Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Lock Poker?

On Thursday the saga that has gripped 2+2 and the poker community took a new turn, as Lock Poker clearly communicated their Player-to-Player transfer policy, as well as CEO Jennifer Larson speaking for the first time regarding the lengthy backlog of player withdrawals. While the announcement and statement haven’t eased concerns about the site’s overall solvency, it does appear to have bought the site a little more time as forum chatter has lessened and has been far less vitriolic overnight.

So, just when things were at their bleakest (imagine the end of Lord of the Rings where Aragorn, Gandalf, and company are surrounded by tens of thousands of angry orcs); it seems Lock Poker has somewhat righted the ship (imagine the next scene with gargantuan eagles screeching in and temporarily saving the day); but there is still a long way to go for the beleaguered site before they actually throw the Ring of Power into the fires of Mount Doom.

On Thursday evening the following statement regarding the new P2P policy was posted on the Lock Poker website:

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 Put simply, for every $100 of transferred funds to be withdrawn, $15 of rake or fees will need to be accumulated beforehand.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.

Soon after Lock Poker CEO Jennifer Larson sat-down/spoke-to, a large online gaming affiliate which has been extremely sympathetic towards Lock Poker and defended the site throughout the current situation. In the “interview” Larson addressed the lengthy withdrawal delays the site has been experiencing (some unprocessed withdrawals date back to December 2012) telling G911 that “you will see improvement in this [payout times] over the coming weeks.” Larson added that there were a number of reasons for the slow payouts: “There was a group of people who were buying and cashing out players bankrolls and not playing at all – this was a large volume and was causing legitimate players’ cash outs to be delayed… The other main reason is that Lock one of the largest poker sites that continues to serve players in most States in the US.  This means that all Lock payments processors must be discreet as the DOJ has shown repeatedly that it likes to seize the players funds.”

It’s unclear what these “improvements” will mean for Lock Poker moving forward, or just how much the recent negative press will affect the company. It should also be noted that these statements do not speak to the site’s solvency as several vocal Lock critics have pointed out. While Lock Poker’s traffic has dropped off considerably in recent months, most of the decline was due to the lengthy withdrawal times and not the current situation which began a few weeks ago and really only gained steam over the past seven days; according to Lock Traffic has held steady during the entire fiasco, with peak traffic numbers basically unchanged over the past month –However, now that withdrawal times are said to have improved there may be a run on the bank at the site.

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