What Are Casino Markers

What Are Casino Markers

If you run out of cash while playing casino games, there are several ways to deal with this unpleasant situation; one of them is casino credit. However, before applying for it, we recommend studying all the details. So let’s find an answer to the question, “What is a casino marker in gambling?”. It’s also essential to understand the risk of not fulfilling the debt obligations on time.

Do Casinos Lend Money

Many land-based gambling venues offer credit options as part of their customer services, increasing players’ loyalty. It’s pretty convenient as you don’t need to take a lot of cash for betting. If you have a credit line at a casino, you can just get a marker and withdraw money to use while playing.

What Is a Marker in Gambling Casinos

Gambling markers are short-term and interest-free loans that casinos can provide to their customers; legally, these loans are considered checks, not debt.

Casino marker
The casino marker is a check you need to fill out

When a marker is issued, you should provide information about your bank account and allow a casino to withdraw money from it if your debt is not paid off directly. Essentially, you make a check, which a gambling venue agrees not to cash for a fixed period of time.

This is a superficial answer to the question, “What are markers in gambling casinos in the USA?”. However, you should also get acquainted with the terms and rules of the casino you prefer. Also, study the laws of the state in which you play because what is considered a marker in some areas may have a completely different meaning in others.

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Casino Shill

Some casinos hire special people that induce customers to play: they are shills. Usually, you can find them in baccarat, poker, blackjack, or other table or card games. At first glance, it may seem that these are ordinary players who place bets just like you; however, this is not true at all, as they play for casino money.

The main task of shills is to maintain a sufficient number of participants at tables; they can’t cash in their chips or play for real money anyway. In general, shills don’t make customers lose but rather make the game a little more interesting.

Casinos that employ shills need to identify them if you request to do so.

How Do Casino Markers Work

A marker is a printed check you need to fill out that contains the date of issue, the loan size, and your signature. Then you use a promissory note to get game chips for the amount specified in this check.

How to Get & Use Markers in Casinos

Casinos are loyal to their customers as they bring them profit, so it doesn’t take much time to apply for a loan; bureaucratic delays are minimized. To take a gambling casino marker in the USA, you need to fill out a request providing your name, social security number, and bank account information. Then the pit boss or a special security team verifies the information and also checks your solvency. Some gambling venues even have separate offices with full-time staff to verify the information and issue markers. Once the credit is approved, you can grab your chips and start playing.

Markers ProsMarkers Cons
No need to carry cash, especially for high rollers who place bets for large sumsWhen applying for a loan, you need to fill out a credit request, which requires the disclosure of personal information
If you have a credit line at one casino, it will make it easier to get a loan at another venueMarkers are legal tools, and not paying for them can cause a lot of trouble
Some casinos give discounts on markers for losersUse of credit requires financial discipline

Usually, the possibilities of using borrowed money are limited. For example, in some casinos, it is forbidden to play poker with markers.

How Much Money Does a Game Marker Give

The loan size depends on your credit rating, salary size (if you can confirm it), and the number of late payments during the reporting period. On average, a casino can offer a line of credit of up to $5,000.

There were cases when casinos provided enormous game markers of up to $100,000 or more. Such loans are available to customers with a good credit history and proven high income.

Your bank account balance also affects the size of the potential loan. This means that if you want to borrow $10,000, you need to have at least $10,000 in your bank account. Otherwise, getting the loan you need will be tough, even if you have $1 million in securities. That’s why it’s so important to know the definition and meaning of casino markers and how they work; in this case, you can calculate how much you can borrow without being turned down.

Except for creditworthiness, casinos pay attention to how much you spend on bets. If you open a $3,000 credit line but never lose more than $500, the casino won’t give you a large loan. When you spend, for example, $2,000 on bets, the next time you request the loan, its size could be much larger.

What to Do If You Can’t Pay for Your Markers

Don’t think the casino will forget the debt; if you are unable to repay the loan now for any reason, try to settle the matter with the casino. Otherwise, a criminal case may be brought against you.

Under the laws of some US states, failure to pay gambling markers in a casino is considered fraud.

The Reality of Unpaid Gambling Markers

In the case of an overdue marker, the casino usually not immediately files a claim in court. First, it tries to withdraw the necessary amount from your bank account on its own. If a denial comes due to insufficient funds, you receive a notice; after that, you have 10 days to repay the debt.

If you do not repay the debt within a specified period of time, the casino files a lawsuit. Then the prosecutor sends you another notice giving you an additional 10 days to pay the debt; at the end of this period, you may be arrested.

Laws & Penalties

Above, we have already answered the question, “What does a casino marker look like?” and discussed how you could use it. Now let’s talk about the penalties for non-payment of casino debt.

Credit policies vary from casino to casino, state to state; however, there are several general regulations, and if you do not return the marker on time, you will be held liable.

The penalty’s severity depends on the loan size:

  • An overdue of a marker of up to $1,200 will be considered a misdemeanor. Liability will be fines of up to $1,000, community service, and possibly jail time of up to 6 months.
  • An overdue of a marker of more than $1,200 is a class D felony. In this case, you could face restitution, 1-4 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or administrative fees.

Also, the casino can bring civil lawsuits against a customer for each marker separately. They face extradition if they try to leave the state to avoid charges.

Can Gambling Debts Be Revoked

Some casino visitors hope that if they declare bankruptcy, they can write off debts and not repay loans. However, in this case, you can be accused of fraud as you get and use a casino marker, knowing that you won’t be able to repay it. Under US law, casino debt is treated by the court as a criminal matter, so you can be prosecuted for committing a crime.

How To Defend Against Gambling Marker Charges

If the casino has brought charges against you for non-payment of debt, you are advised not to delay and resolve the issue as soon as possible. It is better to do this before a statement of claim is sent against you to the prosecutor. The casino’s goal is just to recover the debt, not to punish you for non-payment. Therefore, in most cases, the casino makes concessions.

When you are overdue, and the case for your debt has already been referred to the prosecutor, the best solution is to seek help from a lawyer. The law office can advise or defend you in court if needed.

How Much Time Is Given to Pay for a Casino Marker

If you win, the casino requires repayment of the debt before leaving. If you lose, you will have time to repay the borrowed money.

Usually, you are expected to pay back the loan quickly; the repayment period is unlikely to be more than 30 days.

Some casinos are pretty lenient with loan repayment, so the period for refund can be increased.


Yes, if the amount you want to request doesn’t exceed the credit line limit.

Casino markers are not offered on online gambling sites.

No. The casino is not a financial institution and does not provide interest-free loans. Therefore, using issued funds for purposes other than those they are intended for violates the institution's rules.

Initially, gambling venues do not charge fees for their markers. However, if the loan is not repaid on time, the token will quickly become a high-interest loan.

You could be charged with fraud.

Publication Author
Donald Peterson
Author of articles
Donald Peterson is an avid gambler from Edmonton, Alberta, who also writes about his experience with casinos. He’s been in the business for over 10 years, following the ever-changing industry landscape. His articles are aimed at helping beginners with choosing casinos, suitable games, and strategies.
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