The UK government has been pressurised into launching an investigation over the collapse of the controversial Football Index betting site.
Football Index was a football player trading exchange in the UK that went live in 2015 and belonged to the BetIndex Group.
UK bettors were caught off-guard when Football Index suddenly announced that it was shutting down operations with no further explanation. Bettors were aghast as they had more than £100 million in combined funds locked into Football Index.
The surprise and shock was due to the fact that Football Index was licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) which is the gambling regulator in the UK.
The UKGC’s job is to ensure that such instances don’t happen which is why the UKGC has a detailed vetting process to issue licenses and monitor all gaming sites.
Since the shutdown, the UKGC has suspended the license of Football Index and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has removed Football Index from its list of members. However, none of this will bring back the £100 million in funds.
A number of customers have joined together to file a class action lawsuit with the help of Leigh Day who is also looking to go after the UKGC for failing to do its job properly.
Government To Launch Investigation
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm (GRH APPG) has been calling for the government to launch an investigation into the collapse of Football Index. Calls for the investigation have grown stronger with every passing week, especially after news broke that the UKGC was warned in Jan 2021 that Football Index was running a pyramid scheme.
However, the UKGC did nothing about it and APPG wants the government to investigate the failings of the gambling watchdog and put in place protocols to see that such an incident does not happen again in the UK gambling industry.
MP Carolyn Harris of the Labour Party has said the government needs have better oversight of the UKGC and needs to make significant changes to the gambling regulations in the country. The UK government has already commissioned a special group to review the archaic 2005 Gaming Act and to put forward their suggestions.
Given the publicity that the Football Index case has received in the UK, the special committee should look at making changes to gaming regulations to address the responsibilities and oversight of the UKGC.