February 26th, 2013 by Nicole M
A long time ago – on a different web site – I wrote an article about a new U.S. friendly poker deposit option: ECMCPal. This deposit method was and is accepted at Lock Poker and several other Revolution Gaming Network skins. Americans cannot use Mastercard to deposit at online poker rooms, casinos and sportsbooks. BetOnline.ag is the only U.S. gambling site that accepts direct Mastercard deposits on a limited basis in 2013, typically for VIPs and highrollers. Lock Poker teamed up with ECMC Pal to enable Americans to deposit money using a Mastercard debit, credit or prepaid card. ECMCPal is actually pretty large – with 21,000,000 customers world-wide but only Lock Poker and a few network partners accept it. The image below will show you how ECMCPal works.
Mastercard was removed by U.S. online poker rooms because it always got rejected. This is due to the unclear laws regarding online poker in the USA. Mastercard and the actual banks that issue this kind of card decline any transactions that appear to be gambling related. ECMCPal acts as a middleman. You use your Mastercard to send money to ECMCPal.com and they in turn put the money into your Lock Poker account. Lock Poker and ECMCPal square away later.
Lock Poker was the largest US poker site before Bovada Poker topped them. The reason for Lock Poker’s decline is somewhat related to ECMCpal and banking in general, which I will explain later. First I want to share a warning about ECMCPal.
I’ve recently learned that many Lock Poker players are claiming that ECMCPal and possibly even Lock Poker have been ripping them off. If you Google “ECMCPal scam 2013” you will find countless complaints on scam / ripoff websites like Scambook, Scamadvisor, Scamvoid and many other consumer protection services. Some people are even claiming the Ecmcpal.com is fake, whatever that means. The complaints range from a lack of support to double charges to money disappearing. It is pretty hard to figure out. I’ve listed some of the Scambook complaints on Ecmcpal below.
Most people are calling ECMCPal a scam because the money they put into their ECMCPal account is not credited to their Lock Poker account and there is no way to get the money out of ECMCPAL. Another common complaint is that ECMC PAL will not allow users to delete their financial information or close their accounts. No one likes their bank and credit card information floating around. The fact that Ecmcpal is also accused to selling peoples’ debit/credit and bank account information makes this much more serious.
Why is Lock Poker working with Ecmcpal.com? With so many complaints you would think that Lock Poker would remove them from their list of deposit options. Lock Poker is rumored to be on the verge of bankruptcy so this might explain things. Lock Poker has been taking 2-4 months to pay Americans while competitors like BetOnline.ag (Visit) and Bovada.lv (Visit) only take 1-2 days using the same methods. Lock Poker even forces non-U.S. players to wait a month or more for ewallet payouts, something that every other online poker site handles in an hour or two.
Lock Poker must be using deposits to pay player cashouts. This would explain why they are working with a potentially criminal ECMCpal. If they removed this deposit option they would be forced to rely on Visa deposits to pay off player withdrawals. This would likely result in Lock Poker taking 6+ months to pay players. So, here is a quick overview of the facts:
The Lock Poker / Ecmcpal.com scandal has not received many headlines from the mainstream poker news sites. You will find a bunch of information about it on gambling forums like 2+2 though. Here are some quotes from Lock Poker players about ecmcpal.com:
Kiranhyde: “Do not use this method to do the deposit using your credit card as they are charging almost 5 plus dollars as fees and the credit card company is charging 10 as cash advance…would really like to know why lock choose ecmcpal as a vendor they have a very bad service and their phone nor mail works would be nice if Lock looks into this issue seriously… ”
AdamAC40: “I am reposting an existing issue to warn Lock Poker Players. I deposited $360.00 into ECMCPAL. After the money was deposited, then the money was refunded the same day. It has been 3 weeks, 35 emails to Lock Poker, 5 Chat Requests with ECMC Pal, and no progress.
23 days. ECMCPal has stolen my money. No one will help. Please never deposit to ECMCPAL. ”
Nirama: “I just got charged 30.97 twice from ECMCPAL. So now I’ve asked for a refund of the first 2 charges, they took them out, and ECMCPAL then charged me TWICE for an even higher amount. What’s going on? This is becoming a nightmare. ”
In the about quotes Ecmcpal has been accused of stealing money, double charges and more. These are just a few examples out of hundreds. Lock Poker representatives have responded to some of the threads but it seems like they are just doing damage control and are only taking care of people that make public complaints. The vast majority of Ecmcpal depositors at Lock Poker are out of luck unless they have a means in which to twist Lock Poker’s arm. Please post your experiences with Ecmcpal.com and LockPoker.eu below. Perhaps if enough people complain about these issues Lock Poker will refund all of the stolen money. I will let the affiliate team from Lock Poker know about this post.
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