Football Index Repayments on their Way

March of this year saw the Football Index site run into major problems. The company that ran the site is BetIndex and they are currently still in administration. The Gambling Commission have now given an update on their investigation into the company.

The decision to do so was “due to the understandable and ongoing interest from consumers.” Well, there is always plenty of interest when money is being potentially lost. The idea of the site was to create a footballing stock market. Players were able to trade shares in players and of course values go up and down.

March 2020 was not a good month for the site and definitely not for its players. There had dividends offered of 14p but as problems began to mount, that fell to just 3p. This understandably led to a big fall in the number of site members.

That was just the start of the bad news though. When the news broke that BetIndex were going into administration, many customers found themselves losing thousands of pounds. The Gambling Commission suspended their licence so all a bit of a shock for all concerned.

It’s now nearly July, so what is the current situation? The Gambling Commission – who have come under fire for the way they handled this situation – say they are in close contact with BetIndex. The company are still in administration.

The administration process is not known for its swiftness. The Gambling Commission says the Administrators have the job of resolving the return of funds to those affected by the collapse of the company. They stressed that: “This is not something that can be directed by the Gambling Commission, but we are in contact to make sure any legal obligations covered by our remit are met.”

A key areas is the ‘Trust Deed monies,’ which is a sum that companies put aside to cover customer stakes if serious financial problems are encountered. The Gambling Commission say that “these funds are currently being held by the Viscount of Jersey.”

One bit of good news is that “repayment of the monies to customer wallets is continuing as planned with a court hearing having taken place on the 22 June in Jersey to recognise the High Court Order.”

So, what happens next? Site customers will be notified by email when there are monies being released. “At that point customers will be able to log into their Football Index account and make a withdrawal request,” said The Gambling Commission.

There’s also the matter of the independent review being held by the Government. This is being led by Malcolm Sheeran QC. The Gambling Commission welcome that this is taking place and are fully supportive of it.

What about the criticism of why The Gambling Commission didn’t act sooner? They added that they have “certain powers as a regulator and sometimes it is assumed we can do things which we cannot. This does not mean we do not recognise the distress and clear upset that many Football Index customers will be feeling.”