The Interim Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Andrew Rhodes, has defended the regulator against accusations that it remained mute during the administration of Football Index.
Rhodes, who took over the UKGC in June after Neil McArthur was ousted, took to Twitter to defend the regulator against criticisms of the administration’s actions.
“Many have assumed the GC ‘did nothing’ and you are entitled to your view,” he wrote. “What I would ask you to have in mind is that we currently cannot say very much at all about these matters because of ongoing investigations and reviews.”
In defending the UKGC, Rhodes argued that the regulator “hasn’t been able to set out what we know and what we did, which is normal when there are ongoing proceedings.”
He also stated that, in the context of an ongoing administration, he was willing to answer to any Football Index issues as best he could.
Company Voluntary Arrangement
In response to a question about whether the UKGC supported a “Company Voluntary Arrangement” (CVA) to reimburse Football Index users, Rhodes stated that the UKGC had no say in the matter.
“A CVA may or may not happen – it is not something the GC is involved with and would not be. It’s between the administrators and any potential investor/buyer to set up a CVA,” Rhodes remarked.
Individual losses of players who bet on Football Index markets were recognised by the UKGC, but it stressed that it was not responsible for calculating Football Index’s debts and liabilities to its consumers.
Rhodes also revealed that as the regulating organisation that licenced Football Index, the UKGC had received messages asking that it reimburse players for losses.
“Being regulated does not prevent a company going into administration and unlike some other sectors, there is no insurance or compensation scheme,” he continued.
“Funds protection needs to be made clear by the operator but this will vary between companies and aside from funds held separately, often the cash balances, this does not protect against a company.”
Rhodes declined to comment on any of the persons involved in the Football Index firm, citing a desire to respect the processes of the administrators.
Customers were able to withdraw their existing account balances after Football Index’s platform reopened on July 13th, but market bets on player valuations remained uncertain.
Football Index customers were due about £3.2 million earlier this year, leaving Betindex, the trading platform’s parent business, with a £1.8 million surplus from its £4.5 million “Trust Deed monies” pool.
Since the fall of Football Index in March, several consumers have complained about the UKGC’s oversight. This is due to the firm’s decision to decrease dividends on listed football players, which resulted in many customers losing considerable amounts of money.