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What is a 'Tronc'?

Tronc is a common fund into which service charges and tips are paid for distribution among the staff. It occurs when a customer makes an extra payment for good service on top of the basic charge, including a discretionary or mandatory service charge; a cash gratuity paid either directly to the employee, or to the employer. The tronc gratuities, or tips, form part of the croupier's salary.

'Tronc' Explained

In the casino world, a tronc is a general-use term to describe a tip given to the croupier, as an addition to the basic price, for good service or hospitality. The tronc has a unique position in the gambling industry's history, originating in the early days of roulette to pay towards the croupiers' salary. It was part of the etiquette of roulette, although officially, the casinos stated there was no obligation for the guests to tip.The casino is responsible for the arrangements on the sharing of tips, service charges and gratuities among the croupiers. A tronc is described by HM Revenue and Customs as a "spontaneous and uncalled for" payment offered by a customer, as opposed to a service charge - a mandatory sum added to the customer's bill.In the case of a mandatory service charge paid out among employees, National Insurance contributions are required by HMRC. This is not the case when it comes to a tronc, as these are understood by the customer to be an optional payment. It is recognized as a special payment arrangement used for the distribution of tips, service charges and gratuities among the staff.A troncmaster can be appointed to make the arrangements to hand out the tips among the croupiers. This can be someone other than the employer, but appointed by the employer. Troncs are not subject to VAT, as they are given freely. This is the case whether the payment is made by cash, credit or debit card.When it comes to income tax, all tips paid by the employer to the employee are subject to PAYE, with the responsibility resting with the employer, even if there's a tronc operating and the employer has delegated the task to a staff member.