Las Vegas Criminal Law Blog

Can I Be Arrested If I Don’t Pay My Casino Marker?

If you’re visiting Las Vegas and you’re not an experienced attorney, you might not think much about your casino marker. After all, it’s there for you to use, and there’s no chance that you’d exceed the limit, right?

Unfortunately, that’s the case for a lot of people: they get their marker, they start gambling, and they fall into the trap of thinking it’s a line of credit that can be paid like any other credit card. It’s rarely a gambler’s intention to default on a casino marker, but it’s more common than you might think.

What Is a Casino Marker?

While you may not need to have cash on you to buy a casino marker, it would be a mistake to think of a casino marker as a credit card or other financing tool. The casinos want you to think of it that way because it encourages gambling, but once you take out a casino marker, they function more as a check to the casino than an actual line of credit.

When applying for a casino marker, casinos will often check to see that you have the funds to repay the initial marker. Since it functions similarly to a loan, the casino wants to make sure you’re not a high risk for default.

What isn’t as clear is that your credit market’s limit could be increased during your time at the casino. A pit boss, gaming table, or host can issue additional markers that increase your ability to gamble without first checking to ensure that you have the funds to pay them.

This is often where people get unintentionally overextended, and trouble begins.

What Happens to Unpaid Casino Markers?

In the best-case scenario, you pay off your markers at the end of your time at the casino and never worry about them again. However, this isn’t always feasible, or not immediately top-of-mind, so markers can be paid off up to 30 days after a casino issues them. At the end of the 30-day window, the casino attempts to cash its “check” on your bank account. If there’s not enough money to cover the marker amount, then under Nevada law, it gets treated as a “bad check,” with an assumed intent to defraud the casino.

How Do I Know a Casino Tried to Cash My Marker?

A casino that tried to cash your casino marker on your account will notify you with a letter if there are insufficient funds to cover the marker amount. You will have ten days to respond, after which the case will be referred to the Clark County DA’s office. The DA will send you a letter requiring you to pay the marker — as well as the DA’s processing fees — or else face charges. Failure to respond to the DA’s letter will likely result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

What if I Don’t Live in Nevada?

Las Vegas thrives on tourism, and that means that people from all over may be taking out casino markers and unintentionally getting in over their heads. However, just because you don’t live in Nevada doesn’t mean that a warrant for your arrest can’t hurt you. People from out of state who fail to pay their markers are often arrested during traffic stops or when traveling across US borders and then extradited to Nevada to face the court.

If you aren’t able to pay your casino marker or have received notice from a casino or the DA that you have failed to pay, you must speak to an experienced defense attorney in the Las Vegas area as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Benjamin Nadig, we believe that everyone deserves a defense, and have extensive experience handling casino marker cases for our clients. In fact, our law firm has negotiated millions of dollars in clients’ financial dues and has even rendered an individual client’s outstanding marker totaling $3 million completely void.

To find out more about how to respond when you can’t pay your casino marker, call our Las Vegas offices today.