Credit where it is due

Most people carry cash to the casino. Since cash is the fuel of the gambling business, it is the essential tool of the games. But carrying cash can be dangerous, particularly when you’re on holiday.

There are other options to bringing a pocketful of cash with vou to the casino.

Travellers cheques are a good choice. As they are with any other business, travellers cheques are as good as cash in the casino. They offer security and peace of mind to the player, but sometimes are difficult to handle. Exchanging travellers cheques is easy enough. Simply take them to the casino cage and you will receive cash. Losing travellers cheques means you must track down a representative of the company that issued them, but that is generally not very hard in a casino where most companies maintain offices.
Another option is to bring your credit or debit card to the casino. You’ll usually be able to find a machine but, eventually, you will still have to walk around with cash, albeit not as much as you would normally bring at one time.

Cash advances from your credit card are very convenient, but not recommended. Most casinos have cash machines on their casino floor. These are very profitable for their owners as well as for the casinos where they are located.
Most serious gamblers and frequent casino guests have established credit with the casino. Casino credit enables them to travel with the minimum amount of cash, and to deal with a casino on the same level as a bank. You make withdrawals and deposits.

Yes, casino credit can be dangerous. Like everything involved with gambling, casino credit requires discipline. But if you plan to frequent a particular casino on a regular basis and want to travel without the fear of losing your cash, it makes the most sense of any of the “cashless” options. Think about it.

Establishing credit is easy. Simply head to the casino cashier and explain that you would like to get credit. They will send you to the appropriate person. You will be asked to complete a form very similar to one you’d use to apply for a credit card. You’ll be asked for bank account numbers, the status of your home ownership, and several credit references – credit cards and so on.

Most casinos use credit agencies. They will examine your finances and then recommend whether to accept or reject your application. If you’re accepted, you will be given a credit limit, similar to the limit issued for a traditional credit card. This is called your “line”.

Once you’re approved, you can draw on that line at any gambling table or slot machine. When you approach a gambling table you tell the dealer you’d like a “marker”. A marker is simply a cheque like you’d find in a bank. You then give the supervisor your name and the amount you’d like to withdraw. He will put it in the system, and within five minutes, the marker will be ready. You sign it, and the dealer counts out chips in the amount of your marker.
Besides not having to carry a large amount of cash, the advantage of using casino credit is that you have a clear record of your gambling funds. That doesn’t help much if you lose it all, but if you employ money management techniques, casino credit can be a valuable tool. You are also automatically rated when you take a marker, so you never have to Worry if a supervisor is watching your action.

The casino wants to encourage you to use casino credit so, in most cases, they don’t charge interest on the money they loan you for at least 30 days. If you are disciplined with the use of casino credit and you payoff the balance quickly upon returning home, casino credit can be a bonus for the knowledgeable player.

But remember, it pays to be sensible. Don’t panic and run up huge debts, always hoping you’ll get that lucky win which will suddenly alleviate all your problems. If you haven’t had any major wins before, why should one happen right now? Life isn’t like that.

And if you do run up massive debts, you’ll be a two-way loser. Not only will you be blackballed by the casino but also, eventually, you will be taken to court.

Gambling is exciting, but don’t let it go to your head.