Georgia is not a big (legal) gambling state, other than the state sponsored Georgia Lottery, and most gambling is done on a cash basis. However, occasionally clients do come in with some gambling debts to include in their Bankruptcy case. In one case, a person made enough trips to casinos in Las Vegas that he was able to get a line of credit at one of them. More commonly, the gambling debts are not to casinos but instead are to credit card companies for cash advances lost at the tables. Can these debts be discharged in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
In general, debts that arise from legal gambling are dischargeable the same as any other consumer debt. The casino made the decision to extend credit and take the risk the same as any traditional lender. Similarly, credit card issuers generally do not police how and where you spend the cash advances — they just want you to pay them back, with interest. There are very important exceptions that apply to gambling and most other consumer debts. If you lie on the loan or credit application, such as inflating your income or assets, it is considered fraud and the debt may be excepted from your discharge. If you take cash advances or run up credit cards just before filing for Bankruptcy, or knowing that you are going to file for Bankruptcy, then those debts may be excepted from your discharge. Again, these exceptions apply to all consumer debts and not just gambling debts, so there are not special rules for gamblers. As long as you otherwise qualify as the “honest debtor” entitled to a discharge, the fact that some of your debts may be from legal gambling should not be a problem.