Payment Processing: Bovada Dips Slightly, Lock Poker Fails Again

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On Friday, John Mehaffey released the September 2013 version of his well-respected monthly payment processing report.

Although no drastic changes were reported, the balance of power did shift slightly. Of note, popular US-facing site Bovada, which is generally known for its lightning fast payouts, suffered a slight setback. IAs a result, it was demoted from an A+ to an A.

In more positive news, the Merge Network was upgraded to a B+, up a half-grade from last month.

Also worth pointing out is that Juicy Stakes received its fourth consecutive failing grade. Lock Poker also received an F, but at least it was only the ailing site’s second successive failing grade.

Bovada slips ever so slightly

Mehaffey cites slightly slower cashout speeds as the reasoning behind Bovada’s downgrade:

“Part of the reason Bovada slipped down a small notch this month is because its cashout speeds have slowed a bit. Players can expect a Western Union or MoneyGram cashout request to be processed in 2-7 days, although a few players reported waiting more than ten days for these transactions in the past few weeks. Some players reported increased fees on cash transfer withdrawals.”

Whether or not the increased fees were targeted towards certain players is currently unknown.

Bovada already charges players from the states extremely high transaction fees. However, these fees pale in comparison to those associated with other US-facing sites listed on Mehaffey’s report. As a mode of comparison, the well-respected Winning Poker Network charges $60 on all Western Union payouts up to $299, whereas Bovada charges no more than $50 on WU transactions up to $500.

This is the eighth consecutive month that Bovada has received a grade of at least an A.

Lock fails again

According to IHasTehNutz’s frequently updated spreadsheet, which last month played a determining factor in Mehaffey’s decision to downgrade Lock from a D- to an F, Lock Poker’s cashout woes have only worsened.

The oldest Western Union pending cashout request dates back to February, same as last month, and the oldest check request to December – also unchanged since August.

As clearly indicated by the spreadsheet, over $280,000 of outstanding cashout requests 60 days or older have yet to be honored.

In lieu of this, the real money value of Lock Poker dollars has taken another plunge.  They’re currently trading at approximately .19 cents on the dollar, as indicated by IHasTehNetz’s latest VIG report.  This paltry value is a clear indicator that players with money locked up on Lock Poker (no pun intended) are not overly optimistic about receiving what’s rightfully theirs.

The rest of the report:

  • Bovada – Falls from A+ to A.

  • Winning Poker – Holds steady at A.

  • Intertops  – Stands pat at A-

  • Merge Gaming – Up to B+, from B.

  • Lock Poker – Remains at F.

  • Juicy Stakes – Stands pat at F.

- 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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