The UK Gambling Commission has issued a statement regarding BetIndex and its collapsed football stock exchange platform, Football Index, as investigations into the crash continue.
In the update published on Tuesday, the regulator revealed that the move was informed by the ongoing interest in the issue, particularly from Football Index customers.
The statement starts with an acknowledgment from the Commission on its mandate as a regulator, although it says that its powers are limited in some instances.
‘’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 recognize the distress and clear upset that many Football Index Customers will be feeling.”
“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,’’ the statement continues.
Commenting on the BetIndex administration proceedings, the UKGC revealed that it is in close contact with the company, which is currently in administration with Begbies Traynor.
The firm suspended its Football Index platform on March 11, and consequently announced that it was going into administration with the UK-based business rescue and recovery specialist as it seeks to recommence operations in a restructured form.
The Gambling Commission update went on to state that it is upon the Administrators to resolve the issue of paying out money owed to customers as ordered by the High Court earlier this month. In its judgment, the High Court allowed Begbies Traynor to start the process of refunding players’ money and set the cut-off date for the payment of the dividends at March 26.
BetIndex had put aside £4.5 million in its player protection account before going into administration, and the funds are currently being held by the Viscount of Jersey. According to the Administrators, about 280,000 players are set to receive roughly £3.5 million from the trust fund. The rest of the money will be used to cover legal expenses incurred by Begbies Traynor during the process.
In its latest update, the UK gambling watchdog revealed that Football Index Administrators have begun the process of refunding customer money following a court hearing that took place in Jersey on June 22. The money will be remitted to customers’ accounts, and those who qualify to receive payments will be notified by email when the funds are released.
Although the Commission cannot interfere in the process, that body has assured players that they are in contact with Begbies Traynor to ensure that the company fulfils its legal obligations.
Besides providing an update on the Football Index administration proceedings, the UKGC announced that it has welcomed the Government’s independent inquiry into the Football Index scandal.
The inquiry, which seeks to review the regulator’s actions towards the licensee to establish whether the Commission could have intervened to prevent the collapse of the platform, was commissioned by the DCMS earlier this month.
According to the Commission, the investigations will go a long way in helping the body to come up with a better regulatory framework for complex products that have both gambling and financial characteristics.
The investigation is being led by Malcom Sheehan QC, and its finding will be incorporated into the Government’s Gambling Act Review.
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