Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game (Trailer)

The story of Roger Sharpe, the young Midwesterner who overturned New York City’s 35 year-old ban on pinball machines.

Sharpe gained notoriety following a 1976 New York City hearing where he provided a demonstration to members of the Manhattan City Council, that pinball was a game of skill rather than a game of chance, and therefore not subject to legal prohibitions on gambling. While working for GQ Magazine, he was recruited by the Amusement and Music Operators Association to testify, and successfully predicted the position of the ball in a machine arrayed for the council and media in attendance. Speaking at the hearing, Sharpe said “Look, there’s skill, because if I pull the plunger back just right, the ball will, I hope, go down this particular lane.” Following Sharpe’s demonstration, the council voted unanimously to lift the existing ban on pinball.

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