Payment Processing: Lock Poker Bombs, Bovada Rises

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In the latest version of his venerated monthly payment processing report, poker player and blogger John Mehaffey demoted Lock Poker from a D- to an F.

This is only the third time in the history of the report that a US-facing site has been given a failing grade.

Fellow Revolution Gaming Network member Juicy Stakes was demoted to an F in the June report.

Why Lock dropped to an F

Mehaffey explains the reasoning behind his decision:

“The oldest Western Union is from February and the oldest check dates back to December. There have been some reports of withdrawals being processed faster than this so the average for Western Union withdrawals is about 4-5 months, while checks are arriving in 7-8 months. This is far slower than competitors on other networks.”


He also cites Lock’s decision to no longer entertain questions at Two Plus Two as a contributing factor. Lock recently launched a private support forum open only to players who have paid $100 or more in lifetime rake.

Lock’s announcement and player reactions can be found here.

Mehaffey’s also references Two Plus Two user’s IHasTehNutz most recent spreadsheet in his report.

For every loser there is a winner

On a brighter note, Bovada was promoted from an already impressive A to an A+.

According to Mehaffey, Bovada’s “payment processing is as perfect as it could be in this regulatory environment.”

On average, cash transfers are processed in 1-3 days and checks takes approximately 1-2 weeks to arrive.

The rest of the report

Listed below is a quick summary of how US-facing sites fared in the report:

  • Bovada – Rises to A+ from A.
  • Winning Poker – Stands pat at A.
  • Intertops – Also stands pat at A-.
  • Merge Gaming – Rises from C to B. Checks arrived in an average of 2-4 weeks, as opposed to the 8-10 weeks it was taking last month. Wins the most improved award.
  • Lock Poker – Drops to F from D-.
  • Juicy Stakes – Unchanged at F.

Check out the whole report here.

OPR does not advocate playing on US-facing sites

Just because we feel it’s important for players to have as much information at their disposal as possible, does not mean we encourage or support playing on US-facing sites. The fact remains that playing on even the most highly rated sites can cause financial (and potentially legal) hassles.

As someone who lives in New Jersey, I merely have to wait a couple more months to play state regulated online poker. But for those who may have to wait years for a Federal bill to pass or for their state to pass Internet gaming legislation, I can certainly understand the temptation to start playing wherever.

So read the processing report, do your homework, and just remember that while we’ll continue to provide as much information as we can, we do not endorse playing at US-facing online poker sites.

- Robert DellaFave is a game designer and avid poker player. He writes for several publications centered on legal US online poker and the regulated online gambling industries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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