Many gamblers use casino credit when they gamble. Although credit is much tougher to obtain now than it was even five years ago, there are plenty of casinos that offer markers for use in the pit or table games department where a player has only to ask for chips and they are brought to their table along with the marker, a form of check.
Every casino has its own system for allowing players to obtain cash to gamble with. Some casinos offer ATM machines and nothing more. The next step up includes casinos that offer a no-pin number ATM or Global Cash service that sets a fee (as high as 17 percent) on a player's own cash from their checking and savings account.
Many casinos do offer check cashing services and require little more than filling out a short form with bank and residence information, however the first check cashed may be restricted to as little as $50. As a good record is established, the check amount allowed is raised.Central Credit
For players who wish to establish credit of a higher amount, most large casinos offer marker action, meaning players establish a credit line with the casino. This can be done online, via fax, or in person. If you go to a casino cashier cage to fill out the forms, the credit manager may give you access to your line of credit in just 10 minutes, but don't expect that.
Central Credit is the industry's most used credit service (established in 1956) provides a credit report using the standard leaders in credit reporting (Trans Union, Equifax, Experian). The casino will then decide how much they wish to allow you to borrow. Your current credit situation, your outstanding credit lines at other casinos, and your history with your current casino all come into play when establishing your new line.
If you have never had casino credit before and have reasonable credit (credit score well over 600 with no 60-day delinquints) you can expect to get $5,000 without too much trouble. The higher your annual income and score, the more you can obtain. You can also expect to get more credit if you have played regularly at the casino you are seeking credit from.
Once your credit is established (ask for a reasonable amount, expect to get half) you ask for a marker at a table game in the amount you would like to use. Perhaps you want $1,000 to start, so the Pit Boss will bring a printed check to the table, have you sign it, and the dealer will give you $1,000 in chips.
You now owe the casino $1,000 and may draw more chips on credit if you have a high enough line. If you reach your credit line and have used credit before and paid it back quickly, you may be able to get a little more. The casino will likely extend your credit from 10 to 20 percent. You can also buy-back your markers at the table, or buy them back at the cashier's cage. Ideally the casino would like you to pay-off your markers when your stay at the casino is over.Paying Back Your Credit
Each casino is different, and your history with any club gets you more time to pay off your markers, but a general rule is that if you don't buy back your markers at the end of your trip you should pay them off with a check a week after your trip ends. The higher the amount you owe, the more likely you can take longer - a few weeks if you owe $10,000 is fair. Do expect a call from the casino's credit manager shortly after you return home!
In Nevada, markers are treated like a standard bank check. If you don't honor the check you can be charged with check fraud (theft and bad check charges). This won't happen quickly, as the casino won't send your check to the bank if you pay quickly. Regardless of how quick you are paying your debt, be kind on the phone with the credit manager, and if you over-extended yourself, tell them that.The casino won't sweat too much if you simply say you spent more than you anticipated and give them a real time frame for repayment. They will also take payments, but don't expect to blow $5,000 and be able to pay $100 a month. If you can send $1,000 immediately and make two more $2,000 payment over the next month, they'll take it! Duck their calls or promise and not deliver, and your markers go to the bank.
Remember that when you sit down at a blackjack table and draw a marker, the bosses will keep a good eye on you. They do expect to see you playing your chips. If you draw a marker for $5,000 and only play for a few minutes and walk with those chips it will be noted on your account. If you don't show action in your player's account, they will quickly contact you and may cancel your credit. That's not good if you want credit at another casino - it all winds up on your reports.
Treat your casino credit with respect. That's real money you are playing with, even if you don't have to pay it back for a few weeks. If you don't take care of your credit, you'll lose it. Also, you'll have to consider your credit part of your bankroll, but don't make it your only bankroll - that's a disaster waiting to happen! Good money management is critical at all times when you gamble, but it's magnified greatly when you play on credit.