Pinball was illegal in New York City from 1940 till 1976. The above short explores the surprisingly troubled history of pinball in New York and why it was banned there for over 35 years. The ban was lifted when WWII ended and the state finally (and rightfully) determined that pinball is a game of skill and not a game of chance. The great Big Story explains:
In 1940, pinball machines were banned in New York City. Like most contraband, this simply pushed pinball underground. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the â€œSalvage for Victoryâ€ campaign called on Americans to turn in scrap metal to bolster the war effort. As a result, then New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia went on a hunt for pinball machines. By February 1942, more than 3,000 machines has been confiscated, turning roughly 2,500 of them into one ton of metal for the war. Unfortunately for pinball enthusiasts, the ban in New York lasted for decades, outliving LaGuardia, who died in 1947.