02/12/2012 : Slow payments = few players is the lesson to be learned
After being under attack by players and information sites for some time for its slow-pay proclivities and poor communications technique, World Sports Exchange (WSEX.com) has called it a day on subsidiary World Poker Exchange.com, notifying players that it is shutting down, but giving little reason why.
The fact that, according to independent monitors, there are only a few players visiting the site undoubtedly is part of the problem, and that stayaway may be due to the slow-payment allegations, observers note.
In an abrupt and brief notification this week, the operator advised players:
"It is with great regret that we announce the closure of World Poker Exchange.
"As of 1pm ET on Wednesday 15th February 2012, our poker software will no longer be available, and any active poker room balance you may have will be transferred to your World Sports Exchange account. Rake will be paid out as normal on the following Monday.
"We deeply apologize for the inconvenience caused. Our attention is now focused on improving our sports betting and casino products.
"Thank you for playing at WorldPX, and we hope you continue to enjoy playing at World Sports Exchange Sportsbook and Casino."
Just how long the sports and casino arms last is now the subject of some conjecture; major player information boards have carried alarming stories for some time relating to slow payments, questionable decisions and refusals to cooperate with mediators on the part of Wsex – none of these flaws auger well for its future.
The respected Sports Book Review, which rates the company at a low D minus, claims that Wsex owes players in excess of $700,000, and that player complaints against it are mounting. Yet Wsex has apparently stopped responding to SBR attempts to get players paid – always an ominous sign.
SBR speculates that Wsex is "operating on the float" – in other words only releasing payments once more deposits come in. And despite vigorous marketing, payments have been decreasing, perhaps indicating that the number of deposits has shrunk as word gets around – a vicious circle. SBR claims that some players have been awaiting payment since October 2009.
In January this year, Wsex made a statement about the large amounts owed to players, effectively blaming US enforcement actions for its situation.
"I understand you would like to receive your outstanding payments in a swift manner," an unidentified spokesman for the company wrote.
"However, as I have been explaining to all clients, due to the losses we encountered, payments will be done partially for a few more months. Clients who deposited funds with us in the past were all lost due to new gaming /banking laws in the US.
"Regardless of the fact that you do not receive a withdrawal every month, you will receive something from us not exceeding 3 months."