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

Posted by odiousgambit
Dec 18, 2015

Own Petard Hoisting

Recently I got my fix - I seem to be able to go about 2 months without gambling - at Rocky Gap again.

I had a deal earned with Hotels dot com where I was going to have to pay near nothing, and was able to use it at the Casino hotel, something unusual. But checking back later, I noticed there was a "stay and play" promotion where you pay $99 for a room [+ tax] and get $99 in freeplay - something I was not in on the way I booked. Pretty sweet deal, and still going on btw, but it either it was not available when I booked, or I failed to see it.

I was reluctant to cancel and re-book, who knows what kind of hassle I'd get into with re-activating my deal with H.com and besides, the 'near nothing' cost with using that rebate was more of a sure thing than freeplay, and it had an expiration date.

But it occurs to me, what if I can get both deals? Might be kind of greedy, but I could get some bragging rights and what would it hurt to ask? So I tried to see if I could get in on the deal at check-in and it started off good. They clearly were getting a lot of these "I didn't find out till later you had the deal" requests and were ready to get it fixed. Unfortunately, I got a lady who had not been on the job long, and didn't realize when I told her I booked through H.com that this would mean ixnay on the freeplay. She tried this, she tried that, she declared victory when she used my credit card only to have me repeat for the third time that the room was already paid for! So finally a supervisor came out after a good solid 20 minutes if not more and took care of getting me checked in ... sorry, no freeplay. I don't know why, I paid $99 plus, but it is easy to imagine the hotel has to pay some commission to H.com. I really wasn't angry, and had already decided to accept disappointment, expected it even.

Yet an eternal period of time to check in is not my idea of fun. I thought of how much I hated to be behind somebody with some kind of BS like this going on! Yes, people behind me got held up. All hoisted along with me on my own petard.

It didn't look at first like anyone would join me [I only contacted a few folks who might live close] but I was pleased to find that member Teddys could adjust his schedule a bit so our paths would meet for a few hours. I was glad to hear he got in on the $99 freeplay promotion - with 100% recovery in play on that too. His luck continued as we joined each other to play Craps and UTH too, from what I could gather. My luck, "not so much", till after Teddy had gone on, but then things improved. My own rolling at Craps, deplorable at first, ended with a hand where I hit 4 numbers, salvaging things at that enterprise somewhat. Then next morning just as I needed to leave anyway I colored up and split after a 4-oak at UTH nicely timed - this put me at -4 dollars gambling for the trip. I would have been up somewhat but I continue to over-tip these days, and gave it all away. But no complaints from me when you can break even or close to it like that.

I'm getting reports now that Teddy swung by again on his return loop and left a smoking crater at this casino. I'll let him tell you, if he comments.

The table games I play don't open with much till 10 AM, so this gave me an opportunity to fully investigate Rocky Gap VP including getting more serious about the Ultimate X. Prior to the trip, I made myself comprehend better what the Wizard has to say about it at the WoO site, having previously found myself a little on the dense side trying to pick it up. Also, I wanted to re-familiarize myself with Deuces Wild, a game available on Ult-X while JoB and regular Bonus Poker was not, I had found, from previous dabbling at that casino. I knew that generally speaking Rocky Gap isn't interested in providing good VP, bartop type providing the only reasonably priced option these days. Even if you want to play $1 per unit, the paytables don't improve much and the W2-g for the big hit looms at that price too, for 5-unit rounds.

So I scanned the Ultimate X screens for multipliers left behind a bit each time I had a chance. What I could inconsistently find was nickel players working 3-play with 2X or so multipliers left, not too exciting. Changing the unit price to 25 cents didn't work, the multipliers vanished. I checked out the games and paytables again; writing down the paytables gave me a funny feeling, not being sure how that would be received. After all, you wouldn't sit down there with a laptop and do it. So I just took a pen and wrote what I could on my hand.

This time still no JoB but there were varieties of Bonus Poker, the Double and Double Double and all that. I've never tried to see how different the strategies are for those as opposed to Bonus. Deuces Wild was what I had practiced prior to arrival, and it was available again. At 25 cents the paytable was

I didn't check the multiplier tables.

At WoO the wizard return table page shows this as "Deuces Wild 20/12/10/4/4/3 .... 97.9863%" It does seem to me that some people might find this playable without the vulturing. So I started a thread on it, http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/video-poker/24508-not-vulturing-ultimate-x/

I also was able to confirm paytables a little better for regular VP. GameKing on the floor near the Ult-X was $1 minimum [grrr]. JOB paytable for it fit the wizard return table of "8/6" Jacks or Better" .... 98.3927%. Stingy for something demanding $1 units IMO.

Bartop VP allowed 25c play, which IMO makes the difference between playable or not including the W2-g factor - however, the HE is worse. Bonus Poker I identified on the wizard return table as "35-6-5 — 97.36%". The only "bonus" is 4 aces?

Bartop JoB was 8/5 ... wizard return table puts this at 97.3%. Thus close to a coin-toss to play Bonus Poker or JoB or save your money and read a newspaper till the Craps Table or UTH table set up.

PS: BJ tables open up early, maybe are available all night, and the rules are good. CSM with Lucky Lucky side bet, the paytable for which is 5.3% HE. [maybe this changed but is much worse]


teddys Dec 20, 2015

I hit a royal vulturing UX for $0.10, ($400), then 4 2's x 4 vulturing on $0.05 (about $80), then won $800 playing craps. I love Rocky Gap!

odiousgambit Dec 20, 2015

>I love Rocky Gap!

I always 'kind of' liked 'em, and as long as they are doing the 'stay and play' freeplay thing the place is really getting hard to hate ! I'm tempted to head right back - it'd be hard to sell to the Missus though LOL

aceofspades Dec 31, 2015

Good report and always good when board members can meet up - brings more "reality" to it (for me, at least)

Wishing you all the best in 2016!

WuShuang Oct 10, 2016

sounds good!

Posted by odiousgambit
Jul 11, 2015


No, not the football player. Rocky Gap again, short report.

Went back this week, this time with the Missus; this was a first for us there. She managed to get some golf in although that was a close call due to rain. Man, East coast is getting plenty of rain this summer.

Did alright with Craps and UTH, with a $300+ session at both along with some losing sessions. Wound up netting to the positive side by over $300 so left happy.

My rolling was awful so at the one Craps session I just started passing the dice to some dudes who were getting it done. Stuck with the Right side this time as there were plenty wanting to play, and the common goal made it fun. The session was pretty short though, the wife collected me for dinner and for later action I was interested in getting plenty of UTH in.

The UTH kind of my new thing, did several sessions, enough really to give the odds of netting out a loser somewhat likely - luck was with me though I guess. I'm really focusing now on cutting down on my own errors, the game to me has become about netting out the errors to the favorable side [to some degree]. One problem is dealers not really being given a procedure to follow to keep them from going too fast. I really try to make the quickest decision possible for the first bet ... after all that decision should be quick anyway. I make sure now I have the 4x and 2x chips ready to go. Wouldn't you know though, one mistake I made was watching my hand go from crap to 2 pair as the river was turned over, got happy about it and forgot to bet! So now part of my 'thing' is to have the single chip in one hand at all times to remind me!

Also notable was the absolute fit the dealers and the other players were having over me declining the Trips bet. Worst ever, but I never let it ruin a good time. In the case of the dealers, I actually wonder if they get chastised for having a player decline to make the side bet in that game. Curiously enough, I don't disdain this particular one due to the paytable used. I usually make one or two for a lark in a session [placating nobody].

As far as VP goes, they have put in now some Ultimate X machines and for sure RG attracts the kind of players that will leave multipliers active. Just saying.


teddys Jul 11, 2015

Good to hear about the Ultimate X back in -- last time I was there I couldn't find them.

It is truly beautiful down there. I suggested to Pierce that the next WoVCon East should be there, before the weather gets bad.

odiousgambit Jul 11, 2015

>the next WoVCon East should be there

Is it definitely in the works for somewhere?

teddys Jul 13, 2015

Nah, it's all on Mission2Game (heh) to figure that out. I suggested Rocky Gap. Also a possibility is Lady Luck Nemacolin. I'm sick of the Meadows. Also, somebody (not gonna say who) is no longer a "welcome" guest there :)

odiousgambit Jul 13, 2015

I have a pretty busy Fall lined up but would love to show up if possible. I would be the wrong one to talk it up of course.