Football Index faces government probe following administration

30 April 2021 2 min. read

Online gambling platform Football Index collapsed into receivership in March, following with the appointment of administrators from Begbies Traynor. As that process continues, the company now faces a government investigation, following the suspension of its license from the UK Gambling Commission.

Football Index was a UK-licensed and regulated gambling product that allowed customers to gamble on both the future success of football players and the rules of the platform itself. Customers purchased imaginary shares for the chance to win daily pay-outs calculated based on player performance on match days, and their presence in the platform's Media Rankings, which paid out on the top trending footballers each day.

Launched in 2015, it soon became a fixture of the sports betting sector and was a sponsor of Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest football teams. It’s rapid ascent pales in comparison to its sudden fall from grace, however. Having suffered a crash after a reduction in dividend payments earlier in 2021, the company appointed administrators in March, leaving some users facing the loss of thousands of pounds as a result.

Football Index faces government probe following administration

Richard Toone, Adrian Hyde and Adrian Rabet from Begbies Traynor been appointed joint administrators of BetIndex, which trades as Football Index in the UK following a High Court order. At the time, players were estimated to have up to £58 million in plays at stake.

At the time, Begbies Traynor Partner Hyde said, “This appointment will mean progress can be made for the player community and the business as until now the BetIndex board has been unable to move forward after its initial application to the court in Jersey… However, this is still a complex situation spanning the UK, Jersey and Gibraltar. As such we and the board will continue to work closely with all relevant authorities, including the Gambling Commissions in the UK and Jersey on this… We believe we are now in a position from which we can progress restructuring proposals to achieve the best outcome for the player community and the business.”

In the latest development of the situation, the UK Government has announced that Football Index will now face a public investigation into its collapse. The news comes after sports news service The Athletic revealed how the firm gave a rosy picture of its finances until the dramatic collapse, and spoke to multiple whistle-blowers about life working for the chaotic firm. The UK Government announced a review looking into Football Index, and gambling watchdog the UK Gambling Commission, which has come under fierce criticism following reports of advance warnings about the platform’s stability.

John Whittingdale, Secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, commented, “It is reported that many thousands of customers are affected by the product’s collapse, with some having lost very large sums… This review will aim to establish both how this situation came about and what lessons we can learn from it.”