Lock Poker has become, quite possibly, the least trusted name in online poker.
That would have been hard to believe just a few years ago, considering the Absolute Poker “super user” scandal was still fresh in the minds of the poker community, or when it seemed as though countless thousands of players might have their Full Tilt Poker balances lost forever.
But over time, Lock Poker became slower and slower to respond to player concerns and process cash outs, eventually reaching the point where most in the poker community felt it was perfectly fair to blacklist the site and call it little more than a scam.
Now, the depths of the issues at Lock Poker have hit a new milestone that illustrates just how bad things are at the poker site.
According to information that has been compiled by Two Plus Two forums user “IHazTehNutz,” it has now been over a year since the last withdrawals were processed for Lock Poker players.
The last recorded payments came on April 2, 2014, when two Americans received cash outs (one by check and one by Western Union). For players outside of the United States, the last recorded payouts came in January 2014.
Of course, not every single player at Lock is a poster at Two Plus Two, which means it is at least possible that other players have made successful withdrawals sometime in the last year.
But given that the players tracked in the thread are likely fairly representative and cover a sample of over 200 players waiting to be paid, it seems highly unlikely that the situation is different for the public at large.
Estimates of how much players are owed by the site at this point are as high as $15 million.
Yet, somehow, despite the lack of payments, LockPoker is still in business. To be certain, the site isn’t nearly what it used to be: Lock Poker suggests that the site only averages about ten cash game players at any time these days, a far cry from the days when Lock was a significant player in the worldwide Internet poker market.
While it’s hard to believe that anyone would feel optimistic about the chances for a Lock Poker turnaround at this point, and hopes that may have been held for many players were dashed when former spokesperson Shane Bridges publically shared some information he learned while working for the company in a February interview with Pokerfuse.
According to Bridges, executives at Lock Poker spent far too much money on “lifestyle spends” such as expensive alcohol, first-class flights and high-end hotels. By late 2013, Bridges said, it was clear that the site would never make good on player funds. Some players are still waiting for withdrawals that were requested as early as November 2012.
For some, the problems at Lock Poker are another argument in favor of regulated online poker. One of the primary arguments used by proponents of regulated iGaming (and opponents of the Restoration of America’s Wire Act or other online poker bands) is that strong regulation allows players to know that their deposits will always be safe because of regulatory oversight.
This has been the case in markets like Nevada and New Jersey, where Ultimate Poker closed its doors but allowed players to cash out their balances in short order.