Lock Poker reached a dubious milestone on Thursday, as the rogue poker site clocked up one whole year since it processed its last reported player cashout.
The site, whose tagline is “online poker as it should be,” has an estimated $10 million in player liabilities, but while cash outs appear to be “locked up,” it continues to accept unsuspecting new players.
According to online poker industry observer PokerScout, Lock averages 14 players and peaks at 25 daily.
“IHazTehNutz,” a poster on the TwoPlusTwo poker forums who has been closely monitoring the situation on behalf of players, said that two cashouts were processed on April 2nd 2014, both for American players, one by check and the other a Western Union Transfer.
The last recorded successful withdrawal by a rest-of-the-world (ROW) player, meanwhile, was January 2014, according to IHazTehNutz. TwoPlusTwo forum posters alone have recorded around $1 million in unprocessed cash outs, owed to some 400 players.
These players have reported full balances closer to $2 million.
Lock Poker marketed heavily in the US following the departure of PokerStars and Full Tilt, and was quickly able to become the market-leading offshore poker site as it exploited the vacuum left by Black Friday.
But in 2012 the wheels came off. Withdrawals began to slow, and communications with the company’s customer services began to break down, causing consternation in the online poker community to question the solvency of the company.
Some of the oldest pending withdrawals currently date back to November 2012.
Because Lock is licensed in the jurisdiction of Curacao, American and ROW players have little recourse and the site remains out of reach of the US legal system.
The regulator in Curacao, meanwhile, appears unconcerned, and ignores all communication from Lock’s former players.
As if things weren’t already bleak enough for those players, former Lock spokerperson Shane Bridges recently broke his silence over the scandal, saying that he believed the balances would never be paid.
“I never had access to any real financials, but with no significant movement on cash outs and promises of the big turnaround now being 12 months old it would be my assumption that player balances won’t be honored now.”
Bridges described a culture of corporate excess within the company, which he believes contributed to its insolvency. “Lifestyle spends were the classic big business thing of $500 bottles of wine with every single meal, Vintage Dom any time champagne was drunk, and insane over-tipping,” he said. “Overspending of management was the business related costs which again was just over the top extravagance.
First class flights everywhere for Jen [Larson, CEO and founder] and Brendan [Young, programmer], insane boutique 5 star hotels everywhere.”