Gambling Commission: Rhodes responds to criticism over Football Index

Rhodes has defended the Gambling Commission
Rhodes has defended the Gambling Commission

The Gambling Commission’s interim CEO Andrew Rhodes has taken to Twitter to respond to “angry messages”

UK.- The Gambling Commission’s interim chief executive Andrew Rhodes has sought to defend the regulator’s involvement in the case of Football Index, which entered administration in March.

After receiving “lots of quite angry and sometimes abusive messages” about Football Index, Rhodes sought to answer people’s concerns on Twitter.

He tweeted: “I’ve had many tweets demanding GC repay funds or cover losses due to the company going into administration, given it was regulated.

“Being regulated does not prevent a company going into administration and unlike some other sectors, there is no insurance or compensation scheme to cover gambling companies that go into administration and then liquidation.”

He continued: “Administration for operators is not common – there have been four in recent years, though orderly wind-up is a bit more common. 

“Many have assumed the GC ‘did nothing’ and you are entitled to your view. 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.

“I’m not asking that people change their view, just that you understand that we have not been able to set out what we know and what we did, which is normal when there are ongoing proceedings.

“I realise I may well get another torrent of messages disagreeing with me or making other points, but I wanted to try to address some of the things I felt I could say something on.”

BetIndex, the operator behind Football Index, had expressed hope that it could reimburse customers via a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)

Rhodes clarified that the Gambling Commission has no role in determining whether that remains likely, noting that it was a matter of administration, not regulation.

Rhodes tweeted: “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. If a CVA does happen, then they will likely make an ‘offer’ for the debts the company has which would be your bets as well as any other debts.”

Court documents revealed that BetIndex’s plans for a CVA included relaunching the platform, with creditors, including customers, receiving equity.

Rhodes said: “This does not mean you would get all your original stake back – it depends on what they offered. Then the CVA would need to apply for a licence to operate from us, which we would be obliged to consider.”

Rhodes was appointed in June after Neil McArthur stood down soon after Football Index went into administration in March. The Gambling Commission has been criticised for not acting sooner as it already had concerns about the business.

The UK government’s inquiry into the collapse is expected to examine the Gambling Commission’s role, while potential class actions on behalf of customers have said they would look at whether action against the regulator would be appropriate.

See also: Football Index to begin returning player funds

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Football Index Gambling Commission gambling regulation