BetEasy was the biggest benefactor in Australia as sports betting sites Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and Betfair all crashed on Melbourne Cup day – the biggest day on the nation’s betting calendar.
As reported by The AGE, punters on Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and online betting exchange Betfair were temporarily unable to place bets on their smartphone apps or computers, while Tabcorp also reported problems with its third-party payment providers.
Sportsbet, the country’s largest online bookmaker, said that its mobile betting platform was back up and running shortly after 2:15 pm – 45 minutes before the main race started, but technical issues remained on the desktop platform, while Ladbrokes told punters via social media that it was doing all it could to bring its services back online.
It is understood that Betfair’s site crashed temporarily just before 2 pm, but was back working again within about five minutes. Tabcorp’s payment issues, reported just twenty minutes before the race, were also fully resolved before the race got underway at 3 pm.
Meanwhile, BetEasy, now the third-largest provider in Australia behind Sportsbet and Tabcorp having only returned to the market through the merger of CrownBet and William Hill this summer, was able to sign up as many as 500 new customers a minute as a result of its competitors’ technical problems.
Sportsbet said it had experienced technical issues due to “unprecedented demand and we fixed these issues as a priority”. The statement added: “Hundreds of thousands of our customers enjoyed a punt on the big race. We sincerely apologise to those who experienced issues or inconvenience.”
Wagering data from last year’s Melbourne Cup Day showed that, in the immediate lead-up to the main race, a peak of 850 bets a second were being placed through Sportsbet.