When the British territory of Gibraltar was rocked by a recent fuel tank explosion, the effects were felt by many of the top online bookmakers in Europe. Gibraltar has long been home to many online bookmakers due to their favorable laws for the industry and the availability of workers. When the tank exploded at approximately 1:00 p.m. local time, many of the adjacent areas experienced power outages. While the explosion was under investigation, local police had not ruled out foul play.
During the Easter weekend which is traditionally one of their busiest weekends of the year, at least three well known European bookmakers were forced offline when the explosion set fire to their office building and took down all network and communication connections. Apparently, many of the top online bookmakers are housed in the same location. Reports began coming out that William Hill, Ladbrokes and Betfred were all forced to take down their system. For several of the bookmakers, the outage lasted into the evening. The good news is there were no injuries reported amongst those staff members employed by the bookmakers.
All three companies were quick to issue statements to their customers apologizing for the inconvenience. They also told their clients they were aware of the problem and were working hard to address the issues and would have the system back up just as soon as possible. Ladrokes went on to assure customers that their personal information had not been compromised by the local disaster.
This could not have happened at a worse time for these online bookmakers. Many of the companies are experiencing issues with the U.K. regarding taxes and point of consumption taxes. Losing business over a busy weekend is not what they needed to turn around the misfortunes.
The effects will also be felt in the local economy if there are any lasting effects to the explosion or power outage. The online casinos provide a large portion of the area’s employment. While there are about 26 major online bookmakers located in Gibraltar, the only one to have reported little or no interruption was BetVictor who may have had their own emergency generator.