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The Mad Professor speaks about …Casino Credit

Have you ever seen this?  A man walks up to the Craps table that you are playing at; he puts his Players Card down on the felt lay-out and says to the box-man "Give me a Marker for $5,000."   The box-man in turning to the floor-man or Pit Boss says " This guy wants 5-large.  The steely, well-trained eye of the Pit Boss carefully focuses on the man, and he say's "Yeah, give it to him."  The nearest dealer dutifully breaks out various colored chips (checks) and pushes the stacks towards the new player.  A few minutes later the Pit Boss comes around the table with a small clear plastic clipboard and pen, and hands them to the newest player.  He quickly, almost nonchalantly scribbles his name and returns to play as the Pit Boss says "Good Luck Mr. P."

 A number of people have asked me about the use and benefits of casino credit.

 To establish credit simply, call up your favorite casino using their toll-free 800 number and ask for the Casino Credit department.  They will have a few simple questions for you, the most important of which is your bank checking-account number.  They will also ask when you are planning to visit and how much credit you want to establish with them.  Generally, your Credit Line can be as high as the lower of either your current balance or your six-month average account balance.  They will usually have a reply to your request within three days.  Some will fax or e-mail their credit application to you.  Some will fully complete it over the telephone.  Different casinos have different policies, and they will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.  In Atlantic City, the rules are a bit stricter, and fall under a financial institutions' "know-your-client" rules.

 Once you are approved and get to the Casino Cage, you will have to show picture ID, and sign a few forms and a signature card.  Again, different casinos have slightly different policies, and they will again answer any questions.  Through the wonders of modern technology, you can immediately draw down a "marker" at the tables.

Now, rewind to the top of this article and remember what Mr. P. did when he walked up to the table.  What was your first impression of him?  Or what were your thoughts when you first saw someone like him do that at a table?  Did you think he was a "big-shot' or a high-roller or perhaps someone who was "connected with the family", or even just a player who had run out of money and was asking for a charity hand-out?  No, he was probably just another player who understood the benefits of playing with casino credit.

The benefits are numerous.  Let's look at some. 


You don't have to carry around a lot of cash.  Most gaming jurisdictions have a higher incidence of muggings.   Why take the added risk?


You will ALWAYS be rated for your play, EVERYTIME you use casino credit.  Lo and behold, Caesars Palace LV who will "only rate green play or higher" will rate and track even a "lowly" $5 player who uses credit, and you can bet on that!


After drawing down two or three markers at the table, the pit staff will usually instantly recognize you; the box-man will immediately "get the nod" from the Pit Boss to give you the marker.  It is sometimes faster than if you handed in cash that has to be counted out before being exchanged for casino chips.


Comps are much more forthcoming.  Be sure to charge everything to your room.  If you are to expose a certain amount of your money by way of the casino's line of credit; then in return they are willing to give you pretty much the run of their house depending on your level of play. 


By using credit, the casino knows "what you are good for" or how much your total gambling bankroll for this trip is worth.  It is easier for them to figure out their theoretical win over the period of your stay.  For example, a cash player who buys in for $1,000 each session falls under their "standard" comps formula.  Unfortunately, they don't know how much that player has left in his pocket.  Why do they care?  That may be his total gambling bankroll.  The credit player has a known stake, and you can be sure that they look at that stake like a hungry dog looks at a STEAK.  They are freer with their comps if you have more "fresh cake in your kick" or money available in your line of credit.


There can be psychological benefits for your ego if that sort of thing appeals to you.  For some people, to ask for and receive a marker says "I've arrived and I've got money to play with."


For others it is simply an easier way to keep track of their winnings and losses at tax time.  The casino can supply a print-out of all your table action, that is; each date, time and table number, your buy-in, your table session, your average bets, your win or loss amounts, and how long you were there, and how and when you settled your marker.  That kind of detail can certainly sharpen your focus on how much you made or lost in the casinos.


A couple of further thoughts on the subject. 


Most houses don't like to write markers for less than $500.  Most markers are settled by you writing a cheque on the above-noted checking-account. You can usually pre-arrange for 30, 60 or 90-day extensions to that payment.


If you do not want the casino to have your banking information, you can deposit a bank-draft, world money-order, certified or "official" cheque to the casino in advance of your arrival.Ensure that it has ample time to clear their bank before you arrive.  You can play against it as "front-money".  It shows an even higher "seriousness" about being a "casino-oriented" player.


You can deposit cash or traveler's-cheques into the casino cage as "front-money" and play against it at the tables as you normally do with a   marker.  You receive all of the above-noted benefits, and the added knowledge that your losses, if any, are already covered by the cash that is in the cage.

Handled carefully and with sober maturity, Casino Credit can be a useful tool in the serious player's money-management arsenal.

Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables.

Back to The Mad Professor Speaks Main Page! 



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