Bingo Pinballs

Created on 06-17-2020



Out of the States, Pennsylvania has one of the most complete documented histories on the Bingos`

On these games being illegal, pinballs, controversy dating well back before the wars`


…this first entry is from H. Lazar & Son, a third generation Amusement Company still doing business today`


“At one point there was a pinball machine in almost every tavern -- now substantially less than half of those taverns,” reports Dale Lazar

of H. Lazar & Son, whose family has been in the coin-op business since 1932.


(There were pinball machines back then: Pre-flipper era machines with playfields filled with pins -- thus the name -- that a plunger-released ball

would ricochet off before settling in one of many holes. Because those were strictly games of chance, they were linked with gambling and

banned in some cities until the ’70s; today, machines still say “For Amusement Only” to underscore that they’re not gambling devices.)


Most other distributors in the city have sold all of their pinball machines, or have hung on to only a few,

 but Lazar still estimates “we may still have around 40 to 50.”





Scranton, Philadelphia, top-to-bottom, similar reflections across the State


Local restrictions that eventually turned into business with Export


Aug 16th 1952



Amusement Machines Companies of all size, including some giants`

Redd Distributing, Worldwide Amusements, Empire Coin, and Scoot-Crosse and then a million bit players`


BB Nov 3rd, 1951


BB Apr 19th, 1952


Ads, Articles, Photos`…Story’s local, and syndicated Nationally`


The story that we are most familiar with, is the 100s of Bingos we still see “for sale” in this area today`

Original, factory released Bingos, along with scores of modified 6-Cards games`


Single Coin, Bowl-a-Line, No Name


“Amusement Only”




A search on the Internet today returned 9,490 results for: pennsylvania "illegal pinball"


55 Years Ago - State Police go hunting for illegal pinball machines in  Scranton | Local History |






…do you know this history…