he UK government said Tuesday it will launch a review into Football Index, the football trading platform that collapsed last month.
The website, which was operated by BetIndex Ltd and allowed users to trade ‘shares’ in high-profile footballers, suffered a crash after a sudden reduction in dividend payments. Some users lost thousands of pounds as a result. Football Index went into administration shortly afterwards and the UK Gambling Commission has suspended its licence.
The Government will appoint an independent expert to lead the review. It will assess the actions of the Gambling Commission and other regulators to see if they are any areas for improvement in the way complex financial products are treated. The findings will be made public in the summer and they will form part of the evidence informing the wider review of the Gambling Act. A White Paper setting out findings and proposals for reform of the Act will be published by the end of the year.
Minister for Gambling and Lotteries John Whittingdale said in a statement Tuesday that the government would appoint an independent expert to conduct a review of how the company was regulated. “The government is taking the situation regarding Football Index and the concerns of those affected by it very seriously,” he said. “It is reported that many thousands of customers are affected by the product’s collapse, with some having lost very large sums. This review will aim to establish both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from it.”
The period under review is September 2015 to 11 March 2021, which is when the Gambling Commission suspended BetIndex’s licence after concerns over customer funds. The appointment of an independent reviewer and further details of the terms of reference will be announced shortly, the government stated.