Lock Poker Issues Statement, Backpedals on P2P Transfer Stance
Lock Poker, the online poker site that has been the target of fierce player complaints, today issued a brief statement, presenting a partial reversal of the site’s recent stance concerning P2P (“player to player”) cash transfers.
Lock’s proposed situation to its P2P problem was released by Lock Poker spokesman Shane Bridges in a brief statement on the 2+2 poker discussion forums, where Lock has been forced to pull its sponsored advertising from a sub-forum dedicated to Lock matters. The complete body of the statement:
Lock Poker Clarifies P2P Transfer Withdrawal Policy
Curacao May 9th, 2013
Through a detailed investigation over the past few weeks the Lock security team uncovered a large group of persons that were abusing the P2P transfer policy and creating a large network of mule accounts to move and withdraw funds without any play at all taking place.
To deal with this situation a policy change was put into place to clear out the backlog of withdrawals by accounts with little to no play and increase the speed of withdrawals for players taking actual winnings.
Lock has introduced a new cash-out policy for transferred funds which requires a player to accumulate at least 15% in GGR on the funds received via P2P transfer before these funds are cashed-out. Put simply, for every $100 of transferred funds to be withdrawn, $15 of rake or fees will need to be accumulated beforehand.
The policy change was put in place explicitly to put an end to money laundering via Lock’s player transfers. Players withdrawing winnings are not affected.
Lock will continue to process withdrawals and work to reduce all withdrawal delays over the coming weeks.
A large amount of mis-information has been spread recently on various poker news sites and forum postings about player funds being lost in recent banking scandals; none of this is true.
The 15% playthrough requirement is similar to that found on other sites, notably including market leader PokerStars. However, Lock, until mid-April, had a 1:1 playthrough policy of its own, meaning that for each $100 transferred, $100 had to be wagered at the tables. The site also had a 15% penalty assessment against transferred amounts included in withdrawal request that did not meet the wagering requirement, but Bridges himself, in earlier 2+2 posts, indicated that the policy was not enforced against favored players and affiliates.
Instead of shifting to the policy announced today, Lock initiated mass outrage among its customers and the poker world as a while, by cancelling a vast number of payouts, including many retroactively, and declaring that the cashouts were a violation of Lock’s policies and were “money laundering”.
The illogical cashout cancellations, which were far more likely explained by a presumed liquid-asset shortage at Lock, were compounded by Lock support personnel then proclaiming in e-mails sent to players that amounts transferred between players were never eligible for withdrawal, instead becoming the de facto property of Lock instead.
Some intermediate mailings from Lock support staff even stated that not only could the transfers themselves never be withdrawn, but that winnings generated from those transfers could also never leave the site. Such a position rendered the whole concept of transferring funds between players a moot exercise.
Lock used some of its sponsored players to unofficially spread the word that such extreme restrictions would not continue, before issuing a revised policy today. Nonetheless, Lock’s statements continued to assign blame to the players and affiliates doing the secondary trading of Lock dollars which the site continues to describe as money laundering — itself a ridiculous assertion.
Lock’s statement today largely ignores the root issues plaguing the site, meaning immense cashout times for Americans and “ROW” (rest of world) players alike. Regardless of the withdrawal method used some US players have had withdrawals pending since November and December of 2012, while ROW cashouts are in many cases approaching three months themselves.
The latter circumstance, with non-US players, remains the most troubling to outside observers. since international banking and online-transfer options are numerous and unencumbered by American banking restrictions.