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.
The safety committee voted on the ban on Tuesday and, if passed, the full City Council will vote in July. It is now looking to put a stop to riskier things like Internet sweepstakes cafes. People can play online games at these cafes for cash prizes, and the locations often attract crime.
The ban reversal is great news for classic gamers in Oakland. If you want a taste of old-fashioned pinball on your gadget, try this fun app.