Skip to Content

What is a digital scratch card?

A digital scratch card is a virtual version of a traditional scratch card that can be played online or in a mobile app. Like physical scratch cards, digital scratch cards allow players to virtually scratch off a coating to reveal symbols, numbers, or prizes underneath. Digital scratch cards provide an entertaining way for people to potentially win prizes without having to purchase physical scratch card tickets.

How do digital scratch cards work?

Digital scratch cards operate much like their physical counterparts. In an app or on a website, players can purchase virtual scratch card tickets. These are displayed on the screen and players use their finger or mouse to rub off the virtual coating, mimicking the action of scratching a physical ticket. This reveals the symbols or prizes underneath. If the necessary symbols or winning combinations appear, the player wins a prize.

With physical scratch cards, the ticketoutcomes are predetermined when the cards are printed. Similarly, with digital scratch cards, the prize outcomes are determined beforehand by a Random Number Generator (RNG) when the card is generated. The distribution of winning tickets and associated prizes is all determined randomly at the start. As players scratch off the cards, the predetermined outcome is revealed.

Winning digital scratch card tickets can result in a variety of prizes. Most commonly, these include cash prizes that are credited into the player’s account. Some digital scratch cards also offer the chance to win free plays, allowing players to enjoy the game without additional cost. For branded or themed digital scratch cards, prize possibilities may include merchandise, discounts, or other rewards related to that brand.

Are digital scratch cards rigged?

It is not possible for digital scratch cards to be rigged, as outcomes are determined at random by RNG software. Provided the scratch card operator uses certified fair RNG technology that is regularly audited, each card will have a fair and equal chance of winning.

However, the odds of winning prizes on digital scratch cards are generally quite low, similar to physical instant win lottery tickets. The dispersion of prize-winning tickets as well as the prize amounts and odds of winning are determined by the operator. These odds are made clear in the rules and regulations of digital scratch card games.

Reputable digital scratch card operators will have their RNG technology and odds certified fair by third-party testing agencies. This provides transparency for players and reassurance that the games are truly random chance and not rigged against them.

Are digital scratch cards legal?

The legality of digital scratch cards depends on the jurisdiction where the player is located. In many parts of the world, online and mobile lottery games like digital scratch cards are considered legal gambling activities, provided the operator is properly licensed and regulated.

In the United States, the regulatory landscape around digital scratch cards is complicated. Just a handful of states allow regulated online lotteries and scratch card games. These include Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Virginia. In other states, it is considered illegal gambling for residents to play digital lottery games online.

Players should always check their local gambling laws and regulations to ensure digital scratch card games are legal where they live. Websites should also have protocols in place to block access or restrict services to players in states or countries where online lotteries are not yet regulated.

Are digital scratch cards available worldwide?

Digital scratch cards are available in many countries globally where online gambling is legal and regulated. However, availability does vary significantly region to region.

In Europe, digital scratch cards and online lottery betting are legal and regulated in many countries including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, and others. scratch cards are also legal and accessible across most of Latin America including Mexico, Chile, and Argentina.

Some of the major populated countries where digital lotteries and scratch cards are more restricted or prohibited include the United States, China, India, and Australia. Even within these countries, the regulations are not consistently applied nationwide.

Players interested in digital scratch cards should always check the local laws pertaining to online gambling in their jurisdiction. Regulated digital scratch card operators should use geolocation technology to restrict services by geography in compliance with regulations.

What are the different types of digital scratch cards?

Digital scratch cards come in many varieties offering different themes, prize structures, and ways to play. Here are some of the most common types of digital scratch cards:

  • Instant Win – Scratch off the card to instantly reveal whether you’ve won a prize or not. This is the most common digital scratch card format.
  • Pick and Match – Scratch off certain areas of the card to reveal symbols that must match a winning combination to win a prize.
  • Reveal Bonus – Scratch the main card and then get the chance to scratch a bonus box which could reveal an additional prize.
  • Collector – Scratch virtual collectible cards to try to complete a set and win a prize.
  • Story/Journey – Scratch off each part of an image or story in sequence to progress along a path or journey.
  • Casino Themed – Digital scratch cards featuring popular casino game themes and symbols like slots, roulette, blackjack, etc.
  • Branded – Scratch cards featuring licensed brands from movies, TV, video games, or celebrities.

The prizes available on digital scratch cards also vary. Some offer just cash prizes while others provide free plays, discounts, merchandise, or other rewards.

What are the advantages of digital scratch cards?

Digital scratch cards provide a number of advantages over physical instant win lottery tickets:

  • Can be played instantly any time on mobile devices
  • No need to go to a store to buy physical tickets
  • Environmentally friendly with no paper tickets or scratch dust
  • Animated games and effects make scratching more entertaining
  • Broader variety of card themes and play formats
  • Winnings can be credited instantly into accounts
  • Tracking of win history and account balances
  • No risk of losing or damaging paper tickets

The convenience and accessibility of being able to play instantly on mobile devices is a major advantage of digital scratch cards. The ability to enjoy new and more interactive game styles is also a key benefit over traditional paper lottery tickets.

What are the disadvantages of digital scratch cards?

While digital scratch cards provide some advantages, there are also a few disadvantages to consider:

  • Lack of tangible ticket for souvenir/memorabilia
  • More potential for technical errors or app glitches
  • Must have internet access to play
  • Not available in some jurisdictions due to regulations
  • Harder to give as gifts compared to physical tickets
  • Possibility of underage gambling access without retail barriers
  • Potential for compulsive gambling due to instant access

The lack of physical tickets and barriers to access present some downsides to digital scratch cards. Technical issues could also disrupt play. And accessibility opens up concerns around responsible gambling practices.

How popular are digital scratch cards?

Digital scratch cards are becoming an increasingly popular form of online gambling. In jurisdictions where regulated digital lotteries are available, sales of virtual instant win tickets are on the rise.

In the UK, for example, the National Lottery reported over £1.1 billion in digital scratch card sales for the 2017-18 period. This accounted for 27% of total UK National Lottery scratch card sales. Digital scratch card sales increased by 15% year-over-year, suggesting continued growth in popularity.

Part of what’s driving popularity is accessibility via mobile devices. According to a NSUS Market Research survey in the UK, 68% of digital lottery players use their smartphone to play scratch cards online. The convenience of mobile play is making digital scratch cards more appealing to consumers.

As more jurisdictions regulate online lotteries, the popularity and availability of digital scratch cards is expected to rise globally. The ability to enjoy the instant gratification of scratch games anywhere on a mobile device is fueling interest and sales.

Can you win real money on digital scratch cards?

Yes, it’s possible to win real money prizes playing digital scratch cards. The cash amounts available to win will vary between different games and operators.

For most regulated digital scratch card services, players must deposit funds into a registered account to purchase virtual scratch tickets. When you win a cash prize, those winnings are credited back into your account.

From there, winnings can be withdrawn or used to purchase more tickets. The prizes available to win range from small amounts up to jackpots over $1 million in value from the top prizes.

To provide reassurance that games are fair and prizes can legitimately be won, regulated digital scratch card operators will have their systems and RNG technology tested and certified by third-party agencies.

Are digital scratch cards safe?

Playing digital scratch cards from regulated online gambling providers is generally safe. Reputable operators employ various measures to ensure fair games and secure player accounts.

Encryption technology is used to protect personal data and financial transactions when playing digital scratch cards online. Account registration processes also utilize identity verification to prevent fraud and underage gambling.

As long as players use regulated scratch card sites that carry proper licensing and certifications for their jurisdiction, they can play confidently knowing games are legitimately random chance and their account details are secure.

If playing digital scratch cards from unregulated offshore operators, there can be risks around game fairness, financial transaction security, and prize payout reliability.

How do you buy digital scratch cards?

To play digital scratch cards, you’ll first need to register an account with an online lottery provider. Reputable operators make the registration process quick and easy.

Once your account is set up, you simply need to deposit money into your account balance using a payment method like a credit card, e-wallet service, bank transfer, or other option.

From there, you can use those funds to purchase digital scratch card tickets. Pricing varies but is often as low as 25 cents per ticket up to around $5 or $10. Some scratch cards cost even more for higher prize chances.

When you purchase a ticket, the digital scratch card will be generated and displayed for you to play. Winning tickets will automatically credit your account with prize money that you can withdraw or use to buy more tickets.

Can you play digital scratch cards for free?

Most digital scratch card services require you to purchase tickets using real money. However, some do offer ways to play free scratch card games in certain circumstances.

Free play opportunities typically involve getting to play demo games without wagering money. This allows you to experience the digital scratch gameplay before committing real funds.

Other ways you may get free plays on real cash digital scratch cards include:

  • As a signup promotion when you open a new account
  • As a bonus included on the purchase of paid scratch card tickets
  • As a prize for winning on certain scratch card games
  • As part of a site’s customer loyalty rewards program

While you won’t be able to win money on free plays, they do provide a chance to try digital scratch cards risk-free. Just be aware some operators limit free play availability to attract real money wagering.

What things should you look for in a digital scratch card site?

When choosing a digital scratch card operator, here are some key things to look for:

  • Official licensing and regulation for your jurisdiction
  • Use of certified random number generator technology
  • Range of scratch card game styles and themes
  • Fair odds disclosed upfront for each game
  • Offers both small and large prize amounts
  • Easy and secure banking options
  • Responsive customer service
  • Positive reputation based on player reviews
  • Secure site with encryption protocols in place
  • Responsible gambling tools and resources

Making sure the operator is licensed and their games are proven fair should be top priorities. A good selection of card varieties and prize options also adds to the enjoyment.

What is the best strategy for winning digital scratch cards?

There are no player strategies that can influence the outcome of digital scratch card games. All results are determined randomly at the point the card is generated.

However, players can maximize their chances at prizes by:

  • Playing scratch cards with the best odds and payout percentages
  • Taking advantage of bonuses and promotions to play more
  • Playing regularly to have more chances at winnings
  • Trying higher priced scratch cards with bigger prizes
  • Spreading wagers across multiple tickets and games

While nothing you do affects the predetermined outcome, putting yourself in position to have more plays does increase opportunities to hit random winning tickets.

How do you cash out winnings from digital scratch cards?

When you get lucky and win money playing digital scratch cards, cashing out your winnings is straightforward:

  1. Winning tickets automatically credit your account balance
  2. Visit the cashier section of your account on the website/app
  3. Select a withdraw method such as bank transfer, check, or PayPal
  4. Enter the amount you wish to withdraw
  5. Provide any additional information to verify your identity
  6. The operator processes and releases your payout!

Reputable regulated operators make it easy to withdraw your digital scratch card winnings. Just be aware there may be minimum withdrawal amounts to request a payout.

Are profits from digital scratch cards taxable?

In most jurisdictions, any gambling winnings from digital scratch cards are considered taxable income. Exact tax regulations can vary based on where you reside.

For substantial scratch card winnings, most regulatory bodies require the online operator to automatically withhold taxes on the payout. For example, in the UK, the lottery operator will deduct 12% tax before paying out wins over £500.

For smaller wins, it is generally the responsibility of the player to report and pay any required taxes or gambling income. Winnings may need to be reported on annual tax returns in your jurisdiction.

To avoid any surprise tax bills or complications, it’s always wise to research the specific tax laws related to reporting gambling winnings where you live before playing digital scratch cards.

Can digital scratch cards be rigged or hacked?

It is virtually impossible for regulated digital scratch card games from reputable operators to be rigged or hacked in favor of the house.

Outcomes are determined entirely at random using certified RNG technology that cannot be interfered with or manipulated. Any digital scratch card operator found to be rigging games or tampering with results would immediately lose their regulatory licenses and face severe legal consequences.

Hacking into the scratch card system to alter results or payouts is also extremely unlikely. Reputable sites use sophisticated encryption and cybersecurity protections to prevent any unauthorized access or hacking of games or accounts.

As long as players use regulated digital scratch card operators that can prove the integrity of their systems, there is no risk of rigged or unfair games.


Digital scratch cards provide a fun and convenient way to enjoy online lottery-style games instantly on mobile devices. While not yet available everywhere due to regulations, their popularity and accessibility continues to grow.

By providing an electronic alternative to physical scratch tickets, digital scratch cards open up more interactive and engaging formats of play. With accountability from regulatory bodies to ensure fair games and secure player protections, digital scratch cards present a safe form of regulated online gambling entertainment.

Players should always be responsible and bet within their means. But for those who play for the entertainment experience, the instant excitement of uncovering prizes on virtual scratch cards can deliver plenty of enjoyment.