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APPG calls for inquiry following Football Index scandal

| By Nosa Omoigui
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm (APPG) has called on the Secretary for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to lead a public inquiry into the collapse of Football Index.
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Football Index’s operator BetIndex went into administration earlier this month, following a change in its dividend structure that BetIndex said was necessary to ensure the platform remained sustainable. This dividend change came days after the operator encouraged new investments from players by minting new shares in footballers.

The operator’s collapse has put the funds of many players in doubt. Although the Gambling Commission has received assurances that player account funds would be paid before any other debts, Football Index’s terms and conditions say that funds invested into players on the site are not protected as they are “sums at risk.”

The collapse saw players lose all the money they had invested.

In a letter to the secretary of state, APPG chairs Carolyn Harris MP, Ronnie Cowan MP and Lord Foster of Bath said: “In a regulated sector, when people gamble, they should have the confidence they are doing so on the basis of the outcome of a wager – it should not be a gamble on the solvency or sustainability of the licensed operator.
“We are therefore calling on you to hold an urgent public inquiry into the events which allowed this to happen as well as the conduct and competence of the Gambling Commission.”

Soon after the collapse, the Gambling Commission revealed it had been reviewing the platform for almost a year but had not taken action, partly due to concerns that action it did take would have worsened the business’ financial plight.

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