Casino Credit Q and A

8 January 2012

This is a general overview of casino credit. Keep in mind, individual casinos may have different policies.

What can I do with casino credit?

Casino credit can be used to request chips at the tables. A player can also get funds for slot machine or video poker play, usually at the casino cage. In addition, casino credit allows the player to cash a personal check.

How is casino credit determined?

Casino credit is not the same as the credit extended by a bank or credit card company. The casino credit line is dependent upon your credit history and the 30 to 90 day average available cash in your checking account. Most casinos will check your credit rating with one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). WARNING!! These checks will show up on your credit report as an inquiry. Too many inquiries will negatively effect your "FICO" score, which lenders use to determine your credit worthiness. Credit inquiries by a casino usually appear in a camouflaged fashion. For example, Harrah's AC, can be known as "Marina Associates."

Once you have established your credit worthiness, the casino will
report you to "Central Credit," the "TRW" of Casino Credit (C.C.). Once
you have established a record with C.C., any further credit applications will usually be judged solely on the C.C. record. Failure to pay a marker will destroy your casino credit rating. However, because the casinos love a loser, if you make good on a bad debt the casino will gradually restore your credit line.

A new credit applicant usually receives a limited credit line. The casino will check the player's history and limit the credit line to somewhere around the player's average total buy in. This is done so the casino does not provide interest free loans.

What are advantages of casino credit?

The main advantage is you are getting an interest-free loan. There
are no casino fees. Compare this to the whopping fee to use the casino
ATM or get a credit card cash advance. Casino credit goes back to the days before modern technology. It is a vestigial perk. If properly utilized and not abused, it is one area where the casino customer can take advantage of the casino's policy.

Advantages also include having funds available 24/7. If you decide on a
last-minute trip or you forgot to hit the bank, you have money for play
waiting for you. Plus you minimize the chance of accidentally losing your cash or becoming a crime victim. In addition, the pit is required to record your play for rating purposes, so all your action is recorded.

You may get additional comps. Say you have a $5000 credit line. The
casino may assume you are willing to play to that level. This may be
factored into your desirability to the casino. You may also receive mail
offers for comps or tournaments geared to higher level players.

How do I establish a line of credit?

About a week or so before your casino visit, telephone the casino and ask for the casino credit office. Tell the clerk you want to establish a line of credit. The clerk will ask if you have a "player's card" so have it available for reference. The clerk will then fax or mail you an application form. It requires the usual pedigree info plus your bank's name, address, telephone number and checking account number.

The amount of credit will have to be close to the average amount of
money you keep available in your checking account. Today most casinos
will not issue a line less than $2500. WARNING: Be smart and do not
request a credit line that is much more than your usual bankroll.

A point to keep in mind: If you have an established line of credit in one
casino and you decide to apply for credit in another casino, the second
casino will most likely limit your credit based on how much money you
have historically drawn on your credit line in the first casino. To illustrate, let us say you have a history of drawing $2000 from your credit line on each casino visit. The casino credit department will not provide you with a $15,000 line.

Once I have been approved, then what?

When you go to the casino you must stop at the casino credit office
to complete some forms. You will usually need the following:

  • Two forms of acceptable ID, one usually requires a photograph.

  • Your players card

  • A blank check from the bank account you will use to draw the marker. The casino may keep the check or make a photocopy.

How do I use casino credit?

Step up to the table. During a break in the action, place your players
card on the table and ask for a marker, stating how much you want.
After a few minutes, you will be presented with a multi-copy form that
looks like a bank check. It looks like this because it is a bank check and it will be deposited for payment if you do not pay the debt. You will sign the
form, just like a check. A copy will be deposited into the drop box, same as if you gave the dealer cash and you will receive your chips in the appropriate amount.

After I am done playing, now what?

Hopefully you won. You can go to the casino cashier and give the clerk your
chips. Tell her you have an outstanding marker. She will retrieve it.
Take the outstanding amount and provide you with a copy marked paid. If
you lost, you can go to the cashier and write a check. If you decide you
do not want to pay during your visit you have time.

Many casinos deposit the marker against your checking account based on
the following criteria:

  • up to $2,000 - 7 days

  • $2001 to $5,000 - 14 days

  • more than $5000- 45 days.

What if I do not pay my marker?

If you take a marker and do not repay it, the casino will submit the marker to your bank for payment from your checking account. If you do not have the funds, the casino will go after your assets like any other company.

In Nevada it is a crime not to pay a gambling debt.

Are there any options if a person does not qualify for casino credit?

Yes, if a player does not want be in debt to the casino, has a poor credit rating or does not keep a large balance in his checking account, they can deposit upfront funds with the casino. The player can later draw from these funds at the table or the cage. Keep in mind federal transaction reporting requirements apply when cash is deposited.

Like all gambling the key to casino credit is to use it responsibility. Never risk any money you can not afford to lose.

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