What is a ‘Welcher’?
A welcher is a casino player who fails to pay a debt. It appears often in informal casino games, where bets are often lent or implied and collected at a later date. It can also refer to players who receive credit for a public game, but who fail to settle their bill. It comes from the slang term to welch, meaning to go back on a deal or contract.
For many players, attending the casino is a cash-only process. Currency is exchanged for chips or coins, depending on the choice of game, and players make their bets using only these chips. When they have played enough, they cash out and enjoy their winnings – and if they lose, they simply stop play knowing that their debt is paid.
However, other players play using lines of credit, which means that once play is finished there could still be a bill to pay. Credit can be a formal arrangement between a casino venue and its VIP players, or it could be an informal deal between players who arrange a loan, or who play a social game with implied bets rather than cash. If a game ends with a total owed to the house or to other players, the debt should be settled as soon as possible.
A welcher is somebody who does not settle their debts, or who goes back on an agreement to pay. The informal term means debtor, and it is often used to describe a player who often runs away from their debts or who takes a long time to pay back what they owe. If a player is thought to be a welcher by their opponents or by a casino premises, they are unlikely to be offered any loans or any capital with which to bet.