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Gibraltar Fire Disrupts Online Gaming During Easter Weekend

Gibraltar Fire Disrupts Online Gaming During Easter Weekend 0001

The Rock of Gibraltar stands as a symbol for strength and stability in the United Kingdom, but that was not the case over Easter weekend when a few online gaming sites were disrupted due to an explosion and fire at Gibraltar's Waterport Power Station.

According to a report at PokerScout, William Hill, Ladbrokes, and BetFred all suffered power outages for four hours in the run-up to prime time gaming.

After power was restored, these iPoker skins were able to resume their normal levels of volume minimizing their loss. Traffic on iPoker had an overall 20% loss, since many skins including PaddyPower and Titan are not based out of Gibraltar. William Hill had to evacuate its offices, but was able to get things back in order after power was restored.

BetVictor was more prepared for the event, and was able to continue operations thanks to an emergency power generator. BetVictor is one of the largest skins on the MPN network, and thanks to the company's foresight, the network did not suffer any loss in traffic.

Partypoker was less lucky, suffering a huge 75% loss in traffic for the day. It was a huge blow to partypoker because the Easter weekend is normally one of the most popular and profitable for any online gaming provider. During the outage, partypoker updated its customers with the following statement:

Our team is still working hard to fully resolve technical difficulties which have prevented play today. Please accept our sincere apologies.

Other major online poker sites such as PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and 888poker did not suffer for any particular issue as none of them keep their servers in Gibraltar.

Despite the major service disruptions on many sites, online traffic declined for about 2% week-over-week. Although this might seem trivial, one should keep in mind that Easter weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the year. Traffic was down 10% when compared to the same week last year.

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo tweeted his displeasure about the power failure causing too many problems.

Power restored to whole of Gibraltar. At last. Power outage too long. New plans must reflect lessons of such incidents so we never repeat.

The power disruptions on one of the busiest weekends of the year should certainly have online gaming operators examine their emergency procedures. Besides suffering losses from online poker, it is believed losses were even bigger for online gaming operators offering sports wagering, casino, and video slots.

For a complete look at the online poker traffic rankings, check out

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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