Pinball tables due back on the menu as Oakland’s lawmakers finally get around to repealing old anti-flipper flicking ordinance.
In gambling news that isn’t actually about gambling the big story is from the USA. Whilst you can, so we’re told by Roger Daltrey, play the silver ball from Soho down to Brighton you couldn’t, it transpires, play it in Oakland, California… well, not up until now.
The legalization of pinball in Oakland seems set to finally go ahead after law makers indicated a willingness to change this rather anachronistic backwater of US gambling laws.
Made illegal in the 1930s for being a gambling device the Pinball table has had a bit of a rough deal and been outlawed ever since.
Certainly the earlier versions had no flippers which meant they were, in effect, just yet another game of chance. Whilst pinball tables developed over the years to provide more thrills, spills and interaction, the law didn’t.
Museum closed over ban
Several US cities continue to retain the ban which came as a blow for the pinball museum in Beacon, New York who had to close because of this ridiculously outdated piece of legal silliness.
“In New York, an investigation report on pinball operations concluded that the social evils of pinball machines were the same as those presented by the new generally banned slot machines.” Said a law review published through Marquette University, Wisconsin… back in 1958.
It’s a tad lamentable that authorities haven’t got around to reassessing their error sooner but I’m sure all those flipper flickers out there in Oakland will enjoy their new found freedom. Who knows? Today Oakland, tomorrow the world… or New York at least.