The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that it will make changes to the way it regulates innovative digital gambling products.
The announcement follows publication of the Independent Review of the Regulation of BetIndex Limited. The Review highlighted areas where the approach of both the Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could be improved.
Andrew Rhodes, CEO of UKGC, said: “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.
“The review provides a number of helpful recommendations for how both regulators can work better together and for how our regulatory approach deals with novel products.”
He continued: “In recent years we have seen an increase in the complexity of business models and product offerings. The lines between what is gambling and other types of products, such as financial services or computer games, has become increasingly blurred and no longer neatly fit into existing statutory definitions of gambling.
“We have already acted on a number of the recommendations in the report. This has included more explicitly including novel products as one of the factors we consider as part of our assessment of a gambling company’s risk. We have also further strengthened the Memorandum of Understanding we have with the FCA so that issues that blur the lines between financial services and gambling are escalated and actioned more rapidly.
“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.”