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  4. Football Index update – 29 June 2021

Football Index update – 29 June 2021

29 June 2021

Due to the understandable and ongoing interest from consumers around BetIndex and its Football Index platform, we are publishing this further update which will be of interest to the company’s customers.

The Gambling Commission 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.

BetIndex – administration proceedings

Whilst our investigation is ongoing our priority is that BetIndex focuses on treating its customers fairly and keeping them fully informed of any developments which impact them.

BetIndex remains in administration, and we continue to be in close contact with them. They also post updates on their website (opens in a new tab).

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. 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 (by this we mean cash in wallets) 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.

Many Football Index customers are very concerned about the ‘share portfolio’ part of the product. At the present time, there has been no valuation by the Administrators of ‘share portfolios’. The Gambling Commission is not involved in this valuation and it is unconnected to our powers as a regulator.

Whilst there will be limitations on what information we can publish whilst our regulatory investigations are ongoing, we will continue to provide updates whenever we have further information to share.

Independent review and previous statements

We have welcomed the Government’s independent review and the focus it will bring to the way that complex products, which to consumers can have the appearance of both gambling and financial characteristics, are currently regulated.

The Government published the Terms of Reference for the independent expert review (opens in a new tab) on 7 June 2021.

We are fully engaging with the review, which is being led by Malcolm Sheehan QC, to find forward-looking solutions that can also be fed into the Gambling Act Review.

For further background on our ongoing investigation you can read our previous update.

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