Can You Believe Pinball Was Once Illegal in Michigan? – Screamin’ Scott
Believe it or not, at one time, playing a pinball machine was illegal! Lot of states, including Michigan, in the 1940s banned playing pinball, saying it was a form of gambling.
Some local establishments did give away prizes as in gum candy cigarettes and sometimes even dishware. But it wasn’t until the ’70s that it was challenged in court and was proven to be a game of skill. But, Michigan didn’t care and didn’t lift the ban until 1972. I am glad to tell you from my own personal experience that I’ve never been arrested for playing pinball, but have been accused a lot.
Pinball is definitely turn the corner and has become popular again as arcades have increased around the United States, including here in Michigan. A couple to check out are Marvelous Marvins in Ann Arbor and a little closer, the Free Play Pinball Arcade in Frasier.