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Internal emails and formal advice - BetIndex

Request date: 13 March 2021

This version was printed or saved on: 19 May 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/about-us/freedomofinformation/internal-emails-and-formal-advice-betindex

Request

On 12 March 2021 the Gambling Commission announced the suspension of operating license for BetIndex Limited (t/a Football Index).

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request for any internal email correspondence and formal advice regarding the invocation of section 118(2)  against BetIndex Limited / Football Index that was sent to or from Gambling Commission Directors between 5-11 March 2021. 

I am only interested in correspondence prior to the suspension of license under section 118(2) of the 2005 Gambling Act - i.e. a finalised policy decision - and am not widening this request to any ongoing operational discussions about BetIndex's suitability to operate under the section 116 review nor reinstatement under 118A.

Response

Thank you for your request which has been processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

In your email you have requested ‘any internal email correspondence and formal advice regarding the invocation of section 118(2) against BetIndex Limited / Football Index that was sent to or from Gambling Commission Directors between 5-11 March 2021.’

In an effort to retrieve any relevant data, we have been required to perform searches across the Gambling Commission’s email and messaging systems.

In order to capture any recorded information held by the Commission we have searched records containing the terms:

This search has generated 35 records potentially relevant to this part of your request.

Further to this, we have searched for records containing the terms:

This search has generated 286 records potentially relevant to this part of your request.

For both searches we have limited the scope to only internal emails and included the date range of 5-11 March 2021, as specified in your request.

All records would need to be reviewed in order to extract the relevant material to fulfil your request.

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for public authorities, such as the Commission, is set at £450. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

We estimate that it would take in excess of 18 hours to determine appropriate material and locate, retrieve and extract any relevant information in reference to your request as there is a high volume of records which may contain relevant information and would need to be checked individually.

When a public authority applies the Section 12 exemption to a request, the FOIA guidance specifically states that a public authority should avoid providing any information found as a result of a search as it denies the requestor the right to express a preference as to which parts of the request they may wish to receive within the appropriate time limit. Guidance on the application of section 12 can be viewed here:

Requests where the cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit (opens in a new tab)

If you are able to narrow your request, we may be able to provide some data by working up to the time limit.

Until we are able to process the search and retrieval of the information you have requested that can be provided within the statutory time limit, we are unable to ascertain if other exemptions will apply to the material retrieved, which would also prevent disclosure.

Please note, any refined request would be processed as a new request and the 20 working day statutory time limit would apply.

Kind regards

Review of the decision

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your Freedom of Information request you are entitled to an internal review of our decision. You should write to FOI Team, Gambling Commission, 4th floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP or by reply to this email.

Please note, internal review requests should be made within 40 working days of the initial response. Requests made outside this timeframe will not be processed.

If you are not content with the outcome of our review, you may then apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have already exhausted the review procedure provided by the Gambling Commission.

The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office (opens in a new tab), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Information Management Team
Gambling Commission
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham B2 4BP