There definitely needs to be tougher mechanisms in place to ensure greater legal and regulatory scrutiny of applications by the Gambling Commission. I also agree with observations set out by Malcolm Sheehan QC in the independent review of the regulations of BetIndex. One of the observations was that the Gambling Commission should have been more proactive in ensuring that BetIndex were only offering products as described in their license as well as complying with general trading and consumer regulations.
Stronger and more collaborative relationship between regulatory bodies such as the Gambling Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority is also crucial.
I agree with Malcolm Sheehan QC that the length of time between the Commission finding out about the true nature of BetIndex’s product Football Index and suspending the licence was too long. For more information on the review, a copy of the report can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1017268/Report_of_the_Independent_Review_of_the_Regulation_of_BetIndex_Limited._Final_version_130921_.pdf
Greater protection needs to be given to the general public who may not be aware of the complex and often changing financial jargon and regulations as it relates to gambling and taking of financial risks.
I note that a question about compensation for traders was raised by Liz Twist MP to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digitial, Culture, Media and Sport just yesterday. In his response, Chris Philp MP said, “Regarding those who lost money to BetIndex, the wind-up proceedings are ongoing at the moment and it is likely that some amounts will be available to be reimbursed to creditors, which would include customers. We should obviously let that process unfold.” A transcript of the debate can be found here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-11-18/debates/2FB24019-D7A5-4A29-AE2B-AA65AB21F840/FootballIndexCollapse
Separately, I am glad to hear that the law firm Leigh Day is investigating claims on behalf of users who believe they have been misled by the platform and failed by the Gambling Commission. Further information can be found here: https://www.leighday.co.uk/our-services/product-safety-and-consumer-law/consumer-law/football-index-group-claim/