Here are two methods used by clubs. If your club has a different method for collecting table money then please contact EBU to let us know.
Method 1: Admission tickets – by Bolton Bridge Club
For many years, Bolton Bridge Club has used admission tickets specially printed for the purpose, individually numbered and made up into books of n tickets. The number of tickets in a book can be set to give a convenient book price depending on the table money to be charged – at present Bolton charges members £20 for a book of 7 tickets, i.e. a little less than £3 per ticket. Table money for members is charged at £3.50 when paid in cash thus providing a significant incentive to use the tickets. Members are encouraged to write their names on the tickets as soon as purchased, in case they are mislaid, and are asked to sign them when handed in to indicate that they are spent.
Free entry tickets (in different colours) are also printed for session winners and those performing host duties. Visitors of course have to pay the appropriate fee in cash.
- Coinage handling is minimised at duplicate sessions, with books of tickets being sold by designated sellers for cash (notes) or cheque. A coordinator provides the stock to each seller and collects the proceeds as convenient.
- It is simple to check that all have paid at a session by counting tickets. If there is a discrepancy the names on the tickets can be checked against those present.
- There is a cost involved in printing the tickets. Bolton orders in batches of 10,000 tickets (a little less than a year’s supply) at a cost of a little less than £200.
- Arrangements need to be put in place to ensure that as far as possible there is always a ticket seller present at each session since members don’t want to have to pay the cash price for entry!
Method 2: Tokens for payment – by Leeds Bridge Club
A few years ago we had a few thefts of money from the Club and also our members who were taking large amounts of cash to the bank were not happy about doing so. We therefore decided to become, as far as possible, a ‘cashless Club’ and use tokens as payment for our sessions.
The tokens themselves were easily acquired online. Ours are yellow and distinctively impressed “Leeds Bridge Club”.
Tokens are only available for members but members can sell, or lend, tokens to each other. Visitors pay cash and members who do not want to buy tokens can pay cash at the visitors’ cash rate (but very rarely do).
Tokens are sold to members either in tens, twenties or thirties (for which there is a small discount). They cannot be paid for in cash but by cheque or BACS. We have, at the moment decided not to accept credit card payments as this is too expensive. We started by selling the tokens only on given evenings, but this did not work well so now any Committee member can sell tokens before the start of any duplicate session.
The sales are recorded on a printed sheet that only takes seconds to fill in. If the member is paying by BACS they can do so in advance or the next day and are asked to send some sort of electronic confirmation of payment. Some members pay online on their phones and just show the Committee member their phone confirmation!
Each evening the ‘collector’ checks the number of tokens collected against the table slips, therefore agreeing the numbers. They then re-bag the tokens into small plastic bags of ten. These bags, together with the table slips, are left, in a marked envelope, for the treasurer who then checks the numbers and replaces the tokens in the box ready for resale.
The tokens are payment for 1 session of bridge. They are used for all our duplicate sessions and are also used when a member is paying a match at the club. They have also been used for payment for a few of our members’ classes.
There have been a few occasions when members have moved out of town mid year and we have bought back their tokens.