Lock Poker Payment Processor: ‘Things Will Get Better Soon’

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Lock Poker Payment Processor:  ‘Things Will Get Better Soon’

Lock customers in Europe and the rest of the world outside the US have wondered why payouts might be slower than the industry average, a la Skrill and Neteller.    

A customer representative routinely posts on the TwoPlusTwo.com forum that “rest of the world payment processing is adversely affected by Lock’s willingness to accept US customers”.

We know Lock well and we know they are not going anywhere any time soon BUT…. the whole payment processing puzzle still has us (and many others) a bit baffled. 

Ever wonder why some online gambling sites catering to the US market are better than others?

There is actually expertise involved.  Speak to operators like we do and you’ll hear that “XYZ at Company X is the best in the industry when dealing with these payment processors”.  Over the past two years, some of the biggest Web gambling companies in the biz have been unable to attract these processors as they lack that unique expertise.  

Yet it is never a perfect science as even the so-called “best of the best” has had to resort to sending out money orders for the next few weeks as yet another payment processor has bitten the dust.  Likewise, checks sent out from one of Lock's biggest US-facing competitors have been bouncing over the past two weeks.

Yes, there is an inherent risk in the payment processing/online gambling biz.  That risk is significant.

Lock realizes that.  CEO Jennifer Larson is one smart cookie who has been around the industry for some time now.  

Lock doesn’t have to rely solely on US customers even if they are the biggest or second biggest (depending on the week) in that particular market.  The funny thing is, they can pull out of the US market tomorrow if they had to.  Even with Ms. Larson's stress level at an all time high, Gambling911.com suspects that won't happen any time soon.

Still, accepting customers stateside…the risk is ever present. 

This past week, Gambling911.com had the opportunity to speak directly with one of Lock Poker’s European payment processors who ensured us that “things will get better soon” and that they are working on improving payment times for those customers living outside the States.  

That is certainly good news for Rest Of World (ROW) players, and it comes directly from the payment processor as opposed to some lackey from the company itself.  

Rest Of World Players and those residing in the States might not readily admit it but they do love the software and the enticing bonuses offered by Lock Poker.  Also there are plenty of people playing on Lock, so volume is rarely an issue.  The site also has some of the best players in the world representing them:  Michael Mizrachi, Annette Obrestad, Chris Moorman, Porto, Portugal’s “Pope” Francisco Costa. 

We at Gambling911.com had a guy in the States who was waiting longer than the industry norm for his check.  Once he received his money, we asked if he would continue playing at Lock Poker.  The response wasn’t exactly a hesitant “yes”.

“I know they pay now and will just have to try the ‘faster method’,” he told us. "I just wanted to see that first check.  Now I have some idea what to expect but I have some degree of confidence."

This player was waiting on a check.  Lock Poker, unlike most US-facing brands,  does not utilize US correspondence banks.  For the time being, this has resulted in longer-than-usual wait times.

Larson readily admitted she understands the apprehensions of those waiting to get paid, especially after the debacle at Full Tilt Poker. 

So the big question:  Why are Rest Of World players waiting longer to get paid than say PokerStars customers. 

Some countries in the European market have enacted their own regulatory restrictions (case in point, Germany).  PokerStars and a handful of other companies like to obtain licenses in each jurisdiction.  To us here at Gambling911.com, that seems a bit overboard.  Lock might feel the same way since we don’t exactly see them jumping to obtain a few dozen online gambling licenses that could ultimately prove worthless in the next year or so.

CEO Jennifer Larson also indicated improvements ahead for US-based players, but not at the expense of player security.

We have spoken to a number of operators who tell Gambling911.com that “processors are coming out of the woodwork”. 

Great news….if only you can trust all of these payment processors. 

The payment processing world from Day One has always been considered the most shady of business models (think Nick Nolter, Daniel Tzvetkoff and the list goes on).  With this understanding, Larson is building relationships slowly...more slowly than players might appreciate.

In the early days of payment processing, the losses averaged $1 million a year from these shady companies simply closing shop without notice, walking away with most of the funds. 

More will come out of the woodwork as the US market begins to open up, but this will still take a few months in our optinion.   

Some might not realize, onine poker rooms are considered a "loss leader".  They don't make any money.  PokerStars might be the exception, but this is based on sheer volume.

Lock has an online casino and it is the casinos, more so than even sportsbooks, that generate revenue.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher