Gibraltar is not the most well known place in the world for most people, but the British overseas territories located at the tip of Spain, facing Morocco, is actually one of the places with most gambling companies in the world. Among those companies are Ladbrokes, William Hill and 888 and they were all put offline for several hours yesterday, after a fire broke out in a local power plant.
An explosion and then a fire in the Gibraltar power plant caused the entire area to black out and be out of power for several hours. It exploded due to mechanical problems and quickly created heavy smoke which was dangerous to breathe. All citizens were warned and asked to close their windows and stay inside until the fire was over.
All companies based in Gibraltar went offline for several hours, including Ladbrokes, William Hill and also Betfred. While the websites were functioning fine due to the servers being located elsewhere, all the staff could not connect and help out customers, which has caused a massive drop in Sunday revenues.
William Hill said that their services overall were offline for almost three hours, while the fire was being fought. Over 50 employees of the betting giant also had to be evacuated from the offices as they were close to where the fire was spreading.
"It is just one of those freak events nobody could have predicted," Graham Sharpe, Spokesperson for William Hill said. "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,"
"We apologise to the customers who were affected by the loss of some of those services on Sunday afternoon and have been working hard and successfully to restore these," Ladbrokes said in an official statement. "None of our staff were affected by the incident, and no customer data was compromised during that period,"
"Please be aware that all services are currently down, we're working hard to resolve this issue & will update all customers once resolved," Betfred wrote on Twitter to inform their customers.
While speculations were flying around Gibraltar, talking about someone purposely created the explosion to put down the betting giants, local police investigators said that there was no foul play involved in the incident and that it was just a case of bad luck.
Photo Credit: AFP Photo/Marcos Moreno