Some people come to Las Vegas for the top-notch entertainment. Some people come to Las Vegas to sample its gourmet restaurants and endless buffets. But most people come to Las Vegas to gamble!
Gambling can be fun. Many people do not like carrying a lot of money with them to Las Vegas, and obtaining a casino marker is an easy, interest free way of gambling without the hassle of carrying wads of cash. But if you fail to pay back your marker, you may receive a letter from the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. If you do get one or more of these letters – do not ignore it! You need a criminal defense lawyer with casino marker experience. Call us immediately at 702-405-0001 and we can help you through this process.
What is a Marker and how do I get one?
Like any line of credit, a marker will usually only be issued to a player after he fills out a standard form listing his/her name, address and bank account information. It is at the discretion of the gaming establishment (casino) on whether they will issue you credit and for how much. Criteria that they will look at is how often you gamble at that casino, how long you gamble and how much you typically gamble in that time frame.
If approved, a “marker” will be issued. It will normally contain the name of the player, the name of the player’s bank and the account number. There will also be an instruction to “Pay to the order of” a specific casino in a sum certain amount in U.S. dollars. By signing the marker, a player represents or guarantees that there are enough funds in his/her bank account to cover the credit that he/she is requesting.
This marker is considered a negotiable instrument. In other words, it is like a check written from your bank account. If you fail to repay the casino the money when it becomes due, the casino will mostly likely attempt to collect based upon this instrument.
What happens to the marker if it “bounces”?
Before a casino attempts to cash the “marker,” it will more than likely attempt to work with you to collect what is due. If the casino fails to recover the amount due, the casino will present the marker to your bank. If your bank account contains insufficient funds (NSF) to cover the marker (or check), this will be considered a “bad check.”
What is a bad check?
In Nevada, intentionally writing a bad check is considered theft. If the bad check is written for under $650, it is considered a misdemeanor. As a misdemeanor, you could face up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. This does not include the actual amount of the restitution (usually the amount of check) or any additional bank fees.
Because a casino marker is normally higher than $650, it will be considered a class D felony. If charged as a Class D felony, you could face up to four years in prison and fines up to $5,000 plus restitution for the amount of the check, as well as payment for additional bank fees.
Understand that failure to pay your casino marker is a very serious crime.
What is the Bad Check Unit?
The Bad Check Unit is a division of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office which just handles bad checks, including casino markers. This unit is fully funded by retaining 10% of all money it recovers. Thus, the Bank Check Unit is highly motivated and will file felony charges against you in order to collect on these debts! If a casino wants to prosecute criminally, it will normally present your case to the DA’s Bad Check Unit for prosecution.
At the very same time, a casino may also send your debt to a collection agency. Ultimately, if you ignore any inquiries by the collection agency, they may sue you for the debt that is owed.
In other words, you may be both prosecuted in criminal court and sued in civil court. These are both separate matters that can have major consequences in your life.
If you receive a letter from the Clark County District Attorney’s Office Bad Check Unit, a collection agency, or a civil complaint arising from a casino marker, please do not ignore it. Our office can help you with both criminal and civil problems related to casino markers. You may not even have to appear in Court. Do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation at 702-405-0001. We are standing by to help you. All initial consultations are free and confidential.