Casino Marker Crimes

Casino marker crimes including failing to repay the marker or criminal charges for check fraud or passing bad checks.

A casino marker is a line of credit offered by gaming establishments to players. In Nevada, failing to pay is prosecuted as criminal check fraud, because the law presumes defendants have an intent to defraud if the bank account does not have sufficient funds to pay the marker.

Penalties For Casino Marker Crimes

In Nevada, not paying back a marker of at least $1,200 is a category D felony punishable by one to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines, restitution, and administrative fees.

To fight casino marker charges, a defense attorney may claim the marker was invalid or that the defendant had no intent to defraud.

What Is Casino Marker Crime?

In Nevada, casino marker crime consists of two elements:

  1. The defendant had insufficient funds to pay for the casino marker.
  2. The defendant took out a casino marker willfully and with an intent to defraud the casino.

If a defendant’s bank account overdrafts, they are guilty until proven innocent in Nevada. The evidence necessary to convict a defendant of unpaid casino markers is a copy of the original marker and a copy of the marker stamped NSF once the casino tried to redeem it.

Nevada is the only state subjecting defendants in casino marker crimes to criminal penalties.

How Casinos Handle Unpaid Casino Markers

Before a defendant can be charged with casino marker crime, the following must take place:

  1. A casino may go directly to the patron’s bank and retrieve the money from their account if the marker has not been paid in time.
  2. If the patron’s account has insufficient funds, the casino must send a certified letter giving the patron 10 days from the mailing date to pay an unpaid casino marker.
  3. If the patron doesn’t pay the debt within the 10 day period, the casino will submit a bad check complaint to the District Attorney. This makes the District Attorney the middleman between the patron and the casino. Payments must now be made to the District Attorney, which will also include collection fees.
  4. If the District Attorney decides to prosecute the patron for defaulting on the casino markers, they will send the patron a notice by certified mail, giving the patron 10 days to pay the District Attorney’s office.
  5. Failure to make the payment will lead to an arrest warrant being issued.

What Happens After An Arrest Warrant Is Issued?

Police typically don’t go searching for a casino marker defendant once an arrest warrant has been issued unless the defendant is a flight risk or has a long criminal history.

Typically, the District Attorney will mail the defendant a summons with notice of the warrant and instructions to appear in court. However, the defendant is vulnerable to arrest while the warrant is outstanding. For example, an arrest may occur during a traffic stop after police run a warrant check.

The defendant should arrive at court on the summons date with an attorney to increase the likelihood of waiving bail through an own recognizance release. Defendants who come to court without an attorney are more likely to get booked. The bail amount will likely be the total sum of the alleged casino marker debt.

Failure to appear in court may increase the likelihood of police seeking out the defendant and making an arrest. In addition, the defendant would be less likely to receive an own recognizance release.

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