Update 4/18/2015: Lock poker has shut it’s doors
The Lock Poker fraud has set another milestone. It has been exactly one year since any player reported a withdrawal from Lock Poker.
Even though the scam poker site is not paying players, it is still in operation. Lock Poker averages 14 players and peaks at 25 daily, according to estimates published by PokerScout. The site is happy to accept deposits knowing that it will never pay players.
Two Plus Two user IHasTehNutz compiled information for more than one year on Lock Poker withdrawals. His latest list shows nearly $1 million in unpaid withdrawals. Nearly 400 players were owed this cash. These same players report account balances totaling more than $2 million. It is estimated that Lock Poker has more than $10 million in player liabilities.
Two Lock Poker withdrawals were received by players on April 2, 2014. One was a check and the other was a Western Union cash transfer. Both withdrawals went to Americans. No players outside the U.S. have been paid since January 2014.
Curacao eGaming is the regulator that oversees Lock Poker. The offshore gaming commission has not been responsive to player concerns, according to forum posts made by players.
We reached out to Curacao eGaming and Lock Poker management for comment about the situation. We did not receive a response from either group.
RAWA supporters want environment in which Lock Poker thrives
Lock Poker is the only U.S.-friendly offshore poker site that has issues paying players. The issue of nonpayment is far more widespread on the casino side of the unlicensed online gaming industry. Lock Poker’s sister site Lock Casino is among the online casinos currently stiffing players.
Sponsors and supporters of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) prefer for players to fall victim to frauds like Lock Poker, as opposed to playing safely at sites bankrolled by financially strong land-based casinos licensed through U.S. gaming commissions.
RAWA backers want to leave players in a situation where they have to take the site’s word that they will get paid. Most offshore U.S.-friendly poker sites are not licensed by credible regulators that will intervene or even respond to complaints.
There is no recourse for Lock Poker players. The site operates outside of the reach of U.S. law enforcement and its civil courts. Lock Poker’s owners continue to run the site and live off of deposits made by players that do not research their decision to play at Lock Poker first. They do so without fear of punishment.
This type of incident could never happen in a regulated U.S. market. Anyone that even attempted it would risk jail time. For whatever reason, RAWA supporters prefer it that way.