The MP for Brentford and Isleworth has called on the Government to go further in protecting customers after the collapse of betting company Football Index.
Labour’s Ruth Cadbury spoke to Ministers at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in Parliament on 6 January, and told them that recent reforms were ‘thin gruel’ compared to the thousands lost by her constituents.
This comes after an independent review in September 2021 heavily criticised the actions and attitude of both the Gambling Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority, in the wake of Football Index’s collapse.
Following her question in Parliament, Cadbury said: “I’ve heard from several constituents who had large amounts of money in stakes with the football index when it had its license suspended, meaning that my constituents and many others across the country were left out of pocket as they still had open bets.
“It’s even more distressing that the warning signs were flashing and were clear to see, yet both the Gambling Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority failed to adequately act to protect consumers.
“That’s why it’s vital that the Government outline what steps they’re taking to ensure that these bodies are fit for purpose and to ensure that those impacted can get the justice they deserve.”
Before its collapse, Football Index was styled as a ‘football stock market’ and an investment product, where users bought shares in leading football players.
However, it was in fact a gambling platform which was licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission.
When Football Index had its license revoked in March 2021, over £100 million in betting stakes remained open.
In his response, Chris Philp, MP for Croydon South and Minister for Technology and the Digital Economy, said that there was no statutory basis for compensation to be paid to those who lost money under such circumstances, but noted that investigations by the insolvency service are ongoing.
Cadbury was elected in 2015 and is currently Shadow Minister for International Trade.
Featured image credit: Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament under Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)