Pinball returning to Oakland after 80-year ban

Brittany A. Roston - Jun 25, 2014
Pinball returning to Oakland after 80-year ban

Pinball is a staple game in arcades (wherever they might remain) and other establishments — your favorite diner, perhaps, or the local bar. In Oakland, California, among other locations, they’ve been officially banned for the past 80 or so years, something that is set to be reversed.

Though still enforced in some locations, Oakland stopped actively enforcing the ban on pinball machines since shortly after its creation, and as such it’s not hard to find a pinball machine (or tournament, alas) in the city.

Modern pinball machines offer paddles (or flippers) to add an element of skill to the game, making it less a game of chance — it is, by and large, viewed as a form of competition or entertainment by many rather than a means to gamble. Next week, the Oakland City Council’s public safety committee is expected to reverse the ban altogether.

Gambling as a whole is getting a strong look at by the city, and one Councilman, Noel Gallo, has spoken out against casinos and gambling in general. He, however, says that, “Pinball, I have no problem with that.” A positive vote to lift the ban will be reviewed by the full council in July, according to SF Gate.


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