UKGC tweaks digital regulation methods amid BetIndex collapse

Sarah Gardner, Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has stated that the regulator and industry must share an ‘understanding of the task at hand’ to improve UK gambling for the benefit of society
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The UK Gambling Commission has announced it is altering the way it regulates new digital gambling products following a report investigating the collapse of BetIndex, the parent company of Football Index.

Reviewing the collapse, the report titled ‘Independent Review of the Regulation of BetIndex Limited’, highlighted areas in which UKGC and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could improve to protect consumers.

The Commission’s CEO, Andrew Rhodes, commented: “No amount of explanation of what happened to Football Index will take away the justifiable hurt and anger its customers are experiencing having lost, in some cases, life-changing amounts of money when the gambling company collapsed.

“We accept and agree that we should have drawn a line under our efforts sooner, but this does not mean those customers would not have lost money in the event of the BetIndex company collapsing. Throughout this case, we sought the best outcome for consumers within the scope of our regulatory powers.”

As a result of the collapse and subsequent review, UKGC introduced changes to its regulatory methods, now taking into consideration ‘novel products’ when making regulatory decisions. 

Additionally, the Commission seeks to have a stronger relationship with the FCA so that  ‘issues that blur the lines between financial services and gambling are escalated and actioned more rapidly.’

Rhodes added: “Our actions were always focused on trying to protect consumers while we sought to bring the operator into compliance with regulations. This does not mean however that those customers would not have lost money in the event of the BetIndex company collapsing.”