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BetIndex Limited, trading as Football Index, was a sports betting platform that launched in 2015. It allowed customers to place bets on the performance of footballers. Customers were paid “dividends” according to player performances. If a player performed well, the transfer value went up and so did the “share price”. The aim for customers was to identify rising stars and buy shares in them before selling at a profit.

An operating licence was issued to BetIndex by the Gambling Commission in September 2015.

In March 2021, BetIndex suspended operations and appointed administrators. According to press reports, customers could lose more than £90m.

In April 2021, the Government announced a review to examine how the company’s activities had been regulated. The Independent Report into the Regulation of Football Index was published in September 2021. This found, among other things, that:

  • BetIndex failed to properly notify the Gambling Commission of the nature of the product in its licence application. In addition, it did not inform the Commission of changes to its product as it was required to.
  • The Gambling Commission could have responded better with earlier scrutiny of the product offered by BetIndex, including of the language used by the product, quicker decision-making and action, and better escalation of issues.

Although Football Index was not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Report identified areas for improvement for the FCA. These included its speed of response to requests from the Gambling Commission and consistency of messaging on regulatory responsibilities.

The Government has said the Report’s findings will inform its response to its Review of the Gambling Act.

The Government has also said it will not use public funds to compensate customers who have lost money.

Documents to download

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