Pinball History 101: The 30 Years of No Pinball in USA

One interesting part of the history of Pinball is when it was banned in US cities from 1940s to 1970s due to the belief that it leads to juvenile delinquency and crime. Since the first coin-operated machines were made available in 1931, many viewed it as a “menace to society”, History channel wrote.

Before the advent of flippers in 1947, this classic gaming machine was frowned upon, seeing that operators hand prizes to gamers ranging from free game, gum to jewelries. Law enforcement and civic groups were one to suspect that there is gambling connection around it while churches and schools argued that it corrupts morals of the youth to the extent that they would skip classes and and spend their money on such game.

Criminal interests were allegedly operating behind pinball games as it is manufactured in Chicago, a notorious place of organized crimes during the great depression. One of the crusaders against Pinball was the New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia who maintained that it breeds crime and juvenile delinquency. In 1942, Pinball was banned all over New York City. other cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, New Orleans and Los Angeles followed the lead.

This made Pinball integrated to underground rebel culture. The ban was only lifted in 1970s when the California court ruled that Pinball is not a game of chance but of skills. Years later other cities followed. Pinball again rocked the nation as an all-time favorite.

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2017-02-14T02:04:39+00:00