In Part I we discussed the new Cash Transaction Reporting requirements,and
what it means for you and your winnings. How to get credit, how to use it, and how to pay it back, were covered, along with some useful tips.
Now I’d like to tell you about some of the benefits of establishing a Line of Credit with a casino.
· 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?
· If you are not going to establish a Line-of-Credit; then you pretty much have to use Travelers Checks or carry large amounts of cash. Carrying tons of cash can be a problem. I would suggest up to two money-belts, and also carrying excess cash in the leg (shaft) portion of your socks. It may sound overly protective or geeky, but where you have lots of cash, you have lots of opportunity for crime. Why two money-belts? Well, stacks of cash, even $100 bills, add quite a bit of thickness. It’s a bit more balanced and easier to access if you have two. Besides, if you make a major score at the tables, you’ll want a safe place to stash your newly-won profit.
· When you use casino-credit, you will ALWAYS be rated for your play, EVERYTIME you have a marker. 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! The same goes for EVERY casino that avails credit to you.
· 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 willing to expose your bankroll 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 over an extended period of time.
.· Most houses don't like to write markers for less than $500. Most markers are settled by you writing a check on your checking-account. You can usually pre-arrange for 30, 60 or 90-day extensions to that payment.
I have a couple of further thoughts on the subject...
· While I have substantial Lines-of-Credit with a large number of casinos, I also use what is called “front-money” in a number of locations.
· If you do not want the casino to have your banking information, you can deposit cash or a bank-draft, world money-order, certified or "official" check 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.
· I especially use “front money” in the independent casinos that haven’t been gobbled up by the major gaming corporations. The number of independently owned casinos gets smaller and smaller every year as the big corporations buy-up pretty much everything in sight.
· “Front-money” gives you all the benefits of casino-credit, especially on the comp-benefit side of the equation, but it has none of the drawbacks. You don’t have to worry about paying off your markers, because you already have that amount of money on deposit in the casino cage. The “respect” that the casino gives this kind of action is outstanding.
· I would say that using “front money” gives you a comp-premium over the normal credit-player by about 20% to a full 40% in comp-values. That’s a HUGE benefit that cannot be ignored. They know that they aren’t going to have to chase you for the money, and therefore, they feel safer in granting your comp-wishes.
· When you have large winnings, you might want to consider cashing-out with something other than cash. The casinos actively discourage you from wiring money directly OUT from the cage. They like when you wire money IN, but they don't mind issuing cashiers checks, official checks, or casino checks for amounts over $2000, back to you.
Okay, how do we keep all of our legal activities below the radar of the all-knowing, all-seeing IRS?
I have to assume that you report all of your casino earnings, but you just want to minimize the hassle of the continual cash-reporting hassles.
To do that, we have to keep our transactions below the “pain” threshold of forcing the casino to report our transactions.
· While you are playing, “bleed off” or skim some of the profit from your chip-rail. Slip $25 chips in your pocket for cash-outs that are separate and distinct from your regular cash-out.
· Have your wife, spouse or friend cash out some of your chips.
· Delay the cash-out until tomorrow, or on a later shift. At the very least, choose a different cage-teller each time that you cash-out.
· In most cases, you almost never have to produce ID if you keep your transactions below $3000.
Part Three of this series will cover the “corporate family” of related-casinos. We’ll take a look at how establishing credit with just eight (8) casino companies, can give you readily-accessible credit in more than 50 casinos, and up to 110 casinos nationwide.
Until then, Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor