- Credit (casino)
Casino credit is a marketing tool that, when used appropriately, can result in significant casino revenues. Casinos such as the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, The Mirage, and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort rely heavily on casino customers who gamble on credit. Unlike institutions offering consumer credit, casinos do not charge interest for the use of their funds; however, casino credit should not be considered interest free.
Casino credit is granted only to players who will take full advantage of the credit line established by gambling with those funds. It will be taken away by the casino if the player does not make use of it. In effect, the requirement that the credit be used for gambling purposes serves the same purpose as charging interest: The casino does not require the player to lose, but the player must gamble. Credit is granted to a player by the casino in order to increase play and, it is hoped, the amount won by the casino. The willingness to grant credit alone does not ensure that players of this caliber can be attracted to the casino. Casino customers who gamble on credit are normally upscale clientele who desire amenities such as gourmet restaurants and fine room accommodations. As a result, the physical facilities, as well as the marketing plan used to attract these customers, become crucial if the casino is to be successful in marketing to such individuals.
Types of casino credit
Credit is considered to be extended anytime the casino is at risk of losing any or all of the funds advanced to a particular player. One form of casino credit is check-cashing privileges. Check-cashing privileges permit the customer to cash either personal or business checks at the casino cage. The casino then deposits these checks in its bank account on the next business day. The primary risk to the casino from customer check cashing results from the acceptance of a check for which insufficient funds exist in the customer's account to cover the amount of that check.
In recent years, casinos have also experienced increasing numbers of forged and counterfeit checks. This has resulted in many casinos using check approval programs such as Telecheck to transfer much of the risk of loss to third-party service.
One exception to standard check-cashing procedures is the situation in which the casino agrees to hold the customer's check(s) for a specified number of days before depositing them in the bank. This courtesy is generally limited to premium customers who are repaying credit previously extended; customarily, the casino, depending on policy, will hold checks for 30 to 45 days before depositing them for collection. In some casinos, the customer's account may be considered clear for the amount of the check(s) received so that the patron may continue playing, which effectively results in a further extension of credit by the casino. In many jurisdictions the post-dating of the check makes it a civil matter if returned.
In Nevada it is a felony to utter a check for which there are insufficient funds available in the account to cover it, or to subsequently withdraw the funds that had been available to cover it. Casino markers are, under Nevada law, considered to be checks and are not post-dated.
The total amount the casino is willing to extend is called a player's credit line. If for example a player's credit line is $10,000, then the casino will accept checks totaling $10,000 from the player and agree to hold these checks until some date in the near future.
Players often come to the casino and bring cash to deposit at the casino cage. Deposits of funds that the player intends to use for gaming purposes are referred to as front money. The deposits are referred to as safekeeping if the player intends only for the funds to be held by the casino cage for security and convenience. Front money deposits enable a player to draw upon funds by signing markers at the table games up to the amount of the deposit.
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