Excessive gambling losses and gambling debts do lead to filing for bankruptcy. In fact, in the official forms needed to file a bankruptcy, there is a question that specifically asks about gambling losses. For the most part, gambling debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy since gambling debts are considered unsecured. Thus, they can generally be completely eliminated in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. There are of course exceptions to the general rule, one of them being from where in particular you incurred your gambling debts.
In Nevada, gambling debts are fully enforceable. If you borrowed money to gamble in Nevada knowing beforehand that you would not be able to honor the marker should you lose your bet, then the casino would have a very good claim against you that the debt was non-dischargeable in the event of bankruptcy.
If you take huge credit card cash advances at a casino a few months before filing bankruptcy, or you make material misrepresentations to obtain credit at a casino such as knowingly writing bad checks which induced the casino to extend you credit, you would certainly have problems discharging the debt. As a matter of course, any debt incurred 90 to 180 days prior to your bankruptcy filing will be scrutinized and you have the burden of proof to show the debts incurred were reasonable and necessary before they can be discharged. If they or some of them are gambling debts, it may be difficult to get them discharged. The casinos for their part would certainly raise their objections to a discharge and possibly even bring criminal charges against you depending on the amount of the checks and whether you incurred the debt by fraud or deception.
The Nevada Supreme Court has consistently ruled that casino markers are considered to be check-like negotiable instruments, which if dishonored by a bank can bring criminal bad-check charges. Even if you do manage to get your gambling debts discharged in bankruptcy, you will still be criminally prosecuted for violating NRS 205.130, Nevada’s bad checks law. Once convicted, you can get fined and/or imprisoned and you will still be required to pay restitution money to the casinos. No matter which way you cut it, in the end you really have to pay your debt back the casino.