Football Index operator BetIndex will suspend its platform and enter administration, while the GB Gambling Commission has suspended its licence.
“The board of BetIndex Limited has consulted with external legal and financial advisors, and the [GB] and Jersey Gambling Commissions,” it said. “The decision has been made to suspend the platform.
“We are pursuing a restructuring arrangement to be agreed with our stakeholders including, most importantly, our community. We are preparing this through an administration with insolvency practitioners Begbies Traynor, to seek the best outcome for customers with the goal of continuing the platform in a restructured form.”
It said any restructuring agreement may see customers receive equity in BetIndex, board representation for customers and a new management team put in place.
“The board have at all times been seeking the best way to sustain the platform as we believed a recovery was not only possible but also in the best interests of our customers,” it continued. “This decision is deeply regrettable, and is the outcome we were seeking to avoid by restructuring dividends.
“However, we believe it is the most responsible route forward for our community given the situation as it has developed.”
Begbies Taylor will issue a statement in the next 10 days with more information on the administration process.
Football Index account funds are held in a standalone trading account separate from BetIndex’s general accounts. Trust arrangements are in place to offer protection of these funds but the operator said there is “no guarantee that all funds will be repaid in the event of insolvency”.
However, the operator’s terms and conditions say that the value of player shares purchased are “not stored in any account or otherwise protected as they are sums at risk”.
The Gambling Commission announced it suspended the operator’s licence after it conducted a review into the operator’s licence following changes to the operator’s dividend structure that it said were necessary to keep the platform “sustainable”.
The Commission said it had “concerns activities may have been carried on in purported reliance on the licence, but not in accordance with a condition of the licence, and that Football Index may not be suitable to carry on with licensed activities.
“We have made it clear to the operator that as the investigation progresses, we expect it to focus on treating consumers fairly and keeping them fully informed of any developments which impact them,” it added.