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Which gambling sites gallop and which are old nags?

At Trust IV we’ve developed a web performance test application to monitor the page response times for websites. Our application analyses the performance of home pages for companies in different market sectors including retail, finance, entertainment, travel and so on.

The current “beta version” of this test tool has been running for a few months now and we’ve started to get some interesting statistics. When the site “goes public” you’ll be able to check your own website’s performance and compare it with competitors in your market sector….watch this space!

Normally we sample page response times on a daily basis from each site, but occasionally it’s interesting to measure timings at more frequent intervals and our application can be reconfigured to sample data at different sample rates. We decided to increase the sampling rate on a number of online gambling sites this week because of the Cheltenham festival.

We saw some interesting statistics on “Ladies Day”.

In the chart above, the green diamonds represent the start times for each race. As the chart shows, each site experiences different peak response times. Our observations, based on a 5-minute sampling rate, showed that Ladbrokes and BetFair experienced an increase in page response times in the run up to the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Steeple Chase which was the first race of the day. This is likely to correspond to the peak load period for all the sites as “punters” try to place bets online prior to watching the afternoon’s racing.

What is less clear is the reason for the apparent slow down affecting BetFair, Ladbrokes and William Hill from 3 o’clock onwards.  It would be very interesting to see the numbers of users on the sites at this time as well as the volume of bets placed. Any sites which experiences persistent slow-downs are likely to lose custom as described in numerous studies by Akamai, Google and others.

We’ll continue to monitor sites such as this at peak times and report any interesting snippets that we discover. If you have any ideas for sites whose performance we should investigate, get in touch with us.

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