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Home » Licensing » Apply for Your License » Punch board and pull-tab (commercial business)

Punch board and pull-tab (commercial business)

If you are a commercial stimulant business, primarily engaged in the selling of food or drink for consumption on premises, you may apply to offer punch board or pull-tabs.

Punch board

  • A board with a number of openings of uniform size in which the manufacturer placed, at random, slips of paper or other substances (punches) imprinted with numbers or symbols
  • A flare (face sheet) covers the openings and sets out the winning numbers or symbols and which prizes players may win
  • The punches have specific serial numbers assigned and printed on them
  • After buying a punch, a player may select and remove the punch from the opening of the punch board
  • If the number on the selected punch matches the flare, the specified prize is awarded to the player.


  • A single folded tab that conceals number(s) or symbol(s) from view
  • A banded tab that conceals number(s) or symbol(s) from view
  • A card with the face covered by perforated window(s) or otherwise hidden to conceal number(s) or symbol(s) from view
  • Some of the number(s) in each series of pull-tabs have been selected in advance and at random as prize winners
  • After buying a pull-tab, a player opens the pull-tab and, if the numbers or symbols on the pull-tab match the flare, the player wins the prize.

If you would like to apply for a punch board / pull-tab license, complete and submit the 'Punch Board / Pull-Tab - Commercial Business Application Packet'.

If you are currently licensed and would like to add punch board / pull-tab as a new activity, complete the ‘Add an Activity’ application.

Learn how to report changes to your license


You must complete training within 30 days of the effective date of your license. Review the following rules thoroughly to ensure that you are in compliance with your activity:

Review the following videos:

Recordkeeping packet

The following handout is a recordkeeping requirement for your activity:

      Information for punch boards and pull-tabs operators

      • There are no rules that require the operator to leave a game in play or when to pull the game from play
        • Some operators use a calculation based on the cost of games plus, a certain profit they hope to make before pulling a game
        • You might want to consider public relations and the possibility of conflict if a game is pulled while being actively played.
      • All winners over $20.00 must provide adequate and true identification
        • If the person refuses to do so, you are under no obligation to pay the winner
        • If a person produces fake identification, they may be attempting to defraud you. Call your local law enforcement agency immediately
        • Gambling rules do not specifically address what is acceptable identification; however, the type of identification that would be acceptable by the Liquor & Cannabis Board would be acceptable identification for your purposes
        • You obtain identification that assures that you, as a licensee, have no question as to the identity of the winner. Whatever you would accept to allow a person to cash a check would be appropriate.
      • Your house rules must be posted spelling out how and when a game will be reserved. There must also be a sign posted on the flare that the game is reserved
        • If the game and flare remained up and visible to other players, it can be returned for general play or you can decide to immediately pull the game from play
        • Holding a game is like reserved games, with some important exceptions. If you "hold" a game, you may remove it from the dispensing device and from public view
        • You may not hold it for more than 7 days without any play, or more than 14 days overall
        • Once the player is finished, the game may not be put back into public play. It must be pulled. You cannot hold more than 25 games at a time.
      • A merchandise prize should be displayed in the immediate vicinity of the punch board or pull-tab series and in plain view
        • If size or space constraints do not allow the prize to be displayed, the merchandise prize may be displayed elsewhere on the premises provided that a specific reference to that actual prize is referenced on the flare
        • If the merchandise prize cannot be displayed on the premises, an accurate description and / or photograph of the prize must be displayed in plain view on or immediately adjacent to the flare.
      • The prize must be deleted in a manner that would allow a person sitting on the other side of your bar and in the light available to easily see that a specific prize is no longer available
        • This can be done with either stickers or a heavy permanent-marking pen
        • If you choose to use a sticker to delete the prizes from the flare, you must also use a permanent-marking pen underneath the sticker
        • Winners worth more than $20.00 must be defaced through the winning symbols. This is necessary to prevent the winning symbols to be removed and utilized to defraud you or another licensee
        • Defacing must be done immediately when you are going through the redemption process.
      • Persons under the age of 18 are prohibited from selling or playing
        • It is the responsibility of the licensee to see that no person under 18 years of age is allowed to play or sell pull-tabs
        • Although the opening of pull-tabs may not be "playing", there are some important public perception issues involved if you allow this activity to occur
        • We encourage you to discourage the practice whenever possible, and specifically not to pay out the prize to any minors who present tickets to you.
      • There is no formal rule regarding the disposal of used boards or series
        • We recommend that you dispose of them in a manner that will not allow someone to get a hold of them and use the unclaimed winners to defraud you or another licensee. Soaking or burning is the preferred method.
      • If you suspect theft or fraud, immediately call your local law enforcement agency. After the initial law enforcement contact, call your local agent and advise of the incident. They will contact the law enforcement agency and follow up
      • You should establish a house rule that covers the removal of pull-tabs from your premises to prevent complaints
      • You can utilize a service to store your games and complete your records
        • You must remember, if there happens to be a mistake in record keeping, you, as a licensee, are responsible for the mistake
        • Many dead game services will be required to be licensed by the Gambling Commission, but it depends on the level of service they are providing to you
        • Check with your local agent before signing any contracts with such a service to see if they will need to be licensed.
      • All pull-tabs must be dispensed from a dispenser we approved or a clear container that allows the player to view the remaining tickets to estimate the number of chances remaining
        • If the container is in a position that allows a view of the tabs from a side view, we have determined that it meets the rule requirements
        • All unsold tickets must be retained intact.
      • If a field agent does an audit, you must be able to account for all unsold tickets, or you will be responsible to report them as if they were sold.