Rhodes defends UKGC against blowback of Football Index’s administration

Andrew Rhodes, the Interim Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has defended the regulator from criticism of remaining silent during the ongoing administration of Football Index.

Rhodes, who took charge of the UKGC last June replacing ousted leader Neil McArthur, took to Twitter to defend the regulator from criticisms related to the administration’s proceedings.

“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.”

Defending the UKGC, Rhodes stated that the regulator had “not been able to set out what we know and what we did, which is normal when there are ongoing proceedings”.

He added that he was willing to respond to all Football Index concerns as best as he could under the context of an ongoing administration.

Replying to whether the UKGC supported a ‘Company Voluntary Arrangement’ (CVA) to reimburse Football Index customers, Rhodes underlined that UKGC held no determination on the outcome.

“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.

The UKGC acknowledged the individual losses of players that had wagered on Football Index markets, but underlined that it held no responsibility for calculating Football Index’s debts and liabilities to its customers.

Rhodes further revealed that the UKGC had received messages demanding that it re-compensate player losses as the regulatory agency that had licensed Football Index.

“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 individuals involved in Football Index business, choosing to respect the administrators’ proceedings,

On 13 July, Football Index’s platform went back online allowing customers to withdraw their existing account balances, however market bets on player valuations remained unclear.

It was previously estimated earlier this year that Football Index customers were owed around £3.2 million, leaving the trading platform’s parent company, Betindex, with a surplus of £1.8 million from its £4.5 million ‘Trust Deed monies’ fund.

Criticism of the UKGC’s oversight has been levelled at the regulator since the demise of Football Index in March, a consequence of the firm’s decision to slash dividends on listed football players, which resulted in many customers losing significant sums of money.

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