One of the biggest betting events on the Australian sports calendar – the Melbourne Cup – was disrupted just before the first races Tuesday by system crashes which frustrated thousands of punters trying to place bets online with Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and TAB.com.au.
Other than apologies for a technical problem, the cause of the crashes, which did not affect rival site BetEasy was not apparent.
Social media networks lit up as unhappy punters berated the betting companies.
Ladbrokes put up a notification saying: “Something went wrong. This page didn’t load correctly. Please wait a few moments and then refresh to try again. Betting is still available by calling our phone betting line on 1800 523 276.”
The company also took to social media, posting: “We are currently having some technical issues. Our team is working on this urgently and we understand that the timing couldn’t be worse. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
With just half an hour until the race, multiple sites were still experiencing problems Tuesday.
Twenty minutes before the main race on Tuesday, Tabcorp reported problems with its third-party payment providers, although these were fully restored just before the Cup.
Apparently unaffected by the problems at its rivals, BetEasy was reportedly signing up as many as 500 new customers a minute in the lead-up to the 3pm race.
Shortly after 2.15pm on Tuesday, Sportsbet’s mobile betting platform was back up and running, while technical teams were continuing to work on the desktop platform.