If you frequently visit a brick-and-mortar casino, you might be familiar with the term ‘Casino Marker.’ It is basically the credit that casino offers for zero interest. It might sound appealing due to the zero-interest thing, but loans from the casino will sure have some catch.
Today, we will discuss all the perks and shortcomings of casino markers.
What are Casino Markers?
Casino markers are nothing but a kind of loan that you take from the casino. Gamblers opt for it when they need extra cash or run out of money while at the casino. In such situations, casino markers can come handy for quick cash. You have to fill up an application and casino will provide you with those colourful chips worth the credit amount.
This borrowed amount has to be returned to the casino within a month (typically). The casino grants these markers at your own risk. And to get those, you have to qualify for them. If your bank account is fat, you will encounter no problems while getting that credit. In short, if you are rich, you are unlikely to default, and hence it is easier to get the casino credit.
Perks of Casino Markers
If casino markers are pretty risky, why do people go for it? Obviously, casino markers have their own perks.
- You do not have to drag around a briefcase filled with cash (it looks cool only in movies). You could just get some credit at the casino and repay it later. This is useful for those who are travelling overseas and do not like to carry so much cash.
- Casinos think of you as a loser. Some casinos have attractive offers only for the players who use credit. By extending such offers, they try to figure out your loss appetite. If you can sustain losses, you are their ideal customer. However, the experienced gamblers who take home some winnings can benefit from this.
- If you are a favourite with the casino, they might offer you some rebate or cashback on your losses (markers). Suppose, if you get a 10% rebate in your markers when you have lost, and you get to take home all your rewards, it’s an incredible deal. However, if you are planning to do so, make sure you take out only the marker and not the bundle of cash (if you have cash).
- Another perk would be that if you have credit lines at numerous casinos (under the same bank account), you can withdraw from multiple lines at once. This will give you some quick cash with no interest. The money is enough to get you through a few bad days. However, this method comes with its own risks.
Drawbacks of Casino Markers
- Let us start with the obvious one, if you have a gambling problem, stay away from casino markers. Getting extra credit can just get you deeper into the debt mire. If you are unable to repay the markers, casinos can be really pushy about their getting their money back.
- The goons that casino sends after you to claim their money. Yes, this can happen to you for real. Even if the goons don’t come chasing you, you are likely to run into loads of problems as markers are legal instruments. In fact, defaulting on markers is a criminal offence in Nevada.
- If you take markers from a casino, you have to use them at that casino. If you borrow funds from one casino and use them to gamble at some other casino, your credit line might be cancelled.
- This might show up on the Central Credit report. And casinos do not offer zero-interest credit for playing at some other casino. However, you can use the credit from one casino in some other casino if they belong to the same corporate property.
- The application asks for way too many details. Some gamblers may be hesitant to provide bank details or any other details. Moreover, if you wish to stay anonymous, then casino markers are certainly not for you.
- You might end up getting a divorce with nasty allegations. Suppose, if you are about to get divorced and you also happened to have multiple credit lines. Your about-to-be-ex and their lawyer could use this against you as proof that you are a problematic gambler.
How to Get a Casino Marker
Obtaining casino markers is a pretty straightforward process. You have to fill up an application, provide your bank details, social security number, and other usual details like name and address. After the credit is approved, the marker is printed in the pit. You can use the markers to get cash or chips after signing it.
Casinos can even draw up plans for repayment in instalments if you request. But this is seldom practised.
What’s the Catch?
If you repay what you owe the casino within the given time, there is no catch. However, if you somehow end up defaulting, you will get into a lot of trouble.
If you fail to pay, the casino will try to recover the amount from your bank account that you mention in the application. If your account does not have a sufficient amount, the casino will issue a certified letter to you and give you ten days to make up the difference.
What happens if You Default?
The casino will approach the District Attorney if you once again fail to repay the marker in those ten days. The Attorney issues another notice granting ten more days to repay with some interest. And in the extreme case, you might be arrested and prosecuted.
We hope you have enough details about casino markers to make a conscious decision!
Some FAQs about Casino Markers
1. Do casinos lend money as loans?
It is a common mistake to consider casino markers as short-term loans. However, if you view it from the legal eye, a casino marker is more of a check that you have written to the casino. And this is why, if you do not have enough bank balance to cover up the marker dues, you can land in some serious trouble.
2. Can you write-off the casino debts?
Fortunately, yes. You can write off the gambling debts by itemizing your deductions. But you will also have to report your winnings as taxable income. If your losses are more than your winnings, then you cannot write off all your losses.
In case, you incur losses of $11000 and you have won $10,000 you can write-off only $10,000 as losses. In simpler words – you can’t write or pay off your losses without reporting winnings.
3. What is the line of credit?
And now, what are these ‘lines of credit’ we keep talking about? Like credit card?
Technically (and by the Nevada law), the line of credit is “negotiable instruments,” just like checks. You pay a casino marker with a check, and they do not check it in until a certain duration. However, if this debt remains unpaid, then the gambling house may press felony charges against you.
We hope you have enough details about casino markers to make a conscious decision! If you are facing trouble with such unpaid debt, then you will have to contact a criminal defense attorney to fight off the criminal charges.