The Department of Culture Media and Sport has revealed that Malcolm Sheehan QC would oversee an independent investigation into the collapse of BetIndex, the parent company of the bankrupt football trading site Football Index.
Sheehan will conduct an investigation into the regulatory failures that led to the collapse of Football Index, which will be reported to the government as part of its continuing review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
The investigation will go from September 2015, when BetIndex was awarded a licence by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), to March of this year, when the company’s licence was cancelled.
Sheehan’s responsibilities include reviewing the UKGC’s and other regulatory bodies’ actions governing Football Index’s product changes, customer complaints, financial circumstances assessment, and decision to suspend BetIndex’s licence.
Examination of Commissions actions
A DCMS statement read: “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.”
Following claims that clients had lost £90 million as a result of the platform’s collapse, cross-party ministers called for DCMS to establish an independent inquiry of the platform’s regulatory shortcomings.
DCMS informed stakeholders that Sheehan’s investigation will be separate from any of BetIndex’s ongoing administrative actions, which are looking at the firm’s assets and liabilities.
Sheehan is anticipated to complete his report on the review’s findings in the summer, independent of the UKGC’s ongoing inquiry into BetIndex’s licence and conduct.
The DCMS concluded: “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.”