While casinos let you think that a marker functions as a hybrid interest free line of credit / short-term loan, drawing a marker is essentially writing a check. However, if you use markers at a casino, it is so important that you understand how they work. These are not informal “IOUs” .
You can face felony charges for not paying markers, as Nevada law presumes people to have an “intent to defraud” if there are insufficient funds in their bank account when the casino attempts to collect a marker.
Before you go to a casino, you fill out a casino credit application, and provide your checking account and routing numbers. The casino will check your gambling history and provide you with a line of credit. This is to verify you actually gamble and are not looking for a short term cash front. You can then visit the casino and gamble without having to pay credit card advance fees or ATM fees. Theoretically, when you’re done gambling, or your trip is over, you pay your marker.
If you do not pay your marker, the casino will draft your checking account after a certain number of days. If you do not have funds to cover the debt, a criminal complaint can be filed after 10 days.
From there, the district attorney will ask the courts to issue a warrant for your arrest. The warrant is effective nationwide and in the 194 other other countries that recognize Interpol procedures. You will then find yourself in a situation where you may face jail time, criminal charges, and civil penalties.
The absolute worst thing you can do is not respond to communications about casino markers.
You typically cannot go to jail if you are a few weeks late on paying back a small loan. You may receive collection calls, letters, but you will not face felony charges. Casino debt is different. Casino markers are not loans. The collection agency for Las Vegas casinos is the Clark County District Attorney’s office, which has their own bad check unit. A marker is treated like you writing a post-dated check at the time you gamble. If you don’t pay your marker as agreed (typically 30 days), the casino will then “deposit” the check. Jail time for unpaid casino markers is a very real possibility.
If you have casino markers that you know you cannot pay, do not wait and see if the casino will really come after you. You should assume you will be charged and take steps to protect yourself immediately. Your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can obtain more time to repay the casino debt, as well as negotiate a lowered or reduced settlement on the marker amount. There are opportunities to negotiate payment plans, get charges dismissed, and records sealed.
If you are facing an unpaid casino marker, contact LV Criminal Defense today to discuss your options.