The first pull tabs were single-banded tickets produced and sold in packs of five or ten, printed in a maximum of one or two colors. Pull tabs became popular
in the 1970’s as a fundraising tool for charities, as a companion to bingo.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the playing of pull tabs spread from bingo games to other locations such as veteran’s organizations, fraternal clubs and, in some states, taverns.
During the 1980’s, the burgeoning break-open industry continued to experiment with printed tickets, simulating card games and using other colorful symbols already familiar to players. Today’s printers and designers of tickets are increasingly innovative, fostering a diverse and vibrant range of break-open tickets and pull tabs.
The use of pull tabs has increased dramatically over the past five years. Charities have been utilizing pull tabs as a supplement to their bingo games with great success. In North America, pulltab revenues have grown by an average of 30% since 1990.