The Gambling Commission has provided an update to its investigation into BetIndex and its Football Index platform, “due to the understandable and ongoing interest from consumers.”
Football Index, a betting offering whereby players could trade shares in professional footballers akin to the stock market, suspended business in March 2020 following a huge exodus of customers and investors, as a result of its decision to cut dividends on players from 14p to 3p.
Many customers lost thousands of pounds overnight as a result, with the company then going into administration and having its licence suspended by the Gambling Commission.
In the update, the Gambling Commission said that it remains in close contact with BetIndex, and that the company remains in administration.
“Ultimately, alongside the courts, it is for the Administrators to resolve the return of funds to affected consumers from the financial resources still held by the company,” a statement from the Gambling Commission read. “This is not something that can be directed by the Gambling Commission, but we are in contact to make sure any legal obligations covered by our remit are met.
“In respect of ‘Trust Deed monies’ - the money put aside by the company to cover customer stakes in the event of financial difficulties - these funds are currently being held by the Viscount of Jersey. Following a decision in the courts earlier this month, repayment of the monies to customer wallets is continuing as planned with a court hearing having taken place on the 22 June in Jersey to recognise the High Court Order.
“The next steps will see customers being notified by email when the monies are released. At that point customers will be able to log into their Football Index account and make a withdrawal request.”
Furthermore, the Gambling Commission has welcomed and is fully engaging with the Government’s independent review, which is being led by Malcolm Sheehan QC.
The Gambling Commission added that it has “certain powers as a regulator and sometimes it is assumed we can do things which we cannot. This does not mean we do not recognise the distress and clear upset that many Football Index customers will be feeling.”