Malcolm Sheehan QC To Lead Review Into BetIndex, Provider of Football Index
Following the suspension of BetIndex’s licence in March, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport announced on Monday that Malcolm Sheehan QC, an expert in commercial and common law, will lead the independent review into the regulations of this collapsed gambling firm.
BetIndex’s Football Index was a product that functioned like a stock market. Customers would buy “shares” in football players and receive dividends based on their performances, while the prices rose and fell.
The upcoming review will cover the period from September 2015, when the UK Gambling Commission issued BetIndex its licence, until March 2021, when it suspended the licence.
The terms of reference have been published on June 7, outlining the purpose and the objectives of the investigation. Malcolm Sheehan QC will inspect the regulatory environment around the Football Index product as well as the steps the Gambling Commission took regarding BetIndex.
The Gambling Commission will conduct a separate independent investigation into the licence it granted BetIndex.
The Football Index collapsed earlier this year, leaving thousands of customers with losses amounting to an estimated £90 million. The case amply illustrates that bettors should always be careful and bet exclusively on reliable betting sites reviewed by professionals.
Minister of State for Media and Data John Whittingdale said: “We know how difficult it has been for people affected by the collapse of the Football Index, with some losing significant sums of money. We are setting up an independent inquiry so that we can find out how this happened. […] We are determined to ensure that regulators have the right tools to protect customers and to deal with novel products. The gambling landscape is evolving rapidly and so we are also taking action by reviewing the Gambling Act to make sure our laws are fit for the digital age.”
Sheehan is expected to report on the findings of the review in the summer, and the report will feed into the ongoing review of the Gambling Act.