The technical issue was not immediately resolved, meaning many fans were unable to complete bets on their chosen races.
On one of the busiest weeks of the year for the (or any gambling) company, many bettors took to Twitter to show this disappointment in the service with comments such as: “Shocking, you should be giving out free bets or something as a sorry not weak excuses.”
And some questioned how the company has not fully prepared for this important week.
“What will be given to us in the way of an apology to keep our business? A free bet at the very least. I would have thought it fair for all the trouble caused today. You've only had a year to prepare for it.”
However, one commenter was quick to dismiss the idea of free bet as compensation, stating: “A free bet? What will a tenner solve? They ruined my entire day.”
Smarkets commented that the problems arose due to an influx of new customers that was greater than expected. It added that the team is working hard to ensure nothing like this happens again and is confident the rest of Cheltenham week will conclude smoothly.
This news follows last year’s recognition by Smarkets that trade on its gambling platform rose by 40% during the Cheltenham Festival, with bettors contributing £200m ($277.2m) in four days on the Smarkets exchange.