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Pinball is finally legal in Oakland

Pinball is coming back to Oakland! After over 80 years, the City Council is set to reverse the ban on the popular arcade classic, which should make plenty of fans with pockets full of quarters very happy.

To most of us, a pinball ban might sound a little silly. But the classic arcade game actually used to be used for quite a bit of gambling. Most places have reversed the bans, but a few like Alameda County still have them in place. Other spots like San Francisco regulate pinball machines to avoid gambling.

Like thousands of cities across the United States, Oakland banned pinball in the 1930s because the machines - which then lacked flippers - were being used for gambling. People paid a nickel to play, and winners received cash payouts from a bartender, store owner or other proprietor.

Apparently, pinball is not the crime risk it once was. Oakland has not really enforced the ban since the 1940s.

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