The End of the New York Pinball Ban
New York City was the last city to lift a ban on pinball machines. For years, pinball machines were targeted by moral guardians who distrusted any coin-operated entertainment machines because of their similarity to gambling machines. By 1976, pinball machines had mostly gotten rid of features that were common in slot machines and other gambling devices, but New York continued to maintain a ban. In light of a hearing reexamining this law, the pinball industry sent one of their best players, Roger Sharpe, to prove that pinball was based on skill and not on luck. Despite having to play a machine he was not familiar with, he was able to make a called shot which proved to lawmakers that pinball was a game and not a gamble. Through these actions, pinball operators were able to show a difference between gambling and gameplay, removing a barrier from pinball and arcade game makers alike in getting their games distributed more widely.