GB Gambling Commission Acting Managing Director Andrew Rhodes has reminded players that the regulator cannot refund money lost to customers as a result of the Football Index collapse.
As a result of the platform’s collapse and the subsequent administration of its operator BetIndex, the duty to manage customer remedies fell on the administrators.
£ 4.5million was held in BetIndex’s player protection fund, which was used to cover the £ 3.5million of silver deemed to be held in player accounts when the company went out of business. is collapsed. However, the value of the bets that were active at the time of the collapse was a much larger figure, and the status of any possible repayment of these funds remains unclear. Rhodes said the only course of action available to players looking to raise funds is through the administrators, Begbies Traynor.
Rhodes said, “In some industries there are mandatory or voluntary schemes or compensation schemes that provide some protection to funds in the event of a business collapse. The gaming industry is not regulated like that – it is regulated as a leisure activity.
“We always say that no one should bet more than they can afford to lose. Not because the business could collapse, but because gambling is inherently risky. I realize that this is not comforting to some of those who have lost sums of money with the BetIndex collapse. The best route for fund recovery is best researched by administrators. “
Rhodes also admitted that the Commission was slow to act in the Football Index case, according to the findings of the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) independent investigation into the platform’s collapse. .
Rhodes admitted that the Commission cleared Football Index to be a type of product – a fixed odds betting service where players receive dividends but cannot buy or sell bets – only to find that the actual product had a pattern. stockholder who should have required a betting license exchange.
Rhodes added, “As the report says, we have not allowed Football Index to sell bets between users or between company and users. The licensed product was a product where customers could bet on a characteristic of a particular football player and receive dividends based on the performance of that football player. We have not licensed a product for the sale of wagers called user-to-user shares.
“We took too long to make our final decision and that’s something we agree with. Our goal was to protect consumers and try to bring the Football Index into compliance, but we should have drawn a line under those efforts earlier. “
The Commission initially defended its decision to wait to suspend BetIndex’s license over fears that a suspension would hasten its collapse and the loss of client funds. Rhodes reiterated this point.
He said: “Once it became clear that Football Index was not operating according to its original license, the Gambling Commission had very difficult choices. The product was very large and the suspension of the license would have had huge repercussions for the company.
“The reality is that every time we suspended the license, the company would likely have collapsed and most customers would have lost the money they had in open bets.”