04-13-2008, 08:29 PM

Minnow Minnow is offline

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Join Date: Sep 2000

Posts: 18,605


I've seen that bingo game, very cool! Took me awhile to get the hang of moving the cards, and when I was playing it I had no idea it paid off in real (jingling) money.

Funny, I have posted pix in here before, I'll go do a search in a sec, but checked wiki for the hell of it and found this blurb that mentions the bingo game as well as the gambling factor. :)

Pinball and gambling
Pinball machines, like many other mechanical games, were sometimes used as gambling devices.[2] Some pinball machines, such as Bally's "bingos", featured a grid on the backglass scoring area. Free games could be won if the player was skillful enough to get three balls in a row. However, doing this was nearly random, and the real use for such machines was for gambling (similar to the way many places now use video poker). Other machines allowed a player to accumulate large numbers of free "games" which could then be redeemed for money. This type of feature was later discontinued, in an effort to legitimize the machines. Some games did away with the free game feature, giving players an extra ball to play in an attempt to legitimize them further (Add-A-Ball games), a feature which was carried over to newer pinball machines which give extra balls in addition to free games. Nevertheless, on occasion pinball games have been regulated or banned, notably in New York City beginning in the 1940s and continuing until 1976, when Roger Sharpe (a star witness for the Music and Amusement Association), after testifying in April 1976 before a committee in a Manhattan courtroom that pinball games had become games of skill and were no longer games of chance (gambling), began to play one of two games set up in the courtroom, and in a move he compares to Babe Ruth's home run in the 1932 World Series called out precisely what he was going to shoot for, and then proceeded to do exactly so. Astonished committee members reportedly then voted to remove the ban, a result which was then followed in many other cities. Even so, some towns in America still have these bans on the law books over fifty years later. (Sharpe reportedly acknowledges his courtroom shot was ironically lucky.[citation needed])

Most recent games are clearly labeled "FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY" so that the manufacturer can emphasize their legitimate, legal nature.

Pinball - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

minnow@ majorwager.com