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Are Gambling Debts Enfoceable in Court?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Lonesomedave, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. ok....my Roddy White thread has got me thinking about this

    are gambling debts enforceable? that, can you use the court to make someone pay

    I am a lawyer, and I don't know the answer to this, but i do know some background

    at common law, gambling debts were not enforceable as a matter of policy.

    I believe (but do not know) that Nevada was the first state to change that, by statute. since then, several states have started legal gaming, so, again, i don't know.....i suspect those states allow gaming entities (and maybe private people) to sue and enforce gambling debts

    Now, if you incur a credit card bill, say, by getting a cash advance, which you then gamble away, you are out of luck....the credit card company can & will take you to court and win if you don't pay....and, you can not get out of the debt by saying it was for gambling....their arbitrator would laugh at you

    and, as a matter of interest...in the Roddy White case....even if the parties lived where the fan had a right to sue White, the fan would still lose...and for the reason i suggested in the Roddy White thread...there was no mutuality of contract...the fan did not promise to do anything in return for White's promise

    but anyway, i am curious, anybody with knowledge of how their own states work? any lawyers who would like to correct me? anybody?

  2. In common law a contract must be legal before it can be held up in court. To the extent American law has the same background in English law that ours has, probably the same deal where the gambling is legal.
  3. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm a paralegal, hopefully a lawyer within the near future. In theory, my guess is that if the bet was documented under the supervision of a regulatory body, then yes, it should be enforceable. When a bet is made legally, both sides receive consideration. I give them my money, they give me a receipt that allows me to collect. But how do you document a private bet unless there is some sort of written paperwork? Even then, it's considered an illegal activity.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    As I understand it, a contract to engage in an illegal activity is not enforceable.
  5. that is absolutely true!...and i know, here in TN for example, if you came to court and said...we had a bet on a game and he lost and now won't pay up, the debt would be unenforceable, even if the other guy agreed to the facts

    i was just wondering in states where gambling is now legal, have they changed the law by statute and to what extent they have changed the law

  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I know in Vegas if you get a mark from the house and burn them on it, it is considered a criminal offense. I am pretty sure it is a felony but it might depend on the size of the mark.

    We have legal gambling here but I don't think the house loans money to gamble... maybe they do and I don't know anybody that is stupid enough to fall for that. Although my local casino did recently add the one true game of chance, craps. They must be doing rather well now that the house can get involved in games of chance.
  7. Now that you mention it, some tourists ( / visiting crime gang ) burned the Auckland casino a couple of years ago. They were serious highrollers so it was millions, enough to dent their balance sheet. I can't remember if the casino got theirs in the end. I just remember thinking how dumb is that. Some of the group must have won.
  8. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    If by "court" you mean "a loaded .45," then the answer is YES.
  9. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Nooooooooooooooo! Run Forest, run! I was a paralegal for 12 years. Attorneys are miserable, they have one of the highest drug and alcohol abuse levels of all professions other than dentists and maybe cops. But seriously, it depends on the branch of law. A lot of the law is meddling in other peoples business. Some of it is pretty sick - one of our junior partners was taking court appointed stuff and I had to read some truly horrifying transcripts from Department of Social Services in child abuses cases and such. Ok, got that out of my system...BTW, I have a brother and sister who are both attorneys. She's partner at a top-notch firm, he's founder of a small firm.

    BOT. Gambling debt - agreeing with other that unless it is legal to make the bet in their jurisdiction, not enforceable. Generally a bet between 2 individuals is not enforceable as it is not legal sanctioned.

    Mr.White is a welcher....legal or not he should have bucked up.
  10. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    I'm not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV or in the movies.

    Just strictly from a business perspective, I'd thank that no gambling house in their right mind would allow anybody to actually gamble on credit. Cash only, or "chips" or the equivalent that can be exchanged for cash.

    Any extension of credit would be in the form of loans or credit lines, not for gambling itself. The contract with the guest would then be the loan of cash/equivalent & promise to repay the same. What the guest does with the money loaned (i.e. gamble) is outside the contract's scope. Maybe he uses his "marker" at the gift shop or restaurant (yeah, right)? The guest spends "his" cash while at the same time having a legal debt to pay that's "unrelated" to how he spends it.
  11. You'd think, and yet:


    SkyCity's Auckland casino was hit by a group of scammers earlier this year, who bet large and lost $2.4 million before skipping the country without paying up.

    The disclosure came during SkyCity Entertainment Group's full year results presentation this morning and wrote down the company's net profit by $1.7m.