Oakland, California, has lifted its long-standing ban on pinball machines, making it legal to play pinball in the city for the first time in almost 80 years.

Oakland's ban stretches back to the 1930s, when several cities in the United States adopted laws restricting the sale and public display of pinball machines due to their ties to illegal gambling. The former game of chance evolved into a skill-based challenge with the introduction of flippers, however, leading many cities to rescind their pinball bans in the 1970s.

Pinball manufacturer Stern commemorates the end of Oakland's ban with an Iron Man table tournament taking place at RadioShack's Fruitvale Station store over the next month. Pinball players have 30 days to rack up a high score on the newly installed machine, and the top 16 players will compete in a final tournament round on September 20.

[Image: Stern]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.