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Scratch Card History

Learn about the short history of the modern day Scratchcards that have rapidly grown in popularity in recent times.

Scratchcards are one of the newest forms of gaming and were first developed in the 1970s by a number of American computer scientists. This new development brought together the ancient lottery format with a modern instant win feature. The printed paper card was given an opaque layer which could be scratched off to reveal prizes or game symbols and the possibly of instant gratification.

One of the first initial scratchcards lottery tickets launched was called The Instant Game, ;launched by the Massachusetts State Lottery in the mid 1970s. Many other national and state lotteries caught on to the new initiative quickly and quickly began to offer scratchcard games of their own. A key turning point when scratchcards became most notably popular was when AstroMed Inc based in Rhode Island, USA, patented a Scratchcard in 1987. The first cards were covered with an environmentally unsafe solvent based coating but in the late 1980's, adhesive specialist Jerome Greenfield invented a safer water-based coating which is still used in scratchers toda. The scratch off layer is often a form of latex.

Currently there are two major manufacturers of scratchcard game tickets: Scientific Games Corporation, with production facilities in the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Chile and Australia; and Pollard Banknote, who have production facilities in the USA and Canada. There are a number of other smaller manufacturers in North America, Europe and Asia.

In the 21st century online scratchcards, which can be played from your computer browser, have been developed offering greater graphic features and interactivity.





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