By Stephen Smoot
A digital corporation with a global footprint has already started implementing its plans to use the long vacant Grant County Data Center.
Continent 8, according to CEO and founder Michael Tobin, has “been at the forefront” of the iGaming industry for a quarter of a century. The company “has built a truly global network of data centers, spanning multiple continents.”
“It is great to be working with Continent 8,” shared Laura Brown from the Seneca Rocks Regional Development Authority. She also described Continent 8 as “an established and respected data center company with a vast amount of experience in the field.”
From more than 100 locations worldwide, Continent 8 supports corporate customers engaged in iGaming, which is a term referring to wagering online. The company’s growth has been spurred by the rapid legalization of online sports gambling by a number of states.
Scott Manford, CEO of the British company Wizard Slots, told Forbes in 2021 that the rapid expansion of legalized betting “supports the idea that there is both an audience and an incentive for states.” Large expansion of the practice means that sports betting and online casino companies need the kind of massive and flexible digital infrastructure that a company like Continent 8 provides.
“We are thrilled to have reached an agreement with the Seneca Rocks Regional Development Authority,” said Tobin, who added “and will soon be able to deliver our world-class data center solutions from the West Virginia site.”
He also shared that “we have 25 years of experience delivering innovative infrastructure solutions to online businesses worldwide.” Tobin touted a “global reach, local focus approach.”
Continent 8 did not waste time posting jobs at its new Petersburg facility. The company website has advertised for a data center facilities manager and a data center technician.
Grant County constructed the data center near Petersburg 12 years ago in the hopes that it would “spur additional technology investment in the region,” according to a marketing document created at the time by the Grant County Economic Development Authority.
The 10,200 square foot hilltop center was described as “a ‘ready to occupy’ facility with infrastructure, generator, raised floor, multiple fiber connections, and abundant power.” One of the selling points, especially for potential federal government customers, lay in its distance from the Washington, DC, “blast zone” and areas prone to natural disasters.
Potential purposes projected for it included “colocation, hosting, or disaster recovery.” Continent 8 “will be significantly investing in the site to enable customers, existing and new, to access the world-class hosting, connectivity, and cybersecurity solutions they are known for.