Monday November 2,2015 : ONLINE PROBLEMS FOR HONG KONG JOCKET CLUB
Angry punters protest as website fails, costing the company dearly.
Hong Kong Jockey Club's eWin website went down over the weekend, frustrating punters and resulting in an estimated drop of 4.9 percent, or HK$65 million compared with the same race meeting last year, for the company.
The almost day-long intermittent failure was described by most media reports as a "mysterious malfunction" that heavily disrupted internet betting on the Happy Valley race meet.
The difficulties surfaced just after the start of race one at 12.45pm, according to the club's executive director, customer and marketing chief Richard Cheung Che-kit, and remained that way for the remainder of the card.
Amid player speculation that the site had been hacked, Cheung emphasised that the reason for the issue was unclear.
"The landing page simply would not load properly and as a result people could not place bets through it," he said. "At some times, it was briefly able to load but just as quickly went down again. The technical side of the problem is under extensive investigation by our staff but we do not understand what happened at this stage so we can offer no explanation."
The club advised punters to use betting channels other than the massively popular eWin as angry calls flooded into the company.
"There is no sugar coating it – eWin is the platform used to place around 22 percent of our total betting turnover, so if that platform is down then, yes, a proportion of that betting might move to other platforms, but some will be lost," Cheung admitted.
"Turnover for the day was down by around HK$65 million, or 4.9 per cent, on last year's comparative meeting and we have to attribute at least part of that amount to the problem with eWin. So it has been an expensive problem."
He said that the disruption extended to track restaurants and private rooms, which are equipped with tablet computers for punters to use in accessing eWin and placing bets.
The South China Morning Post reported that "remarkably", the technical issue disappeared immediately after the last race of the day ended around 6 pm.