Lock Poker, the scandal-hit online poker site that went offline last week, no longer holds a license with the Curacao regulatory body, suggesting that site has indeed ceased to operate and putting an end to speculation that it may only be offline temporarily.
The interactive gaming records for the jurisdiction of Curacao show that Lock’s license, as well as that of its sister site Superwins, is now invalid.
It’s unclear whether Curacao eGaming has chosen to revoke the rogue company’s license for fraudulent activity, or whether Lock, long suspected of insolvency, has merely ceased to pay its licensing fees.
Either way, the regulator has much to answer for, such as how it allowed a site that had not processed a single documented withdrawal in over a year, to remain in licensed operation and continue accepting deposits.
And how it has failed to respond to the site’s former players who are seeking recourse for their missing funds.
Withdrawal transactions first began slowing down as far back as 2012, with some of the oldest unprocessed cashouts dating to November of that year.
A thread on the TwoPlusTwo forums has identified almost 500 players owed over $3 million, while some industry observers believe the sum owed to players to be nearer to $15 million.
Recently a former Lock spokesperson, Shane Bridges, broke his silence over the scandal, saying that he believes that the balances owed would never be paid, blaming, among other things, a culture of corporate excess within the company.
“Lifestyle spends were the classic big business thing of $500 bottles of wine with every single meal, Vintage Dom any time champagne was drunk, and insane over-tipping,” he said.
“Overspending of management was the business related costs which again was just over the top extravagance. First class flights everywhere for Jen [Larson, CEO and founder] and Brendan [Young, programmer], insane boutique 5 star hotels everywhere.”
This week the news also broke that Bryan Micon, poker player and chairman of now-defunct bitcoin poker site SealsWithClubs, once attempted to acquire Lock and its assets.
Micon was charged by the Nevada Gaming Commission this week with operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system in relation to SealsWithClubs, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
However, it seems that sometime in 2014 Micon approached Jennifer Larson and offered to buy Lock Poker in order to “make the players whole,” according to Skype conversation logs seized by the Gaming Commission when it raided his home on February 11.
“I’m interested in buying the Lock Poker brand and all its software assets,” Micon told Larson. “You can give me a quick google and see that I started SealsWithClubs.eu in 2011 and amassed a considerable wealth with the increase in Bitcoin price.
I plan to relaunch the brand and make all players whole. I consider Lock Poker like Chrysler of the early 90’s. It’s a strong brand that needs a turn-around.”
Micon, who has since resurrected SealsWithClubs under the name SwCPoker, denies the criminal charge against him and vowed to clear his name in the courts. He was last known to be in Antigua.