Insights Government to launch independent review into collapse of football gambling firm

The Government has confirmed that it will be launching an independent review examining the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the gambling company Football Index.

Football Index, operated by BetIndex Ltd, allowed customers to buy “shares” in footballers and receive returns based on their performance. The Gambling Commission suspended the firm’s operating licence in March 2021, and it entered administration shortly after.

The Government will appoint an independent expert to lead the review. The company is understood to have had many thousands of customers, with some having lost very large sums of money as a result of its demise.

As well as establishing how the firm collapsed and identifying any lessons to be learned, the Government says that the review will look at the decisions and actions of the Gambling Commission, which licenses and regulates the gambling industry. The findings will be made public in the summer and they will form part of the evidence informing the wider review of the Gambling Act. A White Paper setting out findings and proposals for reform of the Act will be published by the end of the year.

The review will also look at the work of other relevant regulators, to provide a clear account of how Football Index’s activities were regulated and identify if there are areas for improvement in how complex products are treated.

The period under review is September 2015 to 11 March 2021, which is when the Gambling Commission suspended BetIndex’s licence after concerns over customer funds. To read the Government’s announcement in full, click here.