February 2015 U.S. Online Poker Offshore Payment Processing Report

There were three big stories in the U.S. offshore online poker world this past month.  One involved an existing site opening up to new U.S. players.  Another U.S.-facing site threw in the towel.  There was also news on the Lock Poker front.

The biggest news this month is that SealsWithClubs ceased operations.  Chairman Bryan Micon stated that his family’s residence in the Las Vegas area was the subject of a raid under the direction of the Nevada Gaming Commission.  This, combined with server issues, motivated the SealsWithClubs board to vote to close the site.  Player funds were not in danger.  An orderly withdrawal process is underway at the site.

The following report for February U.S. online poker payment processing is based on reports by sites and players.  Last month’s grades are in parenthesis.

Bovada A+ (A+)

Bovada, the U.S.-facing Bodog Poker Network skin, continues its seemingly impossible ability to process speedy cashouts to U.S. players.  Bovada offers three payout methods that are processed in less than one week.  Two of these are available as a free monthly option.

Fast Funds returns cash to a player’s Visa debit card.  This money arrives directly into the debit card’s related bank account.  These are processed in 4-7 days.  A fee of $50 applies if the player has already received a free monthly payout from Bovada.

Checks arrive in an amazing 2-4 days.  The maximum check is $3,000.  A fee of $50 applies if a free withdrawal has already been received by the player that month.  Bank wires arrive in about two weeks and also have a $50 fee, although it can also be used as the monthly free withdrawal.

Bovada processes Western Union withdrawals in 1-2 days, even on weekends.  The fees and amounts are as follows:

Western Union

  • $100 – $249 Fee: $50
  • $250 – $499 Fee: $75
  • $500 – $999 Fee: $100
  • $1000 – $1499 Fee: $150
  • $1500 – $2000 Fee: $200

Winning Poker Network A- (A-)

The Winning Poker Network processes payouts for Americas Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, and True Poker.  While payout speeds are not as fast as they once were, the slowdown has run parallel to the NFL playoffs, an extremely busy time for these sites.

Players can request a check in amounts up to $2,995.  These take about three weeks to arrive.  There is a fee of $65, however, players can receive one for free each month.  Bitcoin payouts arrive in a couple of days.  This is slower than the minutes reported last month.

Players can order a debit card for $25.  Once in hand, which takes a few weeks.  Withdrawals arrive in 2-7 days.  The fee on a debit card withdrawal is now $4.50 before the transaction fee at the ATM.  There is also a $5 monthly maintenance fee.

Western Union withdrawals are processed in 1-3 days.  The following fees apply:

  • $100 – $299 Fee: $60
  • $300 – $499 Fee: $70
  • $500 – $749 Fee: $85
  • $750 – $999 Fee: $95
  • $1,000 – $1,500 Fee: $110

BetOnline B+ (B+)

BetOnline is the flagship of the Chico Poker Network.  Players can request a check, sometimes processed as a money order, in amounts up to $2,500.  These arrive in about one week.  The fee is $25 but one free check withdrawal is available on Fridays.

The other option available is Western Union.  The average fee is $50.  Most players report a $500 maximum withdrawal amount via Western Union at BetOnline.

Intertops B+ (B+)

Intertops is the top skin on the Revolution Gaming Network.  The world’s oldest online sports book made a huge announcement this month.  Players in 43 states may now create accounts at Intertops.  Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, and Washington players are excluded.  This was a change from the previous policy that only allowed existing and invited players to deposit and give action at Intertops.

Intertops processes checks in amounts up to $3,000.  The fee is $50.  It arrives in about one week.  Bank wires are processed in amounts up to $2,500.  The fee there is also $50 with processing fees of 2-3 weeks.  Players can receive a credit card refund for just $9, which takes about one week.

Western Union withdrawals are processed in 1-2 days.  The amounts and fees are as follows:

  • $150-$500: $70 fee
  • $501-$1,000: $85 fee
  • $1,001-$2,000: $180 fee

Merge Gaming C+ (B)

It seems that the holiday season and the NFL playoffs created a slowdown in the Merge Gaming payment processing system.  Players at Carbon Poker, PlayersOnly, Sportsbook.ag and SuperBook are waiting 5-6 weeks for checks.  Some VIP players have other options available.  Players can receive one free payout per year.  Additional requests incur a 3% fee.

Juicy Stakes C (C)

Juicy Stakes is a member of the Revolution Gaming Network that shares many of its tables exclusively with Intertops.  Juicy Stakes has drawn the ire of some players that are unhappy with its withdrawal policy that requires action to cashout.  This is due to a bailout policy of player balances by the new management.

The alternative is what Cake Poker players are dealing with, which is complete nonpayment of funds.  Juicy Stakes players are the former U.S. players at Cake Poker.  This was one example where U.S. players got a better deal than ones in other countries.

Players may receive up to $1,000 per week through either Western Union or check.  The fee is $100.  Active players receive withdrawals for $50.  Some players report a 2,500 FPP weekly requirement to receive a withdrawal.

Lock Poker Scam F- (F-)

The Lock Poker scam continues.  The site has not processed any withdrawals since April 2014.  Any funds on the site should be considered lost forever.  If you can get one cent on the dollar for it, that should be considered a good deal.

Lock Poker has failed to process nearly $1 million is reported cashouts and owes at least another $2 million in player balances.  These funds were stolen by the site’s owners.  Remarkably, Lock Poker still operates, luring new victims into its scam each and every day.

Internet sleuth HipAintCheap has dug out some interesting details about the Lock Poker fraud and its participants.  Start at this post in the Two Plus Two Lock Poker thread to see the new details.  Poker Fraud Alert also published information on Lock Poker this week.


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