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Casino Credits and Loans Explained | What is a Casino Marker?

Casino Marker: Everything You Need to Know About Casino Credits and Loans

If you plan on gambling without tight personal finances and/or by relying majorly (or only) on a casino credit line, make sure you understand exactly how a casino marker works. But, what is a casino marker, anyway? 

In this article, we explore all relevant segments of it, shedding light on casino loans overall and how you can use them efficiently. 

What is a Casino Marker? Meaning and Definition 

A casino marker is a short-term, interest-free line of credit extended by casinos to patrons to gamble with. Typically, these loans come with a 30-day clause, i.e. patrons are expected to repay the loans in that time. Depending on a country, failing to repay the borrowed money from the casino can get you to face severe repercussions — anything from civil offence and thousands of dollars in fines to jail time. 

If you decide to take a gambling marker, inspect the laws and regulations of the casino you are playing at. Also, get familiar with the laws of the country you are playing in because what is a marker in gambling for some casinos may not be for others.

How to Get Casino Credit - Can I Qualify for Gambling Markers? 

Any credit-worthy casino player with a bank account qualifies for a casino marker. In addition to being credit-worthy, the player may be "inspected" by the casino; the casino will want to establish the player's gambling credibility to prove they are willing to gamble at a level consistent with that credit-line amount. After all, the casino must secure itself by extending loans to players who don't shy away from playing (and losing) big.

Before receiving their preferred casino loans, the patron must complete a credit application collecting all vital information on the patron. Usually, the application asks for the patron's name, social security number and complete bank account information. 

The gambler can request a marker for a specific amount once their application is approved; the application is then printed in the pit or the cage. Once the marker is signed, the customer can redeem this credit in the form of chips or cash to use at the slot machines.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Markers 

As with taking out any loan, using casino markers comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of using markers are:

  1. Cashless casino play – Using markers means not having to carry cash to and from a casino which is a security benefit as much as it is practical. This is especially true for patrons travelling across the country to gamble.
  2. More than one money source, at 0% interest – Patrons who have a number of lines of credit at several casinos have the option of drawing on more than one of them at the same time. Naturally, these lines of credit must all be obtained with the same bank account and come with a 0% interest.
  3. Credit players only – Although not too common of a praxis, some casinos have offers for credit players only. Casinos like to invest in players who are willing to sustain some losses, and a line of credit proves you do. In that sense, a casino will often go above and beyond to give players the opportunity to lose more money. There are casinos which provide rebates on markers for losers, too. Winning players can make out nicely by tapping into these credit benefits, as well.

It is not unusual for patrons to fall into casino chops simply because they're not entirely familiar with all casino terminology. To stay on the safe side, check out this glossary of gambling terms.

Using markers comes with quite a few disadvantages, too:

  1. Credit application – Every player must fill out an application before using a casino marker which requires sharing more personal information than most players are happy to share. But, how do casino markers work once the application is filled out, i.e. why is this submission necessary? A casino needs to secure themselves against player-fraud, and getting a patron's information is the safest way to do it. Players looking to remain relatively anonymous cannot use credit.
  2. Facing charges or large fees – While taking out a casino marker won't have goons sent after you in the case of unpaid debt, it will get you in different kinds of trouble. If you don't pay your marker, you are looking at anything from civil offence charges to paying large fees or even going to prison.
  3. Bankruptcy – Inexperienced loan users can easily fall into bankruptcy if they don't learn how to use their credit correctly. With that in mind, players are advised to remember what a casino marker definition is – a short-term help! Don't turn it into an ongoing gambling plan.
  4. Problem gambling – Gamblers with a pathological gambling problem have gotten buried using credit, and that's pretty much all you need to know.
  5. Joint accounts – Players who have a joint line of credit with a spouse should be careful about money withdrawals as, in case of a divorce, the spouse (any of the two) can withdraw a substantial chunk of money without the other being aware of it. What is more, if you have several casino lines of credit, this information can be used against you by your spouse's attorney to prove you are a degenerate gambler making you an ill-fit parent for child visitation and similar. If your marriage is on the rocks, see to sort these things out in advance. 
  6. Las Vegas marker - Casinos in Las Vegas casinos share data through an organization called Central Credit to find out what your credit history has been at other casinos where you play and based on that decide if they'll approve a loan or not. Additionally, Casino Credit has a history of selling player financial data to others, so be careful if taking out casino loans here. 
  7. Only one casino – Although this may be obvious to some players, it's worth mentioning nonetheless – taking casino credit at one casino means being able to use that loan at that casino only. Going to a different casino with a marker can cause your line of credit to be cancelled. However, gambling at another casino that's within the same corporate family is usually allowed. 

casino marker

How to Pay Back Your Credit 

Each casino is different, but the general rule of thumb is that the higher the amount you owe, the more likely you are to get more payback instalments approved. 

In some countries, casino markers are treated as a standard bank check. This means that, if the player doesn't honour their check, they can be charged with theft and bad check charges, i.e. check fraud. However, if you pay your check regularly, there should be no problems. 

Also, most casinos are open for extending more payback time to their players if they are honest with their circumstances. For instance, if a player admits they had spent more than anticipated and gives a real-time frame for repayment, the casino is likely to accept it as long as the timeframe is reasonable. 

However, if a player makes promises without delivering or dodges the casino's calls, the markers go straight to the bank.

What Happens if I Don't Pay a Casino Marker? 

When it comes to marker gambling and a marker limit, overall - every country and casino have different laws and regulations. If you don't pay a casino marker in the time specified, you may face large financial fees, be charged for a criminal offence or get time in prison. This is why you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to help you out the moment a casino informs you of your debt and the time you have to pay it back to the casino.

Casinos are generally willing to reach reasonable solutions with their patrons in non-payment situations if contacted in a timely manner.

How Long Before I Have to Pay the Casino Marker? 

Depending on the country and state you are gambling in, you will have a certain amount of days before you are obliged to pay the casino marker. Every casino must specify the number of days you have at your disposal to use the marker. Usually, this number revolves around 30 days. However, depending on where you are gambling from, the day number may vary. 

If you are a first-time casino loan user and haven't dealt with this kind of thing before, create a casino marker payment plan to keep yourself safe. Having a plan should help you stay focused on your payback and save you from trouble. 

Is Not Paying a Casino Marker a Criminal Offense? 

Every country/state comes with its own set of rules and regulations concerning marker payments. In states such as Las Vegas which rely on casinos as their economic engines, not paying a casino marker will result in prosecution, criminal charges and potentially jail time. 

Punishment is often decided according to the value of the marker, mostly rounding at thousands of dollars. Upon resolving the criminal charges, patrons will still be required to repay their debt to the casino, as well as court costs.

However, not all countries have such strict marker regulations which, still, doesn't mean avoiding paying the marker. Prior to taking out the loan, do a double-check of the casino's internal policies as well as the laws and regulation of the country/state you are gambling at.

Final Thoughts

Casino markers and how they work is hopefully explained in the lines above, providing players with a reliable input on how to behave and what to expect when taking out a casino loan. Is not knowing what is a casino marker that dangerous for a casino player? It is. This is why all new players are advised to be mindful of the deposit method they use. What is more, they should consult with a lawyer before taking out a casino loan just to stay on the safe side. Veteran players know their way around credit markers but are still recommended careful and conscious casino credit handling. Good luck!

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