Lock Poker has apparently thrown away its key, taking its software offline three days after the network disconnected and leaving millions of dollars in player account balances hanging in a perpetual state of unsettlement.
Although its website is still loading properly, attempts to access the network have been met with error and “service unavailable” messages.
Licensed in the Caribbean island country of Curacao, the company hasn’t responded to email and customer complaints and has ceased all communications.
Due to its headquartering in a country with little oversight, Americans and players around the world have little legal recourse to even attempt to retrieve their deserved financials.
For more than two years, Lock Poker has been a poster child for anti-Internet gambling advocates, and with good reason.
The fraudulent gaming network has represented all the potential negatives an unregulated industry can muster, from zero accountability to failure to payout on a player’s funds.
The situation has been grim for years, with some players claiming on the Two Plus Two forums that they’ve been waiting for their withdrawal requests to be processed since November of 2012.
According to posts on the site, Lock Poker hasn’t completed one single cash out since April of last year.
Between account balances and unpaid winnings, it’s estimated that Lock Poker has discarded its combination with roughly $10 to $15 million in total liabilities owed to its patrons.
Upon our effort to contact the company by email at email@example.com, the following bounce message was received:
“We’re writing to let you know that the group you tried to contact (complaints) may not exist, or you may not have permission to post messages to the group.”
The all-important player liquidity is the primary key to a successful online poker network, and Lock’s dwindling pools over the years dried up its assets and forced the company into an unrestricted bankruptcy proceeding.
Once boasting 400-player seven-day averages, the room’s most recent weekly numbers top out at just 20 players according to PokerScout.
As it became apparent something was amiss at Lock over the years, players rushed to withdrawal and cash out their accounts, but their requests fell on deaf ears. While customers were victimized, CEO Jen Larson continued living the good life.
In a recent interview with pokerfuse, Shane Bridges, former director of social media and marketing, revealed Larson routinely sipped on $500 bottles of wine, stayed in five-star boutique hotels, and always flew first class.
“By December (2014) I had no faith but wanted to keep quiet for a couple of months just in case Jen did pull a rabbit out of the hat and get the cash injection needed to at least make good on player balances.”
Of course, the injection didn’t miraculously arrive and payments never came to fruition. Now, many insiders involved with the business and legal components of online gaming are calling on the Curacao government to intervene.
If both Lock Poker and its regulator aren’t playing by the rules, the country granting the license to offer online gaming must step in to police.
Curacao remains the one entity possessing the power to bring some sort of justice to what will go down as an ugly mark on online poker’s overall report card.