A reporter with iGaming, John Mehaffey, has called out WSOP Nevada and its communications executive, Seth Palansky, for participating in what he referred to as “meritless thuggery.” Mehaffey made the remarks in response to what he perceives as strong-arm tactics by the WSOP and Palansky in an effort to force vulnerable players into playing more.
It all started with a cashout dispute between Mehaffey and WSOP Nevada. That dispute has been resolved, but Mehaffey asserted in a subsequent blog post, ”WSOP Poker Site Sent Me Dubious Legal Threat,” that the site uses several protocols that are contrary to responsible gaming guidelines.
The issues began in July 2017, when Mehaffey was banned from the site. That ban came after the site was ordered to make good on a $411 payout to the reporter and recreational poker player. He said in his blog post, “The company reversed a $411 cashout after I won $11 over a few weeks,” wrote Mehaffey. “Customer service told me that I only gave ‘minimal action’ and wanted me to explain myself. This was a player retention trick used by old offshore sites to push players back to the tables when cashing out entire balances.
“I paid about $273 in rake and turned my $400 cash deposit over about 15 times. Apparently, that is minimal action to WSOP.com.
“Next, they wanted me to verify a $25 months-old electronic deposit that long cleared the bank and was lost before the cash deposit. The situation started to feel like a phishing scam. I had enough of their tactics and demanded immediate payment and they paid me.”
Mehaffey further said in his blog that he was contemplating informing Nevada gaming regulators. He added that he would not be lodging a formal complaint but, rather, a policy recommendation.
That blog post elicited a response from Palansky, who said, “Of course, you can take any course of action that you feel you must. We aren’t threatened by any of it. We will take actions from this point forward to prevent you from spreading misinformation about our company and will do what we feel is necessary, including refunding your service at all our land-based properties as well, in addition to pursuing legal action against you.”
That response, according to Mehaffey, is a “dubious legal threat” and is indicative of the “thuggery” employed by the site and the WSOP executive. He argues that the tactics demonstrate how the WSOP is prepared to threaten an individual in public in the midst of a dispute.
I have a feeling that this story hasn’t yet had its final chapter written.