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Apr 23, 2014

Fire in Gibraltar Disrupts Online Poker

By RTR Dennis

Gibraltar fire Rake The Rake

Local journalists reported a generator at Waterport Power Station caught fire and exploded due to a mechanical failure. The blast left most residents without power, and shut down many Gibraltar based online gambling and gaming operations including Ladbrokes, Betfred, and William Hill.

The fire station was evacuated and emergency services quickly arrived at the scene - fortunately no people were injured by the fire or explosion. William Hill spokesperson Graham Sharpe described it as “one of those freak events nobody could have predicted”.

Online poker and gambling is a pretty crucial part of Gibraltar’s economy with lots of companies basing themselves there due to the lower tax laws. The power outage left many players unable to play poker and place bets on a very busy Easter Sunday of various sporting events. Graham Sharpe added that “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.”

Once power was restored the Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo commended the emergency services for their response, and later tweeted:

"Power outage too long. New plans must reflect lessons of such incidents so we never repeat."