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Gambling regulation

Volume 692: debated on Wednesday 14 April 2021

The petition states:

The petition of residents of the constituency of North Ayrshire and Arran,

Declares that there is significant concern about the recent collapse of the betting firm Football Index following the suspension of the company’s license by the Gambling Commission and its entry into administration; notes that customers collectively have over £90 million trapped in the company with average losses of around £3,000 per customer; further declares that the petitioners understand that the firm operated as a ‘football stock market’, offering customers the ability to buy ‘shares’ in footballers whose price would increase or decrease, and customers could be paid in ‘dividends’ based on player performances; further that, only a few days after the company ‘minted’ new shares in footballers and enticed customers to purchase shares, the company drastically decreased dividend payments by 82%, leading to a virtual market crash on the site which caused significant losses for customers; further that concerns have been raised that the firm operated like a pyramid scheme and that it had been admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority in 2019 for creating the impression that the product was a lucrative investment opportunity; and further that this scandal has called into question the adequacy of gambling regulation in the UK, given the Gambling Commission saw fit to give this company a license and apparently failed to ensure adequate oversight.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the UK Government to launch a full independent public inquiry into this scandal to ensure that gambling regulation is fit for purpose in protecting consumers.

And the petitioners remain, etc.