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Paying Casino Markers in Las vegas

Published September 20, 2019 by ADRAS & ALTIG, Attorneys at Law
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Pay Your Casino Markers or Expect to Go to Jail

Don’t think for a minute that you can run out on a Las Vegas casino marker. The casino will come after you. You could face time in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted of criminal charges involving not repaying a casino marker.

Most gamblers who default on casino markers do so unintentionally. They just get overextended and get in over their heads. We understand how that can happen, and we can help. If you have defaulted on a casino marker or are about to default, contact Adras & Altig Las Vegas casino marker defense lawyers. We can work to negotiate a payment plan and try to keep you out of jail.

What is a Casino Gambling Marker? 

Casinos issue markers so guests can gamble without handling large amounts of cash. A casino marker, sometimes called a “gambling marker,” works like an interest-free line of credit but is more comparable to a short-term loan. The actual marker is a counter check the gambler can use to draw on the line of credit.

To obtain a casino marker, the gambler must initially complete an application, which allows the casino to check the applicant’s bank accounts to confirm their ability to pay the debt incurred. Once approved, the casino issues a marker for the amount requested, which the gambler may redeem in chips and/or cash. A pit boss at a gaming table or a casino host can approve additional markers, increasing the amount of credit extended to a gambler.

When payment is due, typically after 30 days, the casino submits the marker or markers to the bank, like a check. If a marker is returned due to insufficient funds — or “bounces” — that, of course, is a problem.

Under Nevada law (NRS 205.130 and NRS 205.132), if the casino goes through the proper steps to collect on a marker, the failure to pay is presumed to be an intent to defraud. A conviction of intent to defraud in Nevada carries a sentence of at least a year in jail. Passing a bad check falls under the same statutes.

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

Casinos issue markers to encourage patrons to gamble. The casino’s primary concern is collecting the money the establishment is owed. The casino will give you the opportunity to pay your gambling debt before taking legal steps that can lead to you being charged with a crime.

Thirty days after a casino marker is issued and remains unpaid:

  • The casino will attempt to contact you. If a casino marker is not paid upon submission to the bank, the casino will issue a “notice of refusal of payment.” This is a certified letter saying the bank did not pay the marker. By law, that gives you 10 days to pay the debt or respond otherwise.

When Do I need a Casino Marker Attorney?

At this point, you can help yourself by contacting a Las Vegas casino marker attorney. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and work to find a resolution to your unpaid gambling debt. In some cases, a casino will work with you to establish a payment plan, though they are not required to do so.


  • The District Attorney will attempt to contact you. Ten days after the notice of failure to pay, if the casino has not heard from you, it will file a complaint with the Clark County District Attorney’s office. The DA’s office will send you a certified letter and give you 10 days to respond and pay the marker. You will also be required to pay the DA’s office’s processing costs and fees, which will be about 10 percent of the marker’s value.

How Long Do I have before I have to Pay the Casino Marker?

After 10 days, if you have not paid the debt and fees, the DA will file a criminal complaint against you and ask the Court to issue a warrant for your arrest.

  • You will be arrested, jailed and charged. If you reside in Las Vegas, Clark County or Nevada, you can expect to be arrested within days. If you live elsewhere, you can expect to be arrested eventually. A police officer who has stopped you in traffic may see the outstanding warrant and arrest you. Often, travelers are stopped and arrested at a border crossing or at an airport Customs desk.

Upon arrest, you will be extradited to Clark County and prosecuted. Extradition is a court procedure that is not always immediate. You could be held for up to 30 days before being taken to Las Vegas.

Not Paying a Casino Marker is a Criminal Offense

Casinos and tourism are the economic engines of Las Vegas and Clark County. The Nevada criminal justice system takes seriously the payment of gambling debts. You will be prosecuted if you are arrested for not paying a casino marker. In addition to resolving the criminal charges, you will still be required to repay your debt to the casino, plus court costs.

If I don’t Pay the Casino Marker, Will I get a Felony?

Failure to pay a casino marker is typically a felony in Nevada requiring prison time upon conviction. Punishment is according to the value of the marker, which is usually thousands of dollars. Under the law, failure to pay a casino marker for $250 or more is a category D felony punishable by 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Failure to pay a casino marker for less than $250 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Most cases involving unpaid Las Vegas casinos involve sums that far exceed $250.

A third offense of failing to pay a casino marker, regardless of value, is also a category D felony.

Contact Us to Fight Bad Casino Marker Penalties

Although Clark County prosecutors will absolutely seek a guilty verdict in a casino marker case, as we said above, the casino is more interested in being paid than it is in putting someone in jail. A knowledgeable Las Vegas casino marker defense attorney from Adras & Altig can develop a plan to help you resolve the issue.

In addition to fully understanding how Nevada law is applied, Paul Adras and Steve Altig, who handle each case taken by the firm, have the reputations and relationships in Clark County courts necessary to represent our clients effectively. We can work to negotiate a payment plan so that you avoid prosecution or, if the evidence supports it, work to have charges dismissed.

The sooner we get involved with your case, the more opportunity we have to help. If you know you cannot pay an outstanding casino marker in Las Vegas, please contact us today.

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