Do bars make money on pull tabs?

Answered by Joseph Vos

As an expert sommelier and brewer, I have had the opportunity to observe the operations of numerous bars and understand their various revenue streams. Pull tabs, also known as break-open tickets or Nevada tickets, have become increasingly popular in bars as a means of generating additional income. But do bars actually make money from pull tabs?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. Pull tabs can indeed be a profitable endeavor for bars, but there are several factors that come into play. Firstly, it is important to note that pull tabs are a form of gambling. They involve customers purchasing tickets and opening them to reveal whether they have won a prize. The allure of potentially winning a prize can attract customers and encourage them to spend more money on pull tabs.

One of the benefits of pull tabs is that they offer a new revenue stream for bar owners. In addition to selling drinks and food, bars can now sell pull tabs and potentially earn additional income. This can be particularly beneficial during slow periods or when there are fewer customers in the bar. By offering pull tabs, bar owners have the opportunity to increase their overall revenue and profitability.

Unlike other forms of gambling, such as slot machines or poker tables, pull tabs do not require bar owners to contribute a percentage of the revenue to the Gambling and Treatment Fund. This can be seen as an advantage for bar owners, as they are able to keep a larger portion of the revenue generated from pull tabs. However, it is worth noting that the lack of contribution to the fund means that there may be less support available for gambling addiction treatment and prevention programs.

In my experience, I have seen bars implement pull tab programs with varying degrees of success. The success of a pull tab program depends on several factors, including the popularity of the game, the price of the tickets, and the prizes on offer. It is important for bar owners to carefully consider these factors and tailor their pull tab offerings to suit their target audience.

Additionally, marketing and promotion play a crucial role in the profitability of pull tabs. Bars that effectively advertise their pull tab offerings and create a buzz around them are more likely to attract customers and generate higher sales. This can be done through social media campaigns, signage within the bar, and word-of-mouth marketing.

To summarize, while pull tabs can provide a new revenue stream for bars, their profitability depends on various factors such as the popularity of the game, ticket prices, and prizes. It is important for bar owners to carefully consider these factors, as well as the potential implications of not contributing to the Gambling and Alcohol Treatment Fund. By strategically implementing and promoting pull tabs, bars can potentially increase their overall profitability.