What is a casino marker?
More often than not, gamblers find themselves needing access to substantial amounts of money while indulging in their favorite pastime. For such situations, many casinos offer an instrument known as a casino marker. But what is a casino marker?
This unique credit facility has its own advantages and disadvantages, legal implications, and intricacies that every gambler should understand. This guide delves into the complexities of casino markers, providing a comprehensive understanding of what they are and how they work.
What is a Casino Marker?
A casino marker is essentially a short-term, interest-free line of credit provided by casinos to their patrons, primarily for gambling purposes. This facility is similar to a loan, but with a significant difference.
While loans typically come with a stipulated interest rate and repayment period, casino markers are interest-free and are expected to be repaid within a relatively short timeframe, usually 30 days.
How Casino Markers Work
To avail a casino marker, gamblers must fill out a credit application. This application requires the patron to provide personal and financial details, including their bank account information.
The casino then assesses the patron’s creditworthiness before approving the marker. Once approved, the marker can be redeemed for gaming chips or cash to be used within the casino.
Here’s a step-by-step process of how casino markers work:
- Application for Casino Credit: The process begins with the gambler filling out a credit application. The casino then verifies the applicant’s creditworthiness and intent to gamble significant money in their establishment.
- Signing a Casino Marker: Once the credit application is approved, the casino issues a marker. This marker resembles a check but is not cashed immediately. The gambler can repay the loan before the due date.
- Debt Recovery: If the gambler does not repay the marker within the agreed timeframe, the casino attempts to collect the debt directly from the gambler’s bank account.
Failure to repay a casino marker can lead to serious repercussions, both civil and criminal. In some cases, the casino may even file a complaint with the District Attorney’s office.
Legal Implications of Casino Markers
Casino markers are legally binding instruments, much like checks. Consequently, defaulting on a casino marker can lead to severe legal consequences, including criminal charges.
Specifically, in Nevada, non-payment of a casino marker is considered a category D felony, punishable by one to four years in prison, fines, and restitution.
Casinos also have the right to file civil lawsuits for the recovery of amounts owed.
Penalties for Defaulting on Casino Markers
The penalties for not repaying a casino marker depend on the amount defaulted. For markers worth less than $1,200, the default is treated as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or fines up to $1,000.
However, for markers worth $1,200 or more, the default is treated as a category D felony. The punishment includes one to four years in Nevada State Prison, restitution of the outstanding casino marker debt, administrative fees, and fines up to $5,000.
Can Casino Marker Charges be Dismissed?
In certain cases, the District Attorney may agree to dismiss all casino marker charges if the markers are repaid in full. Sometimes, they may allow monthly payments until the debt is cleared. In rare instances, prosecutors may settle for a lesser amount than what is owed.
Casino Markers and Bankruptcy
Nevada law does not allow casino marker debt to be discharged in bankruptcy as long as the criminal case is open. However, if the criminal charges are dismissed, any remaining debt may be discharged through bankruptcy.
Defending Casino Marker Charges
Defending casino marker charges can be challenging since Nevada law presumes fraudulent intent in such cases. However, a skilled Las Vegas casino marker lawyer may be able to prove that the defendant had no fraudulent intentions.
Circumstances that may help in defense include a long-standing relationship with the casino, illness preventing timely repayment, or sufficient funds in the bank at the time of marker issuance.
Casino Markers for Out-of-State Gamblers
If an out-of-state gambler has outstanding casino marker debt in Nevada, they should immediately contact a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney. An attorney can negotiate with prosecutors, possibly delaying the pressing of charges or even getting the case dropped altogether.
If a warrant has been issued, the attorney can try to arrange for a “walk-through” whereby the gambler would be released after being fingerprinted and photographed. This avoids having to remain in custody during the case.
Seeking Legal Help for Casino Marker Cases
If you’ve been summoned or arrested for unpaid casino markers, it’s crucial to seek legal advice promptly. An experienced Nevada criminal defense attorney can negotiate a payment plan with the District Attorney’s office, allowing you to remain out of custody.
Casino markers can be a convenient way for gamblers to access large amounts of cash quickly. However, they come with significant legal responsibilities and potential consequences.
Understanding what a casino marker is and how it works is crucial before deciding to use this facility. Always remember to gamble responsibly and within your financial means.