just one of those freak events nobody could have predicted.” William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe later told AFP, "There will be those who will claim they would have backed a winner but there will be others who have been saved from backing a loser.”
Fire Affects Party Poker – Easter Sunday Tournaments Cancelled
Party Poker was slow to get back online, taking upwards of 13 hours, on what should have been a huge day for them especially with the Easter holiday factored in. Many major tournaments that make up the Sunday schedule were cancelled including the Sunday $200,000 Guaranteed.
Poker Scout had reported Party’s cash game traffic peaking around 3500 on the days prior to the fire. On Sunday the peak figure for the day was cut in half to around 1763. Unfortunately the damage did not stop there as the following day figures only grew very slightly, relegating the site to fifth spot on Poker Scout’s leaderboard for cash game traffic.
Fire Affects Party Poker – Player Funds And Information Remains Secure
Ladbrokes were among those quickest to resume operations, made a point of mentioning “No customer data was compromised during that period," in their statement. Since the incident no security issues have been reported around the sites affected.
Other companies such as Betfred remained offline until the following day.
Late Sunday evening, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, the head of Gilbratar’s government praised the emergency services and confirmed power had been restored across the Rock. In a tweet he added "At last. Power outage too long. New plans must reflect lessons of such incidents so we never repeat."
Poker players can rest assured that despite the 60% of online gambling transactions estimated to be handled by Gibraltar servers, the only significant disaster to affect a Sunday’s play would be an unlikely tsunami taking out the Isle of Man.