Pinball Was Illegal in NYC For Over 30 Years

Pinball Was Illegal in NYC For Over 30 Years

Believe it or not, there was period greater than thirty years (the 1940's-1970's) where pinball was banned in America's biggest cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Flippers weren't created until 1947-5 years after pinball was outlawed-so players would bump or tilt the machines, which gave many the impression that the game was devoid of all skill and basically gambling.

In fact, former New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia really believed pinball was a mafia-organized racket to rape kids' pockets. He even set up Prohibition-esque raids to have the machines seized, destroyed and dumped into the rivers. In case you were wondering, yes, there were pinball speakeasies too.

Anyway, pinball finally became legal in New York again in 1976, after the AMOA (Amusement and Music Operators Association) proved that the game actually required skill. La Guardia passed away in 1947, but pinball guru thinks the vertically-challenged mayor might have resented the machines so much because they were taller than him.

That Napoleon Complex is a motherfucker, especially when you're built like Oswald Cobblepot (last photo).

 [via Gothamist]

Follow @ComplexGuide for more stupid laws.

Tags: new-york, pinball, prohibition
blog comments powered by Disqus