PINGAMES AND GAMBLING
-An Historical Survey-
by Russ Jensen
Almost from the beginning of pinball in the early 1930s
(there were a few pinball-like games before that, but we'll leave
those to Dick Bueschel) a recurring problem encountered by the
"pinball industry" has been anti-gambling forces. This was
partly due to the fact that a major product of the coin machine
industry in the Thirties was the "bell slot machine", which was
certainly a gambling machine, and many people opposed to gambling
were suspicious of all coin operated devices.
As a result, for many years to come, pinballs had to be
defended as being "amusement" and not "gambling" devices. But,
as we shall see, many pingames were made to be used for gambling,
others made so they could be used for gambling, if desired, and
some made to minimize, as much as possible, their potential
Before we look at the characteristics of various types of
pingames, and their relation to gambling, lets consider what is
meant by the term "gambling" and its connection to "games" in
general. My dictionary defines a "game" as "an amusement or
pastime", and also as "a contest for amusement in the form of a
trial of chance, skill, or endurance, according to set rules."
Pingames certainly fit these definitions because they are used
for amusement, have both the elements of chance and skill, and
are played to a "set of rules". Gambling is defined as "playing
a game of chance for stakes" or as "to stake or risk money, or
anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance".
As you can see from these definitions, "chance" is a key
element of gambling and can also be present in many games, and
this was the connection used in most anti-pinball legal hassles.
In many legal cases the fate of pinball in a particular
jurisdiction was determined by how a court ruled on the degree of
"chance" (usually versus "skill") which was present in pingames.
As a sidelight to this discussion of pingames and gambling,
there was an "editorial" on the subject appearing in the July 4,
1936 issue of BILLBOARD magazine which presented some interesting
comparisons between pinball "awards" and "skill awards" connected
with other popular recreations. The column was titled "Pinball
Perils", with the byline of "Silver Sam" (this was obviously a
pseudonym, but that name appeared frequently in the coin machine
section of BILLBOARD).
This article was written in the form of a conversation
between the writer (Sam) and a lawyer friend of his (a pinball
"fan") supposidly precipitated by an article appearing in a local
newspaper about a "crusader" trying to outlaw pinball games as
gambling devices. The lawyer defended pinball "awards" by
comparing them with "skill awards" given in everyday games such
as golf (for making a "hole in one"), and bowling (for a "perfect
game"). He said that in these games, which were certainly not
considered gambling games, as well as pinball, the player paid a
"fixed fee" to participate in the game and that the special
"awards" were given for extremely skillful play which he likened
to "high score awards" provided by some pingames.
He went on to say that the only difference between the golf
or bowling "awards" and pinball "awards" was that the former are
quite difficult to obtain, while the latter are quite a bit
easier for a skillful pinball player. He stated "any judge who
rules against games is saying in effect 'it is illegal to play
pingames because the skill awards can be won too often'". This
lawyer even compared receiving a "skill award" for pinball to a
lawyer taking a lawsuit on a "contingency basis" and being paid
("awarded") a percentage of the court award if he was "skillful"
enough to win a judgement.
I thought that article had some interesting points when it
came to the anti-pinball gambling furor prevalent, especially in
the 1930s. One thing that he failed to mention, in connection
with games such as golf and bowling, was that "side bets" often
occur in games such as these which is also another type of
gambling that can, and sometimes does, occur in connection with
pinball. But, I guess that was a "negative" connection in the
context of the article.
In the early Thirties, when mechanical, mostly counter-top,
pingames began to appear they were probably not often used for
gambling. Side bets might have occurred between players, and in
a few instances, I suppose, establishments having these games may
have given "awards" of merchandise or cash for high scores.
Right off hand, however, I do not know of any early mechanical
pingames which had a form of direct payout mechanism, although
there may have been a few.
Then, in 1933, at around the same time as Harry Williams was
working on his first pingame using electricity to provide
playfield "action", Bally came out with a new type of pingame
which was to have a major impact on the pinball industry and
result in much legal controversy for many years to come. This
game was called ROCKET and it used electricity (from "dry cell"
batteries) to power a mechanism which paid out coins directly to
the player if he shot a ball into the proper holes on the
At that point pingame design began to split in two
directions, "payouts", and "novelty" games. Many manufacturers
including Bally, Gottlieb, Western Equipment and Supply, Keeney,
and the slot machine firms Mills and Jennings, began to put out a
good many payout pinballs in the Thirties, in addition to their
"novelty" games. Payout pinballs were indeed a big business in
those years. Other pingame manufacturers, such as Genco (I dont
believe I have ever heard of a Genco payout pingame), Exhibit
supply, and Chicago Coin made relatively few payouts, sticking
more with the "novelty" games. Many of the payout games only
offered the player one ball per game and became known as "one-
This new type of pingame, the "payout", opened up new
opportunities for the coin machine operators in the mid 1930s.
As I said earlier, the bell slot machine was a popular money-
maker for operators of that period in areas where they were
either legal or "tolerated". The payout pinball gave the slot
machine operator another type of game to operate in those areas,
probably bringing in some new players who wanted to gamble but
felt that the slots were too 'fixed' in the operator's favor.
These people probably thought "at least with these pingames I
have a chance to use my skill to increase my chances of winning."
Secondly, operators could, in some cases, operate payout
pins in areas where slots were not tolerated but where pinballs,
with their "skill" features, could get by under the local
ordinances, at least until these laws were tested in the courts.
So this opened up new "gambling territories" for some operators,
at least for the time being. In other areas, with stricter anti-
gambling laws, the non-payout "novelty" pins had to be operated
An "off-shoot" of the "payouts" were the "ticket venders"
which dispensed tickets (in place of coins) to the winners.
These could be used in some territories where cash payouts were
strictly forbidden by redeeming the tickets for prizes of
merchandise. In many cases though these tickets were redeemed
for cash "under the table".
A few payout pins even had "mint venders" attached, in the
same manner as many slot machines of the day, in an attempt to
get around anti-gambling laws by claiming that the player was
paying for merchandise, and that the playing of the game, with
it's possible monitory award, was only "secondary". This idea
had been used many times in the past with other gambling
machines, even around the "Turn Of The Century" when music boxes
were added to "upright" slot machines.
Another important event, which affected the pinball/gambling
connection, occurred early in 1935 with the introduction of "free
games" to pinball design. As I have stated, in the early
Thirties pinball games were essentially divided into two types,
"payouts" and "novelty games". In an effort to come up with a
way to award pinball players for their skill, without direct
payouts, a young man invented a new device whose concept was to
have a lasting effect of the pinball industry, even today.
This man, as the story goes, was a young assistant to
pinball pioneer Harry Williams named Bill Belluh. The device he
invented and patented, and which harry helped him perfect, was
the "free-play coin mechanism" which allowed a player, making a
certain high score in a game, to restart the game without
inserting a coin; thus awarding him with a "free game". This
idea was introduced in mid 1935 on Rockola's FLASH and then began
to appear on pingames by most manufacturers. "Free-game
pinballs" became the most common type of pingames from that time
on and are the only type generally in use today.
These new "free-play" pingames became a third class of
pinball game which could be operated legally in most territories
where "payouts" were strictly forbidden. These games gave the
players something to "shoot for", namely a "free game". But, as
we shall see, even these "free games" came under attack by the
courts and eventually were outlawed in certain jurisdictions.
As "free play pinball" developed in the mid to late
Thirties, most had the capability of awarding more than one free
game (or "replay", as they became known) during a given game, and
the machines contained some form of "totalizer" mechanism to keep
track of, and indicate to the player, how many replay "credits"
he was entitled to. In early 1937 Bally came out with a game
called SKIPPER (a new version of their hit game BUMPER) which
combined "free play" and "payout" features in one machine.
SKIPPER had a free game register on the backboard which
showed the player how many "free games" he had accumulated. The
player could either play these games one by one as "replays" or,
by pushing a button hidden underneath the game's cabinet, cause
the machine to subtract his "free game" credits from the
indicator and pay him one coin for each credit by means of a
payout mechanism which would dispense coins through a hole, also
located underneath the cabinet. This game could thus be operated
as a "payout" in "payout territories" or as a "free play" machine
(by disabling the payout mechanism) in "free game territories".
I also imagine that SKIPPER was even occasionally operated in
areas where payouts were illegal, by paying out secretly using
it's hidden mechanism.
Even though few games (SKIPPER may even have been the only
one) were made with both payout and free game features, the idea
of installing a button underneath the cabinet for subtracting
free game credits became a standard feature on most "free play"
pinballs until the early fifties, but more about that later.
This button allowed free play pingames to be used for
gambling, either in territories where it was allowed, or "under
the table" in other areas. In both cases a player earning replay
credits would approach the owner of the establishment where the
game was located, who in turn would pay the player a certain
amount for each credit indicated on the replay indicator (usually
a nickel, the price of one play) and then erase the replays using
the concealed button. A player could, of course, play some or
all of his credits as "free games" if he wished, as was done by
players in locations where payouts were not offered.
Since this method of "paying out" on free play machines
involved the location owner as the "paying agent", a method had
to be devised for keeping track of how many replays were redeemed
for cash so that he and the game's owner (the coin machine
operator) could determine their split of the "profits" from the
machine. This was accomplished by the manufacturer installing a
"payout meter" inside each game which tallied (on a odometer-like
counter) the number of free games erased using the under-cabinet
button (or "replay knock-off button", as it came to be called).
It was this "knock-off button", and that "meter", that made
possible the use of free play pingames for gambling purposes.
So, by the mid to late 1930s there were essentially three
types of pingames being produced: "direct payout" machines,
always used for gambling; "free play" or "replay" machines, which
could either be used for gambling (using location owner payoffs
and the "knock-off button") or for strictly free play operation;
and the so called "novelty" games which neither awarded cash nor
Many of the games manufactured in the late Thirties and
early Forties could be "switched" between "free play" and
"novelty" modes of operation by the operator changing a "control
plug" inside the backboard. Even "novelty" games, which had no
internal mechanisms to support gambling uses, could still be used
for gambling either by "side betting" between players, or by high
score payoffs made by the location owner. Lets face it, if
people want to gamble on any game, they will.
THE POST-WAR ERA
During World War II no new pingames ("payout", "free play",
or "novelty") were manufactured, the plants being devoted to "war
production". Some pre-war games were "converted" to "new" games
using the old parts and cabinets. The only "payouts" converted
during that time were some of the "one-ball horserace" type
machines manufactured prior to the war.
When pingame production began again after the war many of
the pre-war pingame manufacturers had dropped out of the
business. About the only company which began producing "payout"
pinballs after the war was Bally. Gottlieb, which had produced
many "payouts" before the war, made their last payout machine in
1947, a game called DAILY RACES, which, incidentally, was the
name of one of their early "one-balls" produced back in 1936.
By the late Forties many jurisdictions had passed anti-
gambling laws, many of which focused on pinball, especially the
"one-ball" multiple coin machines. In fact, many of these laws
specifically mentioned "one-ball machines" as one type which was
outlawed. In an apparent effort to get around "the 'letter' of
these laws", Bally (the producer of most of the post-war "one-
balls") tried a gimmick which probably, I would think, met with
only limited success.
They introduced an optional feature on their "one-balls"
which they called the "skill lane". At the upper left hand area
of the playfield (at the location where the rubber "rebound pad"
was normally located) a trough was installed just long enough to
hold four balls. On top of this area was a cover labeled "Skill
Lane". Five balls were used in these machines, in place of the
normal one, and the instruction cards were modified by adding a
statement such as: "player must shoot the first four balls into
the skill lane in order to qualify the fifth ball for scoring".
An electrical contact located below the trough disabled the
scoring mechanisms of the machine until the fourth ball landed in
the "skill lane".
In case you haven't guessed already, the main idea of this
was that a "one-ball game" (specifically outlawed in many areas)
now became a "five ball game" which were not outlawed in most
areas. The other part was that "skill" was now supposed to be
involved. It turned out, however, that the only "skill" involved
was being able to pull the plunger all the way back (or even
close to that) because a moderate force applied to any ball would
send it directly into the "skill lane"; but the card said
"skill", didn't it? The card also said "5 balls 5 cents", so
between these two maybe the "five ball one-balls" could be
operated for awhile in a few areas where "one-balls" were
outlawed, at least until the matter was taken to court. I really
don't know how good this idea worked, but I doubt that it was
very successful. But, it's a good piece of pinball history
As I said, by the late Forties Bally was almost the only
manufacturer of payout pinballs. These were all in the form of
"one-ball horserace" machines, most of which were built in two
models, one "coin payout" and the other "free play". These were
often released in pairs with similar names, such a s JOCKEY CLUB
and JOCKEY SPECIAL, with the term "special" in the name normally
used to signify the "free play" version. Of course, even the
"free play" versions were used mostly for gambling, with the
location owner paying off for "free games" and using the "knock-
off button" as described earlier. But, as we shall soon see, the
day of the "one-ball" and of the "knock-off button" were soon to
come to a close.
In the late Forties there were also a few "one-balls" made
by manufacturers other than Bally, Keeney made a few, and
another outfit, Universal Industries (which was actually a
subsidiary of Lyn Durant's United Manufacturing set up to
manufacture console slots and "one-balls") also made some rather
sophisticated one-ball horserace machines.
Before we end our discussion of the late Forties, another
significant event in pinball history, having a lot to do with the
legal hassles over pinballs and gambling, must be noted. This
was the introduction of the "flipper" to pinball by D. Gottlieb
and Company in December of 1947.
The prevalence of the "one-ball games" at that time, which
as we said were used almost exclusively for gambling, led to
increased pressure by anti-gambling forces against pinball games
in general. The increase in the "skill factor" in pinball play
resulting from the introduction of the flipper gave the pro-
pinball forces a new "weapon" to use to defend "amusement
pinball" in the courts. It could now be argued that "flipper
pinball" was more of a game of "skill" than of "chance", an
argument that was much more difficult to support before the
flipper came along.
So by the end of the Forties we had the "one-balls" as the
primary gambling pins on the one hand, and the new "amusement
flipper games", with their increased "skill factor", on the
other. Of course, the ever present "knock-off button" still
remained on many flipper machines allowing them to also be used
for gambling, if desired.
THE JOHNSON ACT
By 1950 gambling machines (slots, "one-balls", etc.) were
quite common in many parts of the country despite massive efforts
by anti-gambling forces over the years to outlaw them. Slot
machines were operated in many states and localities; in some
places legally, in others illegally, but they were there
Then, probably the biggest single blow to the "gambling
industry" in the U.S. came about in 1950 with the passage by
congress of the Johnson Act. That law banned inter-state
shipment of "gambling devices" (including repair parts, manuals,
etc.) except to states in which the device was legal. So, it now
was a federal offense to ship slots, "one-balls", etc. into any
state which did not allow them. This, as you can imagine, was
quite a deterrent to the manufacturers and distributors of such
devices to providing them to illegal, or even questionably legal,
As I previously stated, at that time about the only pinballs
used mostly for gambling were the "one-ball horserace games"
manufactured primarily by Bally and Universal. The advent of the
flipper had made "amusement pinballs" less likely to be outlawed
as gambling devices due to their increased "skill factor" and
therefore not a problem under the Johnson Act.
But the "one-balls" were an entirely different story. Many
ordinances specifically mentioned "one-ball games" as a type
which were outlawed and therefore, in most jurisdictions, their
shipment was definitely banned by the Johnson Act. So at that
time the one-ball manufacturers could clearly see that production
of this type of machine was impractical. Something had to be
done if they were not to suffer a severe loss of profits.
So, in 1951, a new type of pingame came into being to replace
the "one-balls". One story, which was told to me by industry
personage Bob Jonesi a few years ago, regarding the beginning of
this new type of game goes something like this.
Lou Walcher, owner of the large San Francisco coin machine
distributorship, Advance Automatic Sales, had an idea for a new
type of pingame which used 5 balls ("one-ball" was definitely
out) and scored replays by lighting numbers in a given pattern.
He then challenged the industry to design games using his new
idea. As a result the first "in-line" or "bingo" type pingames
came into being
United's initial entry into this new field was a game called
A-B-C which had a circular playfield (much like a roulette wheel)
and three 5 by 5 number "bingo cards" on the backglass.
Universal, actually a subsidiary of United, came out with 5-STAR,
having a short rectangular playfield containing numbered holes
and five 3 by 3 cards on the backglass. Bally's entry into this
"derby" was BRIGHT LIGHT, which had a playfield about the size of
a "one-ball" and six 5 by 5 cards. Well, Bally's format (as for
playfield configuration and card size) finally won out, and games
of that type became the new addition to the pingame industry.
Bally and United became the chief manufacturers of these new
"in-line" games as they were first called, with a few being
produced by Keeney, and even one by Williams. At first there
seemed not to be much of a problem with shipping them under the
Johnson Act, after all they were clearly not "one-balls" as five
balls (and up to eight, as most allowed the player a chance to
use up to three "extra balls") were actually used in each game.
But, before very long, these games were also being
challenged in court as being "gambling devices" primarily due to
the fact that they had no flippers (not much "skill factor") and
because a player could win large numbers of replays which, in
most locations, were paid off in cash by the proprietor of the
establishment in which they were located. Indeed, I am sure
"bingos" (as these games came to be called) were used for
gambling more often than not.
Well, after many legal hassles, the 1957 "Korpran Decision"
of the Supreme Court ruled that these "bingo pinballs" were
"gambling devices" and thus subject to the Johnson Act. This
severely cut back the use of these machines except in a few
states, such as Tennessee and South Carolina, where they were
legal. Bally continued to manufacture bingos, however, for many
years to come to supply these states and foreign markets, even
making improvements in the games, such as the popular "OK bingos"
of the early Sixties, until the early Eighties when Tennessee
(the largest U.S. user of these machines) outlawed them.
The Johnson Act also had its effect on "flipper games". Two
characteristics used to define "gambling features" in coin
machines, which showed up in many laws, were "a button to
'cancel' Free game credits" and "a meter to indicate the number
of free games so canceled." In 1950 almost all flipper pinballs
had these two features, so when the Johnson Act came along
pinball manufacturers knew these features had to be eliminated
from flipper games lest their shipment be banned by the new "law
of the land".
Therefore, by 1951 or so, the infamous "knock-off button" was
eliminated from most flipper pinballs. Incidentally, the "bingo
pinball" manufacturers had found a clever way of getting around
(at least for satisfying the "letter of the law") the "knock-off
button" problem. The circuitry in these machines automatically
ran the replays, indicated by the replay counter on the
backboard, down to zero whenever power was applied to the
machine. So, locations "paying off" replays would simply turn
the game off and back on again, and the replays would be "reset"
to zero without the use of a "button".
So, as you can see, by the early Fifties the Johnson Act had
severely curtailed shipment of gambling machines such as slots
and "one-balls", caused a new type of pingame (the well known
"bingo") to be produced, and made it much more difficult (by the
elimination of the "knock-off button") for people to gamble using
flipper games. But this was not the end of the attack on pinball
by the "crusaders", as we shall see.
It was also in the early Fifties that some people in the
coin machine industry decided it was time to "clean up their act"
lest their business be hurt by the still existent anti-gambling
forces. An organization, "the Coin Machine Institute", was formed
with harry Williams of Williams manufacturing as its president.
Many of the manufacturers, such as D. Gottlieb and Co. (who got
out of the "gambling business" in 1947 by eliminating "one-ball"
production), etc., joined this organization and began a publicity
campaign to show that "flipper pinball", and the other amusement
machines they made, were strictly for fun and had no connection
whatsoever with gambling. Others, such as Bally and United,
continued to manufacture "bingos" and other machines with a
With the elimination of the "knock-off button", making it
extremely difficult to use flipper games for gambling, one would
certainly think that these games would be relatively free from
"pressure" from anti-gambling forces. Well, there were still
some "crusaders" who thought that pinball (probably because of
its gambling connections in the past) was "evil" and should be
outlawed no matter what form the games took.
Actually, there was still a way that a skillful flipper game
player could make a small "profit" from playing pinball, other
than of course, from "side betting". If he was able to "rack up"
a large number of replays on a machine he could "sell" them to
another player for him to play, instead of the second player
actually putting coins into the machine. This could, in effect,
make the replays earned by the player (and subsequently sold to a
second party) "something of value" which he could "win" resulting
from his initial investment ("bet") of the coin he deposited to
play the game. Based on this concept, playing flipper games in
this manner could be construed by some persons, and possibly
courts, as "gambling".
Probably as a result of ideas such as this, and the idea
that flipper games were closely related to the "bingo" gambling
type games (which also gave replays), "free games" on flipper
pinballs were eventually outlawed by some states (such as New
York and Wisconsin), and some local jurisdictions as well. So
again the pinball industry, even those companies making strictly
"flipper amusement games", had to come up with a new type of game
to try and recoup the territories lost by such laws.
Well, it was "Gottlieb to the rescue". In 1960 Alvin
Gottlieb, son of D. Gottlieb and Co. founder David Gottlieb, who
was now working at the plant, had an idea for a new type of
flipper game which did not give replays at all, but still
provided a "challenge" to the player and an opportunity to "earn"
something for his skill at the game. His idea was to give "free
balls", rather than "free games", for the player attaining
certain scores on the machine. After all, it would be almost
impossible for a player to "sell" an extra ball to another
Alvin's idea, after the design was perfected by Gottlieb's
ace designer Wayne Neyens, became the first of the so-called
"Add-A-Ball" games. The company decided to call this game
FLIPPER to strengthen in people's minds its identity as a
"flipper skill game" and further indicate that it had no
connection with the infamous "bingo" machines which had no
This game, and the many "Add-A-Balls" which followed over
the years, had a ball counter which could indicate up to 10
balls. At the start of a game 5 balls were indicated, one being
subtracted as each ball was played. When the counter reached
zero the game was over. If, however, the player reached one of
the pre-set high scores, the counter was incremented by one
giving the player an additional ball to play.
These new games won acceptance in many states and localities
where "replays" had been outlawed, and states such as New York
became known as "Add-A-Ball territories". Many players, who
have grown up in such areas, say that playing these machines is
"the ultimate challenge in pinball play" because an extremely
skillful player can make one game last for quite a while. So,
once again, the pinball industry made another step in winning
acceptance of pingames in areas where they had formerly met with
Before leaving the subject of local laws, and their effect
on pinball, I would like to briefly mention one other situation I
have heard of. It seems that some jurisdictions, such as the
state of Indiana I am told, decided that "replays" themselves
were alright as long as it was not indicated by the machine how
many replay "credits" were available on the game at any given
time. It was felt that if a person could not easily ascertain
how many replays had been earned by a player, then a player could
not "sell" his replays to another player.
So, in these areas, in order to operate a replay pinball,
the "free game window" on the backglass had to be covered up. To
accommodate this type of operation some manufacturers started
putting a "credit light" at the bottom of the playfield which
only indicated if one or more replay credits were available
without indicating how many. So, if any of you were wondering
what the little white light in the lower area of the award card
holder on your game was for, the mystery is solved!
Before concluding this article on pinballs and gambling one
final note on the subject of "side betting". In the late 1970s,
when pinball was finally getting a "good name" after so many
years of "identity problems", the film industry almost cast a
shadow on pinball in the form of a motion picture whose theme was
based on, of all things, "pinball gambling". This film, titled
TILT, was one of Brooke Shield's early movie roles. In it she
played a young teenager, known affectionately as "Tilt", who had
great skill when it came to playing pinball. In the story she
travels across the country with a young musician and earns money
for the trip by "hustling pinball"; playing against local
"champs" for money, ie "side betting".
I had heard about this movie being produced and was
anxiously awaiting another "pinball movie", "TOMMY" being the
only one at that time. Then someone told me it had been
initially released in St. Louis but pulled back after about a
week (a story which I have never been able to verify) due, I
believe, to pressure from the coin machine industry. About that
time I talked to Harry Williams on the phone and he told me of
being invited to a preview showing of the film, because, as the
"inventor of the 'tilt'", the movie makers wanted his
endorsement. Harry told me he thought the film was "horrible", a
statement I attributed to his fear of the harm it might do to the
"public image" of pinball at a time when it was finally in pretty
"Tilt" was never released to the general public, but several
years later it began being shown on cable T.V. I now have the
film on video tape and it is a good movie showing pinball being
played with some excellent "special effects"; and the story is
rather good too, if you discount the "negative" aspect of
Well, there you have it, "what you always wanted to know
about pinball and gambling, but were afraid to ask." As you can
see pinball has not always been "lily white" when it comes to
gambling, but neither has it been as "black" as many "crusaders"
of the past would have had us believe.
Pinball had its beginnings in an era when gambling was
fairly widespread and many pingame manufacturers "jumped on the
bandwagon". Some players enjoyed "playing for money", while
others got just as much enjoyment out of playing a good game
"just for the fun and challenge of it". Still others got, and
still do, as great a thrill from obtaining a "replay" (or "free
ball" in "Add-A-Ball territories") as many did from winning cash
or merchandise. That "knock" of the replay knocker gives the
player a real inner feeling of accomplishment.
Finally, as we all know, if a person wants to gamble on a
game, whether it be pinball, golf, bowling, bridge, or tiddly-
winks, he will find a way. So be it! Games are for amusement
and enjoyment so let each "enjoy" in his or her own way.
A FINAL NOTE
Will there ever be "gambling pinballs" in the future? Could
be! On a recent trip to Las Vegas I visited with my friend Marc
Fellman, currently general manager of the recently "revitalized"
Hotel Nevada, hotel and casino. Marc, in case you dont know, is
co-owner with Wade Wright (now of San Francisco) of probably the
largest pinball collection in the country (around 500 machines)
which, incidentally, is up for sale if any of you have those "big
Marc mentioned to me that he had some ideas about designing
a "gambling pinball machine" for use in legal gambling areas,
such as Nevada. So, when his hotel/casino revitalization
project is complete, it is entirely possible that such a machine
might be designed and produced. Who knows? If so, all those
people who enjoy a gambling game with a real "skill factor" may
again be able to enjoy such play in areas where it is legal to do
so. Lets wait and see!