Unpaid Markers

Unpaid Markers

Markers are considered to be a check that a player signs to a casino. The casino agrees not to cash the check if the player pays back the marker within a short period of time, typically 30 days. Casinos offer casino markers to their players in order to encourage them to gamble. Nevada casino marker law makes it a crime not to pay back these markers within 30 days. Failure to pay casino markers can result in serious criminal consequences.

If you have an unpaid casino marker, you must take the appropriate steps to get the matter settled. Las Vegas casinos aggressively pursue individuals who default on casino markers to the fullest extent of the law. The casinos typically make several attempts to get you to pay the marker back, however, if they do not get the marker paid off, Nevada law allows the District Attorney to pursue charges of theft, fraud, and failure to pay a marker against a player. Get an experienced Las Vegas defense lawyer to help you with your unpaid marker criminal case.

Las Vegas Unpaid Marker Defense Attorney

At the Law Office of Joel M. Mann, we understand how easy it is to get carried away with casino markers. Most people do not intend to defraud the casinos. They just want to have fun gambling and ended up over their heads. If you get an experienced casino marker attorney to assist you, the matter can be effectively resolved so that it does not negatively impact your life for years to come.

Contact Joel Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a free consultation about your unpaid marker.

Nevada Unpaid Marker Information Center

Definition of a casino marker

Under NRS 205.130, a casino marker is a negotiable instrument used to draw deposited funds. Think of it as a check that you write to a casino. The casino agrees not to cash it as long as you pay it back within a period of time. Under Nevada law, a casino marker is not considered a loan. Even though an individual has to apply for a line of credit in order to get a marker, Nevada law considers the debt to be the same as a check that bounced. A marker is always connected to a bank account or some other collateral so that the casino can draw out funds from that source if the individual does not pay the marker. By not paying the marker back in a timely fashion Nevada law presumes that the player had the intent to defraud the casino.

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What happens if I don’t pay a casino marker?

Typically, casinos attempt to collect the debt themselves before turning to law enforcement. Because a casino marker works like a check, an individual will put their bank account number on the line of credit application for the casino marker as an asset.

  1. The casinos first try to collect the money from the bank account by cashing the casino marker.
  2. If the bank account has insufficient funds, then the casino will attempt to contact you about the debt. By Nevada law, the casino must send you a certified letter informing you about the debt and give you 10 days in which to respond.
  3. If the casino fails to reach you, then they will usually turn to the Clark County District Attorney and make a formal complaint.
  4. Once the casino requests a criminal complaint, you can no longer pay the casino the debt directly. You must deal with the District Attorney Office to resolve the matter.
  5. The District Attorney will send you another certified letter and give you 10 days to respond and pay the original marker along with additional costs and fees that the state will add on for processing the complaint.
  6. If you still do not respond, a warrant will be put out for your arrest.
  7. If you still do not respond after a warrant is put out for your arrest, then eventually you will be arrested and you will have to face jail time and pay restitution.

It is important to note that once there are criminal charges filed, you can no longer negotiate directly with the casino. You must talk with the District Attorney Office, and at that point, it is critical to have a lawyer representing your interests. It is important to contact an experienced casino marker attorney as soon as possible because there are many technical legal aspects of a casino marker case.

An experienced casino marker attorney deals with the Bad Check Chief Deputy District Attorney on a regular basis and knows how to protect your interest. This becomes even more critical when you are being held in custody waiting to be extradited from another state into Las Vegas. Joel Mann has been successful numerous times in preventing the District Attorney from extraditing his client into Las Vegas and dropping the charges or recalling the arrest warrant.

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Penalties for Unpaid Markers

There are many criminal penalties that will result if you leave a casino marker unpaid. Below are listed a few of the punishments that can occur:

  • Warrant for your arrest
  • Felony Charges
  • Incarceration
  • Fines and Court Costs
  • Restitution to the casino
  • Lengthy, invasive probationary periods
  • Ruined credit record

When the casino marker is above $250, the person will be charged with a category D felony. The penalties for a Category D felony are a fine from $250 up to $5,000 for each unpaid marker and anywhere from 1 to 4 years in prison for each unpaid marker. You might have to pay additional restitution and fees.

Also, note that civil cases such as bankruptcy have no impact on any case that has been forwarded to the District Attorney for prosecution. Once a case has been sent to the District Attorney, bankruptcy will not discharge the criminal complaint. The District Attorney has the ability to file several charges for each casino marker that has not been paid back to the casino. Typically in a casino marker case, the District Attorney will file fraud and / or theft charges associated with the bad debt.

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How a Las Vegas attorney can help

For individuals facing these problems stemming from defaulted casino markers in Las Vegas, a lawyer may help in a number of ways. First, having an attorney present that is experienced in unpaid marker cases is extremely beneficial when negotiating repayment plans with the casino themselves and avoiding criminal charges. If criminal charges have been filed, a Las Vegas lawyer may also be able to assist clients in reducing the severity of these charges.

Typically, warrants are issued for unpaid markers without your knowledge. This means that when you come into contact with law enforcement they will see that you have a warrant and they can arrest you right then and there. Many clients who were on vacation out of the country, fly back into the United States and go through immigration and customs and are arrested in the airport. Sometimes clients are pulled over for traffic violations and the police arrest them because they have an outstanding warrant.

Once you are arrested, the District Attorney will start the extradition process. Extradition is a very long and painful process that can have you 30 days in custody before you arrive in Las Vegas. An experienced attorney many times is able to stop the extradition process and get you released without ever being transferred to Clark County Detention Center.

A criminal defense lawyer that has extensive experience in handling bad checks or casino markers is often able to get cases dismissed in return for payment of the casino marker for pennies on the dollar. Every case is different and every case has its own set of facts, but having a lawyer that knows how to fight for you, both to protect your freedom and your money, is critical in getting a good result.

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Defenses to Unpaid Casino Marker Cases

For first-time offenders with no criminal history, the prosecutors are usually willing to negotiate a payment plan and to dismiss the case without jail time once restitution has been made.

If the District Attorney wants to prosecute the case, the two main defenses are:

  • No intent to defraud: If your attorney can show that you reasonably intended to pay the marker, then you did not commit a crime. However, Nevada law states that it is presumed you intended to defraud when you did not pay back the marker in a timely fashion. Although the presumption is that there was an intention to defraud, an experienced lawyer sometimes can figure out ways of rebutting the presumption of intent. For example, if you have a history of paying off all your markers, or you had paid off some markers at the time of obtaining new markers, or that you had the appropriate funds in the bank at the time of obtaining the marker. These are all possibilities in a defense to the State’s allegation of your intent to defraud.
  • Invalid Marker: It is possible that the casino gave you an invalid marker. There are a number of rules that negotiable instruments must meet in order to be valid. Basically, the same rules that apply to a valid check also apply to a casino marker. Examples of invalid markers are:
    • You did not sign the marker
    • The marker is not dated
    • The name of the casino is not listed as the payee
    • The marker is a forgery
    • The marker was post dated

Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney can come up with a strategy to try to dispute the intent or validity of the unpaid marker.

***Remember that if the criminal charges are dropped, casinos can still sue you in civil court in an attempt to collect on the unpaid markers.

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Law Office of Joel M. Mann | Las Vegas Unpaid Marker Attorney

Joel Mann is prepared to help you with your casino unpaid marker or bad check criminal matter. It is important to address unpaid markers immediately because if left unattended you can have arrest warrants issued for your arrest . Contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann at (702) 474-6266 for a free consultation on how to take care of your unpaid marker in Las Vegas.