A casino marker is a line of credit with the casino and treated as a check in the State of Nevada. It is against the law to willfully obtain a marker with the intent to defraud the casino. "Intent to defraud" is presumed when the casino attempts to redeem the marker and there are insufficient funds in the person's bank account. If unable to redeem the marker due to insufficient funds, the casino will first attempt to contact the person via certified mail. If unable to contact the person or the person is unwilling to pay the marker, the casino will then contact the prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney will now assess a collection fee and attempt to contact the person again about the unpaid marker via certified mail. If the marker remains unpaid, the prosecuting attorney will now request an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant for an unpaid marker is extraditable and can result in trouble for persons living out-of-state or internationally.
Most cases involving casino markers can be dismissed by paying the balance of the marker. An attorney can even negotiate some markers for a fraction of the original balance, and if the person cannot immediately pay the marker in full, the prosecuting attorney may accept a payment plan. The warrant, however, may remain in effect until the matter is resolved. If convicted for failing to pay a casino marker, a conviction may carry a variety of consequences at school and work, such as the revocation of some professional licenses. A conviction may also result in deportation or removal if the person is not a United States citizen. It is important to hire a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney that will navigate casino marker charges diligently and help avoid these consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney will also evaluate the validity of the casino marker and explore whether a defense exists to overcome the presumption that the person intended to defraud the casino (ex. intoxication, incapacitation after obtaining the marker, sufficient funds at the time time of redemption).
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If the person obtains a Casino Marker for Less Than $650, failure to pay the marker is a Misdemeanor and punishable by up to six (6) months in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. If convicted, the court will order the person to pay restitution (i.e. the balance of the marker). (NRS 205.130)
If the person obtains a Casino Marker for More Than $650, failure to pay the marker is a Category D Felony and punishable by one (1) to four (4) years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000. If convicted, the court will order the person to pay restitution (i.e. the balance of the marker). (NRS 205.130)
Lastly, if the person is convicted three times in Nevada, any other state, or federal court of misdemeanor failure to pay a casino marker, failure to pay any marker-regardless of value-is a Category D Felony and punishable by one (1) to four (4) years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000. If convicted, the court will order the person to pay restitution (i.e. the balance of the marker). (NRS 205.130)