As absurd as it may sound, the humble game of pinball was once declared illegal across large swathes of the United States. And the law being the law, some of those swathes are only just getting around to fixing that.


It was announced last week that the city of Oakland, which criminalized pinball machines in the 1930's, is soon to do away with the archaic regulation (which to be fair hadn't actually been enforced for a while) following a study of the city's gambling laws. In which they instantly discovered that pinball machines haven't been a form of gambling (the reason they were initially banned) for a long, long time.

You might think this is a one-off curiosity, but there are still a few places where the old laws hold true. Indeed, the city of Beacon, New York not only maintains the law but enforces it, shutting down an arcade museum in 2010.

Jackpot! Oakland decriminalizing pinball machines [SFGate, via Arcade Heroes]