It should not be a surprise that Las Vegas which is dubbed as the Entertainment Capital in the World is a hub for gambling or gaming, a term the state of Nevada prefers. In the massive stretch of the Strip you will find countless arrays of casinos, all brightly lit and rowdily loud, enticing visitors to spend their money on games of chances.
Of course, not everyone has an unlimited supply of cash in hand this is why casinos offer markers—or a credit that can be used for gaming. And just like what happens on any other type of credits, people can commit a crime in this setting.
The casino laws in Nevada are clear what would happen if you do not pay a casino marker and eventually go in debt with it. Below are information as seen from the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) that you need to know if you are currently facing casino marker charges.
What is a marker in gambling?
Casino markers (sometimes called Las Vegas markers when in Las Vegas) are essentially a line of credit a gamer can loan to make gambling even more convenient. With it, people would not have to go back and forth on ATMs just to get money. After filing an application that involves your bank information, a gambler will claim the markers in form of chips or an actual cash. Casino markers are usually a no-interest loan that should be paid within 30 days. Often, gamblers avail large amounts of casino markers just to ensure they have enough money for their gambling adventures but sometimes, gamblers go beyond their limit due to being carried away.
What does NRS say about casino marker crimes?
It is a crime when a gambler won’t pay their casino marker. This is called defaulting. Within 30 days, the balance should be settled. If this does not happen, the casino will try to withdraw funds from the bank account of the person. If no money can be extracted, the casino then turns to the District Attorney’s Office to file a complaint. The borrower then gets notified of their debt and will be given at least 10 days to resolve their case. If no payment is settled on the given timeframe, a warrant of arrest shall be issued that will be taken to action by the police force.
Casino marker crimes are covered in NRS 205.130. It is stated that whoever willfully uses a check issued by a licensed gaming establishment while fully knowing that he or she does not have sufficient funds to pay the instrument is guilty of misdemeanor.
What are the penalties for a casino marker crime?
The levels of penalties in a casino marker violation depends on the amount of debt. An unsettled credit of less than $650 is a misdemeanor and incurs penalties of at least six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
When you default a casino marker for $650 or more, you will be charged of category D felony and will have to endure penalties such as 1 to 4 years of incarceration, fines of $10,000 for each marker, a necessary restitution to the casino, and a tainted credit record which will badly affect your attempts to other financial applications.
If you left the state at the time of the charges, you will be extradited back to Nevada to face the court. For visitors from other states or from another country, deportation back to their country should be in order.
What are the defenses for casino marker charges?
It only takes a copy of the original marker for the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of defaulting. This alone should encourage you to work with your defense attorney diligently to know what defenses you can use to protect your liberty.
Nonetheless, here are some of the arguments that you could use during trial:
Marker is invalid
One of the most well-known defenses for casino marker case is that the marker being used for your prosecution is unacceptable. You could bring up wrong information such as your name being spelled differently, your lack of signature, and being post-dated. This could lead to an investigation that the marker was forged.
Defrauding was not of intent
Sometimes due to pressure or the atmosphere of the place, gamblers go out of control with spending their markers. You can actually use this as a defense, stating that you have no any intention to defraud. This can be validated by your good credit history and a proof that you have sufficient fund when the deal was taken place.
Plea bargains are available for casino marker charges wherein a prosecutor will allow the defendant to pay monthly for the costs they have taken from the casino, granted that they do not have previous cases of similar terms and are cooperating well.
The primary goal of gaming in casinos is for entertainment and sometimes, entertainment needs lavish spending in order to get even more exciting, but this does not mean you are allowed to do a crime just to satisfy your cravings. If you cannot pay your casino marker, better not to indulge on gambling at all as you will have to face even costlier charges.
When visiting casinos in Nevada, make sure you are gaming responsibly. We recommended that you do your research about casino laws particularly Las Vegas markers and have your criminal defense attorney in check in case an unlawful casino marker charges are accused on you.