Published: June 9, 2021

UK Govt. appoints Malcolm Sheehan QC to lead review into Football Index collapse

The gambling firm had a model that allowed customers to bet by buying ‘shares’ in footballers and receive returns based on their performance. The review will examine the regulatory environment around the novel football betting product. It will cover the period from September 2015 to March this year.

UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) confirmed Monday that Malcolm Sheehan QC (Queen's Counsel), who is experienced in commercial and common law practice, will lead the independent review into the regulation of collapsed gambling firm BetIndex, the firm provider of the Football Index product.

The company had a model that allowed customers to bet by buying ‘shares’ in footballers and receive returns based on their performance. Its collapse has left thousands of customers out of pocket.

The review will cover the period from September 2015, when BetIndex’s license was granted by the Gambling Commissionto March this year when the license was suspended.

Sheehan will review the steps taken by the Gambling Commission and other regulatory bodies regarding BetIndex. As set out in the terms of reference, it will examine the regulatory environment around the novel football betting product.

The review will examine the actions of the Commission in assessing, licensing, and monitoring the operator. In addition, the review will examine the actions taken by the Financial Conduct Authority in determining whether the product should be regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act.

The Gambling Commission is carrying out a separate regulatory investigation into BetIndex’s license and the review is also independent of the ongoing administration proceedings, which are looking at the assets and liabilities of the firm.

Sheehan will report on the findings of the review in the summer. Alongside any lessons learned for the regulators, the report will feed into the government’s ongoing Gambling Act Review. The government intends to publish a white paper following the call for evidence on the Gambling Act Review before the end of the year.

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