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Casino Marker Debt: Can You Negotiate a Plan? (2024 Update)

A casino marker payment plan is an agreement between a gambler and a casino to repay a gambling debt in installments. A casino marker is essentially a line of credit issued by the casino to a player, allowing them to gamble without having cash on hand. When a player requests a marker, they are essentially asking the casino to lend them money to gamble.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

What is a Casino Marker?

A casino marker is a short-term, interest-free line of credit provided by a casino to guests for gaming purposes. Each casino has its own rules and regulations regarding markers, and these can vary by county or state.

To obtain a casino marker, guests typically undergo a credit check similar to those conducted by credit card companies. Applicants complete a credit application and provide basic information, after which the casino verifies that the guest meets their credit criteria.

Depending on the casino, you may also need to establish a certain level of gaming credibility. Once your casino marker application is approved, you can request a marker for a specific dollar amount. The marker is printed and signed, and you can then redeem your marker credit for chips or cash.

Advantages of Using a Casino Marker

There are several benefits to using casino markers:

  1. Convenience: You don’t need to carry large amounts of cash to and from the casino, which is both practical and safer, especially when traveling long distances.
  2. Multiple Credit Lines: If you have lines of credit at multiple casinos linked to the same bank account, you can access funds from more than one casino simultaneously, providing a cash source at 0% interest for short-term financial needs. However, this practice can become a major disadvantage, as I’ll explain later.
  3. Exclusive Offers: Some casinos offer special deals only to credit players. Having a line of credit demonstrates to the casino that you are willing and able to sustain losses, which may lead to additional opportunities to gamble and potentially lose more money. While most players end up losing, winning players can benefit from these credit offers.
  4. Rebates for Losers: Certain casinos provide rebates on markers for losing players, especially to high-volume customers who request them. For example, receiving a 10% rebate on your markers when you lose, while keeping all your winnings, can be highly advantageous. In such cases, it is advisable to always take out a marker, even if you have plenty of cash on hand.

Disadvantages of Using Casino Markers

1. Completing a credit application is necessary, which may involve divulging more personal information than some players are comfortable with. Video poker players, accustomed to dealing with W2-Gs (tax forms for gambling winnings), are typically less hesitant to share personal data compared to many table game players. Those who prefer to play table games without being rated and wish to remain relatively anonymous cannot use credit.

2. The era of casinos sending enforcers to collect debts is largely over, at least in mainstream United States casinos. However, markers are legally binding instruments, and failing to repay them can lead to serious consequences.

3. Like managing finances in general, using casino credit wisely requires financial acumen and discipline. Many players lack one or both of these qualities. For these individuals, obtaining credit at a casino can result in financial hardship, potentially leading to bankruptcy. What initially seems like a beneficial arrangement, providing interest-free funds to address short-term financial issues, can quickly turn into a significant disadvantage if the financial problem persists.

4. Problem gamblers have often found themselves in deep financial trouble due to the misuse of credit.

What Happens if You Do Not Pay Your Casino Marker?

According to Joel M. Running out of cash or opting not to carry cash may lead you to consider a casino marker as a convenient way to gamble [1]. However, failing to repay a marker within the specified timeframe, typically around 30 days, can result in serious consequences.

If you do not respond by repaying the debt, the casino will then attempt to collect the money directly from the bank account that you put on your application for credit. If your account does not contain enough money to pay the debt, the casino will attempt to reach you again by certified letter. If this fails or if you have not resolved the matter at this point, the casino will escalate its tactics and file a complaint with the Clark County District Attorney – Joel M.

Upon receiving a letter from the District Attorney, you will have 10 days to respond and pay the debt, along with any associated fees and court costs. Failure to respond may result in the District Attorney pursuing criminal charges against you, leading to a warrant for your arrest. Charges may include passing a bad check, making false statements, forgery, identity theft, misrepresentation of assets, or obtaining money by false pretenses.

Ignoring a letter regarding casino marker debt is not advisable. It is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as you receive any notice from the casino to address the issue promptly and develop a plan to avoid severe legal repercussions.

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