Jockey Club's new-look eWin goes haywire

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 June, 2008, 12:00am

The Jockey Club was managing a savage reaction from miffed internet customers last night after its eWin service had a disastrous opening day with a new-look betting interface.

The club called in executive director of information technology, Sunny Lee Wai-kong to brief journalists after the final race, but there was little the director could say that would have appeased the thousands of angry and disaffected eWin users.

Lee explained the new-look eWin interface had been upgraded, largely because of the upcoming Euro 2008 competition. But the IT team took the opportunity to give the race-betting pages a facelift, too, and that's where the problems began.

Betting turnover on the day was still healthy, coming in at HK$948,401,928 - an increase of 7.9 per cent on the corresponding meeting last year when there were 10 races, compared to yesterday's 11. But after factoring out the effect of three jackpots in the Six Up, Triple Trio and 2nd Double Trio, and allowing for the recent betting trends, it appears the eWin debacle may have cost the club HK$30 million in betting turnover.

For those who could make the eWin service work, it was unacceptably slow. For users with the windows vista platform, there were added complications of the betting page freezing repeatedly, requiring the internet programme to be closed.

There was also the standard notice to customers that pops up after logging onto eWin. The problem there was that the 'Agree' icon was off the page and could not be reached, so the software would not allow account clients to get to first base.

A disappointed Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said his first meetings this morning will be with Lee, and executive director of betting, Henry Chan Shing-kai.