Posted by odiousgambit
Oct 19, 2016

Duplicity, Debt, Homicide

James Grosjean often writes about the duplicity of casinos when it comes to various categories such as how they are taking advantage of problem gamblers, but I haven't seen him sound off about what I keep harping on, casino credit abuse. Nor does the Wizard, and very few gambling writers at all, all of which suggests they don't really agree. No doubt the personal responsibility aspect plays big with everybody, but also it has occurred to me that anybody who actually gambles, gambling writers being likely included, does not want to see changes in the marker system - they use it. As a matter of fact, I know have myself set up with approval for markers in three casinos, the ones I am most likely to visit in the future. I can't say I want it to be more like other systems of credit, and will feel chagrined if it comes to pass with possible fees and interest too.

Rocky Gap MD is the latest to set me up, and the experience was "in between". At MGM's Gold Strike [MS] the process was easy and fast, and generous; at Harrah's Cherokee [NC] it was churlish, ungenerous, and slow. RG was friendly enough, though a bit slow, and not so generous either. Never minding the other aspects, the generosity level variation has me wondering about state laws. Certainly it seems to me New Jersey may be similar to Nevada, judging by how Clinton Portis was dramatically portrayed by NJ media as a scoundrel writing bad checks [markers] - someone not entitled to include his casino debt in bankruptcy proceedings. On the other hand, do the laws in MD and NC allow more lenience in such matters? in MS, more like NV/NJ? Just judging by generosity, by which I mean the willingness to set liberal limits for markers, I am largely concluding it varies just like that, with NV/NJ/MS in one category and MD/NC in another. This is very hard to confirm just with online searches btw - I've tried.

I'll say more about what made me more sensitive to the subject of casino credit system abuse - the murder of someone I knew some 36 years ago. The guy was not a close friend, just someone I was running into frequently enough to know his name. A gas station manager about my age it seemed - in his twenties or maybe thirty something - he ran a good station with service bays as I remember. I can get real testy about mechanics, so this place passed that test.

This was Youngstown Ohio - illegal gambling in the form of 'the number' and sports was alive and well.

Let me stop here to say I know many are objecting that 'illegal' makes a world of difference - just stick with me.

One day I see this guy's name in the paper - a homicide. Now, I can't know anymore what got reported in the papers and what was scuttlebutt; somebody would have to dig through newspaper archives. I can say for sure he was found in the backseat of a car with his pants around his ankles and a bullet in his head. The thing with the pants was believed to be to keep him from running. Clearly this was the Mob, and everyone seemed to know he was into gambling, so putting 2 plus 2 together meant he was killed deeply in debt to them. He was making late gas station bank deposits - later and later, indicating he was using the cash. At the time, I assumed that he was killed because he owed money he couldn't repay and they wanted to make an example of what happens. But now I realize he was probably killed to keep him from talking to the police, who were getting involved by then no doubt. But since I had this impression, I started asking this question that I still see repeated today: "why did they continue to let him get deeper and deeper into debt"? It didn't make sense! After years of reflection, I know better now - it makes plenty of sense. Those arguments are laid out in older blog posts here, so I won't repeat them.

Now, when I read about people who get into trouble with their markers, especially those who had a lot of money at first like professional athletes, I get to read that same question in the news. "Why did this continue"? "Who would loan money not knowing if it would be repaid"? Well, then my memory gets jolted. This is not illegal gambling I'm reading about this time, and that does make a difference, sure. Murder is one hell of a lot less likely. But I am going to say that the motive is the same - and it is still ugly mendacity. And thus we are all asking the same questions in either case.

The guy was just an acquaintance, and now I don't even remember his name. But that murder came close enough to me to make a big impression - a good guy gets killed. In the big picture maybe it amounts to very little, but for me enough to keep telling it like I see it.


FleaStiff Nov 04, 2016

Don't confuse certain issues.

Casino Credit? Yeah, maybe the best was the old RENO joint that had no credit department. Didn't offer markers. Didn't have to collect on any markers. Bring what you can afford to lose and if you lose it, go home.

Markers? Back in Benny Binions heyday, it was MANHOOD you were talking about. Benny greeted you by name, well you sure felt proud and held your head up high. Benny took your marker, same thing. It ain't for nothin' that in Guys and Dolls Sky Masterson got threatened with having it buzzed all over town that he had welshed on his marker. When the Sears Credit Card was the hardest one to get and had the highest collection rate in history; Vegas markers were at an even higher collection rate despite there being no legally enforceable effect to them under California law. Why? A marker meant something. Nobody welshed on his marker.

Murder? Heck, its rare for "the mob" or anyone who thinks they are 'the mob' to hit someone. First, it tends to interfere with further debt collection if someone is dead. Second, it tends to bring publicity and outside interest. Oh sure, it may be akin to attracting a mosquito but no body likes mosquitos, specially those that tend to look in all directions. I read about a man in a car with his pants down and I think of Car Girls. One girl is reaching in front, the other girl is reaching for his wallet, the damn fool tried to get his money back ... and his death ain't got nothing to do with any "dipping into funds" or "slow payment". Leaving one pants pocket turned inside out is the more usual sign to advertise what the motivation for the hit was. He stole from the wrong people. Bars, gas stations, Convenience Stores used to be Bank Drops for criminals. You know, like a bank's night deposit box for legit businesses. Policy runners, policy banks, hookers, bookies all had to deposit their money by a certain time. Ain't no one gonna let the winning policy numbers be tallied and THEN let a policy runner turn in his slips showing people who bet on that number. Bookies gotta submit their money and layoff requirements before the race is run.

Few years ago in London one couple let their cell phone batteries get low and failed to call in the results of the final goal kick, so alot of people watching the game 'live' on the internet but not really 'live' in actuality couldn't make their online bets on that final kick. Millions of dollars at stake, bets from Chinese Servers to Ukraine Servers couldn't be made because the live data from the stadium was unavailable to the 'live' but up to two minute telecommunications delay on the broadcast. Now all the cops who worked that case got counseling when they went to the couple's crime scene. A lesson had to be taught, but usually orgainized crime does not benefit from publicity.

FleaStiff Nov 04, 2016

I know one guy got killed because he would not raise his prices. He was taking all the profitable Weekend Brunch business for miles around.

I know one guy had three separate bookies, but all he lost was his restaurant and fish brokerage business, not his life. Its bad for business to kill someone.

I know one man got killed by a Bimbo he took boating. They went for a dip and she swam back to the boat and let him try to catch up. When he finally died, she pretended to not know how to use the radio. He had stolen money from people he shouldn't have, but the murder was not to teach him or anyone else a lesson. The murder was to keep divorce lawyers and forensic accountants from getting too close to the real books.

odiousgambit Nov 05, 2016

Well, at first I thought he got killed for not paying up, but later realized they'd never kill him for that, or even do it to try to make an example of him. It was for a different reason unknown to me.

But it was the Mob I think - the circumstances don't fit jealous wife, common robbery, etc. Yeah, you could make another conclusion about pants down LOL.

FleaStiff Nov 06, 2016

Even the mob has "flukes" now and then.

One Mobster got worked over real bad and then received some cement shoes for his midnight swim in San Francisco Bay. He had made a mistake of turning a personal beef with a straight and narrow Game Warden into an order for a hit. He had not known that Mister Big had the greatest respect for that Stand Up Game Warden who had already made it clear to Mister Big that he was a federal law enforcement officer first last and always and would never hesitate a moment to act like one despite the Game Warden's and Mr. Big's shared interest in the culinary preparation of game birds .

Posted by odiousgambit
Aug 11, 2016

Cherokee Casino Credit and Trip Report

I finally talked the Missus into checking out the Smoky Mountains in NC, and checking into the Cherokee Casino/Resort to get a way for a while. The first days of August turned out to be a quick meet-up with member RaleighCraps and his wife. G and J have turned out to be quite the waterfall enthusiasts btw; they wanted us to check out Catawba Falls and I have to say it was a nice excursion, a not-so-demanding hike too [although it was a hot day]. I think member 2Feathers may deserve credit for the waterfall idea; quite a few of them in the area, although on our short 2 night visit we only saw the one.

We had to leave some time for Craps, you know! For me the table game scene at Cherokee is a desert otherwise, with minimums too high and no UTH, but the Craps tables lure me with 10x odds. Being during the week, it wasn't hard to find an uncrowded $10 table, and I have no complaints at that minimum [although it means 5X then for me to find a comfort level]. R-Craps on our first session was killing it, making his point 6 times in one roll IIRC, a roll where there was no come-out 7 rolled either, no 7s at all, very rare and very beneficial for the way I was betting - odds 'working' on come bets. Bankroll benefit was substantial enough that I stayed up for the trip even though later sessions were choppy at best. We nearly did ourselves in as we just had to check out the newer casino about an hour south. Chances to find a $5 table seemed better, and, you know, gotta check these things out. Unfortunately, as it turned out, no $5 table, a $10 table was too crowded, and we had to play at a $15 table to find room. As we were playing, some guy hit a 4 point fire bet, but oddly somehow I didn't seem to benefit much, maybe we got in late on that; and then the table went ice cold. We headed back considerably lighter in the wallet.

That second casino and hotel is a contrast to the original, which is extremely nice with all the stops pulled out during construction to create a real gem. The southern version seems to have considerably lacked the same resources, just having a courser, racetrack-like feel to it by comparison. We didn't get to see the rooms in the hotel, of course, but judging by the outside I have to guess the typical room is adequate but unimpressive. There were signs that business was picking up, with lots of GA plates in the parking lot.

As for the difference a $15 table makes, I later looked at the effect on my typical hour's betting, which is somewhat consistently a flat-betting 50 bets. If I have done it right, to my surprise a player's exposure to variance increases geometrically for the same amount of time at the table.* Vowing now to avoid $15 mins whenever possible.

I had a brief amount of time to check out some video poker, only playing some 8/5 Bonus in a short session. I couldn't help but notice there were a lot of Double Double Bonus machines put in since the last time I was there. I'm not used to playing those and didn't realize a regular Bonus Poker strategy wouldn't cost me much [coincidentally the Wizard has a web-page about that now]. Plus I didn't really have the time to get into going online and checking out the paytables. Plus I admit the $12 wi-fi fee was off-putting. But next time, I'll check out DDB.

I applied for Casino Credit [the ability to take out markers] at this casino, as I have decided I want to set this up at any and all that I sometimes go to. I had noticed that you can apply online with Harrah's casinos, but that Cherokee NC was excepted. Sure enough, they said they didn't do it on site, but had to fax it to the main headquarters. The experience was quite different from the one at MGM, which was professional, courteous, fast, and frankly, affirming. At Cherokee, they seemed to begrudge doing it at all. A feeling of suspicion pervaded, the application was nosier, and it was really slow, causing me to check back at inconvenient times. Final approval, which I later realized may have been delayed by clerks not knowing how to activate an approval, was 12 hours later and took 15 minutes standing at the window while someone 'activated' it, whatever that was about. I was approved for only $2500, pretty ungenerous if you ask me and certainly it stank compared to the limit MGM set. As it turned out, I didn't need a marker. I'm guessing the usual experience at other properties isn't like this.

So, Cherokee NC has never been the perfect place with +'s and -'s; but I am happy it isn't too far away, and by golly the wife liked it!


*I think I'm doing this right,

$10 table
50 bets

Square root @7
SD at 5x odds @ 6
2 SDs = 12
7 * 12 = 84 units

84 * 10 = $840

$15 table, trying to keep av. bet the same
sq rt 50 bets, same
SD at 4x odds @ 5, 2 SDs = 10

10 * 7 = 70
70 * 15 = $1050

that means a large deviation due to luck could mean you're up or down some $840
to $1050. Roughly, since to say 50 bets is not precise.

to be correct, you subtract EV from these figures, but that's a small effect on a rough estimate

what's interesting is to figure how much shorter a session is required to keep 2 SDs about the same, even with combined bet size about the same. The sq rt needs to be about 3.7 then, to make the product with 15 = 56, as 56*15=840. That's about 14 bets! At the same rate of 50 bets an hour, I would need to stop at about 17 minutes instead! That is non-linear.

comments welcome


GWAE Aug 12, 2016

Haven't notice RC on here much lately. Hope all is well with him.

RaleighCraps Aug 12, 2016

RC is doing okay. Thx GWAE.

I find the new forum format is much slower and harder to navigate, so I only stop by if I am totally bored, and up for a little self loathing.

Tues morning there was a $5 craps table open at Cherokee. First time I have seen that amount.

When I was at the new Valley River casino last fall, around 8AM, they had $5 games.

As OG said, this time around it was $15, and it appears they are getting the $$$$ GA money they were hoping for, so I doubt I will go back down there again.

Before we met OG and wife, my wife and I hiked Upper Whitewater Falls and Rainbow Falls also on this trip. There was limited water, so the falls weren't quite as exciting, but they were fun nonetheless.

Posted by odiousgambit
Jul 21, 2016

Odiousgambit Takes Out a Marker

Recently I decided to experience for myself so called Casino Credit: the ability to take out markers in these places. The promise of it essentially is the convenience of being able to have the pit produce a counter check to sign in exchange for chips, a check that will be presented to your bank for payment in [my case] 30 days; no fee, no interest. No other way of accessing money to play with is so inexpensive and safe both, not ATM, not check cashing for a fee, and not bringing your own cash.

So it sounds good, but when it comes to the gambling world, I have tended to see caution flags along at times and sometimes have been reluctant to take certain steps. It was years before I would even get a player's card, leery of the loss of privacy that might entail. But to do markers, thus getting a credit history in some form at a casino? That notion had been rejected without real examination, I'm afraid; to accept the idea that my credit report would possibly now feature something that could be taken as a negative? No way!

Looking into the Clinton Portis case, and also asking about markers at this site, however, I kept getting assurances that Casino Credit is not like what I was fearing. And I started to feel that if I was going to blog about it critically, I really needed to know more about it, learning the hard way if necessary. So I decided when the time is right, I'd accept the assurances that the effect on a player's credit report would not be damaging, that the gaming industry had its own ways of determining risk, and that they would live up to what they were presenting at face value. I had to admit that getting a player's card has been an "all good" thing, that it hadn't meant I found myself getting unwanted phone calls etc. The gambling business had passed that test anyway.

Recently I made my first visit to the Tunica establishments, and sure enough I forgot to bring my bankroll. Nothing to do now but check it all out; I went to the cashiers at Gold Strike [MGM] to begin the process and filled out an application. In response to my having a lot of questions, a manager came out to explain it all. When I needed chips, I was to just present ID and player's card, and the pit would have me sign a counter check for the amount needed. She said for the modest limit I was asking for [but an amount large enough to often be pared down in some requests, I'd guess] that check would be presented for payment in 30 days. I asked her if I would be asked to pay any markers when cashing out chips, and she said yes. However, they did not prepare statements or have any regular or frequent procedure to examine standings.

She called my bank and I was good to go for the amount requested in about 30 minutes. I got the feeling she was happy to be talking to someone who presented no issues such as having some bounced check history or whatever, mentioning that the bank is quite prepared to answer these kinds of questions and that this along with account age is largely the info the casinos are looking for, in addition to the player's average amounts on deposit. Noting where the bank was, she went on to ask if I had plans regarding soon-to-open MGM National Harbor. I said possibly so, and she indicated it would be a quick matter to get approved there, that it helps that I got started in Tunica.

I had a few hundred on me but was soon running bad at Mississippi Stud and took out a marker for $1000; all went smoothly as promised. I am happy to say I did not need to take out another marker for the evening/next morning. Each time I cashed out for about that same $1k, there was no mention of paying off the marker. I actually asked the cashier the first time if I should pay off the marker, and she pretty much said "why would you want to do that?" I take it that cashing out larger sums is more of a trigger for a request to pay off a marker. Yet it seems obvious that if a player's purpose was to wind up with more cash than he came in with, as a winner or as a loser, it would be pretty easily done, and in fact I did do that while losing more than I usually do, several hundred, even though I did not need the money after gambling was done. I did want to see just when the marker would hit my bank, on the other hand.

As I waited for the marker to finally be presented, I checked my credit report with one of the three outfits, it being something I like to do anyway, what with the law now that you can do that free once a year. That's annualcreditreport dot com, for the record. There was in fact no record whatsoever of an MGM inquiry. Whatever MGM's system wanted to know, it was all gleaned from the call to my bank it seems [although I only checked Equifax]. This topped the list of my concerns, and I feel I can say in this matter the process passed muster for not doing something I would not want.

The counter check cleared today, over 30 days after I drew a marker, no fees, no interest. I'll definitely do this again, and quit carrying so much cash.

Two things to still be curious about:

*Will it have me gambling more? Pretty sure not, but we'll see. Perhaps a small effect.

*Will I find out what a problem gambler with access to markers goes through? No, because I'm not willing to make myself look like that. Unless someone wants to stake me LOL.


Wizardofnothing Jul 21, 2016

I have cashed 3 and 4 k without paying off the market but larger amount get more scrutiny and if you are a frequent player cashing large 10k amounts it would be much much harder without giving them to a friend .

As far as credit report I have never had my credit pulled ever not sure who told you they do. It's basically bank history and adb (average daily balance)

JoelDeze Jul 22, 2016

Good write-up. I was curious about this myself. Thanks for the info.

ahiromu Jul 23, 2016

Caesar's was super easy. Fill out the online form, present identification and check at cage, then go to a table and ask for money.

I had a similar issue cashing out. Same night I took out the marker, I wanted to pay it off. Cashier couldn't do it because it wasn't in the system, so they had to go find it amongst the collected chips. Process probably took 20 minutes. If you're going to pay off your marker, just settle it the next day when the cashier can process it.

odiousgambit Jul 23, 2016

You're welcome.

I have to expect most places are going to make it pretty easy.

As far as my concern, most credit things are not done this sort of old-fashioned way, calling your bank and all that. Now that I've taken the step, hard to relate to that concern.

JoelDeze Jul 25, 2016

I checked with Twin River.

They said if you take a marker out for under $1k you have 7 days to pay it back.

If you take out a marker for more than $1k and under $5k you have 14 days to pay it back.

If you take out a marker greater than $5k you have 28 days to pay it back.

If you don't pay it back it comes out automatically.


If a guy can balance his checkbook, I see no reason to not just let it hit your bank account. It's just a check.

well, I suppose you might feel you have too much cash on hand.


PS: I don't think I should be able to 'edit' ... although I wouldn't

DRich Jul 26, 2016

I am glad to hear everything worked out for you.

Can you loan me a few bucks now? :)

onenickelmiracle Jul 26, 2016

One million dollars please. Slippery slope here. Ten years from now you might wind up with dementia and sign your life away for a few ounces of clay. Scary.

odiousgambit Jul 27, 2016

ha ha! Old man OG could be in for it! No kidding I guess.

Certainly there seem to be no safeguards in place once you get past the post. This is possibly intentional, since in the cases where I suspect it is predatory practice against problem gamblers, they want to be able to claim innocence.

Joeman Jul 27, 2016

Thanks for the "credit report," OG!

I seem to recall many years ago, I was playing craps and a guy came to the table and took out a marker for $2k. When the dealers gave him his chips, the Boxman kept the marker slip on top of his bank, instead of putting it down the money slot. At the end of his session, the guy colored up $2k+ in chips. Then the Pit asked him if he wanted to take care of the marker then and there. The guy agreed, and the PB tore up the marker slip. Presumably, they would have dropped it in if he had lost or had wanted to walk with all of his chips.

As it was, the Boxman cut out $2k of the guy's chips, and he left with only his profits. I'm curious if it is still done this way anywhere. From your description, OG, it sounds like the casinos are more than happy if you don't pay back your marker and are content to just cash it in after a month or so.

odiousgambit Jul 28, 2016

>it sounds like the casinos are more than happy if you don't pay back

>your marker and are content to just cash it in after a month or so

I think I can confirm this with MGM. Smaller outfits may be more interested in quicker collection. It may also be a matter of different pit people getting different messages from their bosses, or just different training on the way up.

onenickelmiracle Jul 30, 2016

Recently I saw a Law and Order episode where off handedly they mentioned the con artist was previously charged with check kiting. Looked it up, and found out, writing a check without funds like at a casino, then depositing the money before the check cleared a few days later, was actually illegal. They also call it riding the float.

100xOdds Jul 30, 2016

when I want to play a heavy craps session, I bring $3k cash.

$3k in 100s is still pretty bulky in my wallet.

when I read this blog post, I thought it was the perfect solution till you said you cant pay off your marker the same day?

doesn't that defeat the purpose of not wanting to carry a lot of cash?

odiousgambit Jul 31, 2016

>riding the float.

I think in the case of markers, where you are told you have so many days, it would be hard to get convicted of 'riding the float'. Of course you can still be prosecuted for simply writing a bad check. BTW when you follow these cases, it looks like the casinos readily take payments not-in-full. Once this is allowed, the only thing remaining that the casino probably cares about is that the debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings.

>you cant pay off your marker the same day?

I just learned myself from Joeman's comment that the thing to do might be to tell the pit you want to pay it off and keep it handy, and then pay it off without going to the cashier. But,

>doesn't that defeat the purpose of not wanting to carry a lot of cash?

why not just take out $500 to $1000 or so at a time? You don't have to take a marker for $3000

ChumpChange Oct 12, 2019

The Best Way to Get and Use Casino Credit https://www.liveabout.com/using-casino-credit-537562

Posted by odiousgambit
Mar 20, 2016

Again, the question is asked

Again, the question is asked, “Why is a casino extending credit without knowing whether the person has the funds to pay it?”



Media accounts of unpaid markers owed to casinos do tend to maintain that it is both of these two things: a crime, and a mystery.

I maintain it is no mystery as to why a casino would extend credit "without knowing whether the person has the funds to pay it". Furthermore, making it a crime, I maintain, is merely a legal trick in most cases by the fancy maneuver of turning a loan into a bad check. Unpaid loans in the 21st century should not be considered crimes.

I get the feeling people are not following me when I say, under certain circumstances, a casino loaning money to a gambler is very low cost and thus not much risk, and makes plenty of sense in the face of apparent stupidity. To illustrate I'll take it away from the real world of gambling and imagine it from a different angle. Let's say there is a carousel operator who lets riders grab and keep brass rings that are exchangeable for real money. Being a good businessman, he charges enough for a ticket that the vast majority of riders going for the brass rings fail to capture enough that he would fail to make a profit from providing this entertainment. He might find there are a few people who can come out ahead - he's got to discourage them! - but that won't be the subject of this illustration.

Any reasonable person has to acknowledge the man is entitled to his profits. He has considerable capital invested, daily operating expenses, considerable cost of upkeep, mouths to feed at home, etc. Yet once he starts the carousel, it costs the same to run it for one person at a time as it does the dozen or so who would fill all the saddles.

In the meantime he notices that some people who go for those brass rings get hooked on the idea they can come out ahead while failing to realize they aren't going to beat the odds with their abilities except occasionally. It turns out [in this imaginary world] that these same players will do just about anything to get to ride. They keep raising the money somehow and he realizes that he winds up keeping most of whatever it is they manage to scrounge up. Additionally, it becomes pretty clear that a select few of these riders have become pretty important to his business. They seem to have a lot of money and if he makes special rides for them with especially valuable brass rings they spend until the money is all gone. He makes a few bucks off everybody else but a lot of bucks off these people and however he can keep them playing it would be smart to do it.

If he let's people ride now and pay later, he's going to try to collect that and surely he is within his rights to do so. For most of his riders, though, there's not much reason to give them such loans, nor do many of them even want them. But for these that get addicted, he realizes he has a special situation. They ride so much that the chances of any one of them coming out ahead becomes infinitesimal. He can loan them tickets, and tickets only, and they will fill the rest of those saddles otherwise empty and his only cost for such generosity, even if they never pay for the tickets, is next to nothing. He allows some of these people to really get into considerable debt for the tickets and makes sure that they aren't able to turn the tickets into money in any other way. When they do win during a certain session, he also makes sure that those winnings go to paying off this debt. To the player and general public, it might seem that it's stupid to loan these tickets to someone so desperately unable to pay for them, but secretly he knows the facts. The tickets cost him almost nothing. The rider keeps coming up with money. He had a lot to begin with, which you have now. Often his type is good with coming up with more and more, so why not see if you can get that too? He has a certain income maybe; you'll get that too. He is very likely to lie, cheat, beg or steal to get more; you'll get that too.

If this carousel operator can get the local authorities to help him collect, he's really got it made. Turns out that you can loan money and get the players to write checks, or agree to a system of automatic check debit, that makes any unpaid loans a matter of writing bad checks too. And wow the Media and the legal system to some degree is going to be on your side.

Some guys have it made, he just has to hope there aren't too many other merry-go-rounds out there to go to!


FleaStiff Mar 27, 2016

One casino in Reno had NO credit expenses, much less credit losses.

Their policy was bring your money with you and when its gone, its gone. We do not extend credit to anyone.

It was a good policy.

Sure those statutes that let the District Attorney be your free collections agent sure helps, but the Horseshoe rarely ever had to send collection letters. The mere thought of Benny Binion not greeting you by name when you entered the room was enough to get you to pay up. A gentlemen stood by his markers and made good on them, a la Guys and Dolls.

If you were a stand up guy, you paid your debts or you never came back to Vegas...ever.

discflicker Apr 11, 2016

I was playing blackjack in a Vegas casino. My friend had been increasing his bet until it got to $400, then he drew aces. He didn't have enough to cover the $400 split, so he asked for a quick marker. The floor manager didn't ask him for his ID, or for his room number, or to see his credit card; he just asked see his hand. He looked at his hand and said OK; they give him $200 (enough to fully cover his split), he won + paid the $200 back instantly, all in-stride.

Posted by odiousgambit
Feb 06, 2016

The Mystery Loans to Degenerate Gamblers

I have noticed many times that obviously degenerate gamblers are often allowed to go deeply in debt to some gambling entity, including big casinos. The latest is Clinton Portis; I started a thread on that but thought I would preserve my thoughts here too:

Over the years I've given some thought to this sort of thing, giving a degenerate gambler credit. Why does this happen? Portis is hardly alone.

Here is one scenario that comes to mind:

You offer a game in which you have a large edge to someone you find can't stop himself from playing and playing, and is pretty much assured to give it all back.

The 'credit' is only good for making bets with you at this game.

At the beginning you know he has a lot of money.

At another point, you know you have all of his money.

So, what does it hurt to be sure? You let him continue to play with this special kind of credit. What is the risk? He always gives it all back. Maybe he lives off some small part of it when he gets lucky, but remember, you took *all* his money already. 99% of it, you are going to just get it back. For one thing, when he does win, you'll be demanding he pay off his debt.

Perhaps he has some sort of income. You will get that too. Perhaps he will beg, lie, cheat, borrow and steal to get more money to gamble with. You will get that too. You wind up owning this guy, you have total power over him.

I first started thinking about this when someone I knew [just a little] was allegedly and apparently killed for owing the mob money. Or maybe he was talking to the police about their illegal game; he was stealing from the gas station he managed, allegedly. I don't know anything for a fact other than clearly he was murdered mob style.

In any case I decided there was a certain logic to what would seem to make no sense at all.


christofar7 Feb 11, 2016

Any idea who gives these mystery loans to degenerate gamblers? just out of idle curiosity......

odiousgambit Feb 11, 2016

Perhaps you are hinting in a humorous way you want one of these loans.

No you don't.

Well, feel free to set up 'markers' with some casino. It is possible to use them and not get into a jam. But you don't want to be in this situation.

Maurice Clarett is another guy this happened to.

There seems usually to be a hint that illegal gambling outfits are the ones to do this, but one thing to take away from this is that brick and mortar casinos will do it too. That system of 'markers' that they use has all the aspects of risk-free loaning that the illegal guys get into, and produces the same result.

When you search google news, the Clinton Portis stories all slavishly report that he was writing bad checks. Yes, he was, but the way he was forced into doing it will some day be illegal in some states, I predict. It's that 'marker' system. Perhaps it is illegal in some states now.

citra12 Nov 14, 2016

spam ... never caught it till later

mrcrab Dec 01, 2016

spam ... never caught it till later