I’ve always been curious about casino markers. As a mid-roller, I have never had the need or the means to use a casino marker. But what is it all about? What Is a Casino Marker?
Casino markers are lines of credit that allow high-level gambling patrons easy access to large sums of cash. Guests at this level apply to the casino credit department who then determines the patron’s financial worth.
How Does the Casino Determine My Worth?
Determining your worth is based on a couple of criteria. The first is money available. If you borrow $10,000, you must have that amount of cold hard cash in a bank somewhere, not tied up in assets. Incidentally, good credit is a must.
Secondly, the casino may need to see evidence of a gambling level consistent with the amount being asked for. Suppose you are not a high-roller—no need to ask. You really need to gamble at the casino from whom you get a marker.
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Why Ask For a Casino Marker?
First of all, casino markers allow patrons to access a line of interest-free credit for quick and easy access to large sums of cash.
Another important reason is for one’s personal safety. Carrying large amounts of cash to the casino and inside the casino would certainly draw unwanted attention.
Also, patrons use markers to avoid paying fees for ATM’s and credit card cash advances. The borrowed money is interest-free, and payment isn’t due for 15 days to 30 days, depending on the amount and the casino’s credit policy. Markers generally start at $500 and rise at the casino’s discretion.
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved?
Seeking a credit line requires financial and banking information provided to credit card companies. Patrons should do so approximately two weeks before their visit to the casino. Casino staff determines the patron’s credit risk, examines the patron’s ability to pay, and approves the credit line amount. The decision takes about one week.
Where Do You Get Your Marker After Approved?
Guests inform staff when seated at a table game. The table games supervisor accesses the patron’s information via computer and fills out the proper paperwork. The patron signs the paperwork and is given the appropriate amount of credit in chips. A receipt is given to the patron to use when paying off the marker. For slot and video poker gamblers, the cashier cage of player services can do the same.
Note: It is customary for patrons to pay back the marker before leaving the casino if they have enjoyed a winning session.
And If I Don’t Pay It Back?
Repayment must be prompt, or the patron faces high-interest fees and possible criminal charges. Many people also believe a marker is totally interest-free. Interest charges of 18 percent and higher are charged if full payment is not received within the agreed time frame.
Failure to pay a casino marker is a serious offense. In major gambling cities, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, failure to pay markers is considered a felony. Patrons who cannot pay markers within the specified time frame should contact the casino credit department. The casino will work with the patron to fashion a payment plan with interest charges rather than file criminal charges.
Gambler Beware – What Is a Casino Marker?
Some casinos have offers for credit players only. In other words, they will give you extra opportunities to lose more money. Also, filling out a credit application may release more personal information than you want to share.
To thyself be true – problem gamblers should not be using credit. Enough said.
Still Some Positives
However, credit provides some good opportunities. Many casinos give rebates on markers for losers — if you’re a good enough customer and ask them. If you can get, say, 10% back on your markers when you lose while keeping all of your winnings, that’s a great deal. If you’re a table game player and wish to play unrated (incognito), you cannot use credit.
I think it’s best left summarized by Bob Dancer, the premier video poker professional.
Using markers, if done properly and judiciously, can be very beneficial for certain types of players. But it’s important to understand the specific rules related to markers at your casino and understand the limitations and potential pitfalls of using markers. And it is also important to know yourself and whether you can responsibly handle these instruments.
If you’re like me, you may never go through this process. But, at least you know when you see it.