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It’s Now Legal To Play Pinball In Oakland, CA

by Ben Reeves on Aug 31, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Some laws take far too long to die. Thanks to Pinball's gambling roots, it was outlaws in several places across the country, but the city council in Oakland, California finally made pinball players upright citizens once again.

Last month, California officially lifted the ban on Pinball. Meanwhile, Wired has put together an exploration on the history and renaissance of pinball machines. Wired writer Bo Moore recently spoke with OnlyAGame about the story and he detailed the history behind the law.

"The ban dates back to the 1930s where not just Oakland but actually across the country a lot of places banned pinball," says Moore. "Pinball was originally a game more of chance than of skill. Before the addition of flippers you basically just kind of dropped your ball in at a different spot and tried to rack up as many points as you can, and the machines would pay — or at least the machine operators would offer payouts — for hitting a certain score. So it was a form of gambling actually, and as such the government viewed it as a nuisance, as a form of gambling, and they banned it."

You are now safe to go get the high score in Zen Pinball's The Walking Dead tables. Also read our interview with Stern's director of marketing Jody Dankberg about the future of pinball.


[Source: Wired, OnlyAGame]


Our Take
This is a fun fact, and I’m glad we finally cleaned that one off the books. Too bad we still can’t dye a duckling blue and offer it for sale in Kentucky.