The Rise and Fall of Portland's Pinball Gangsters


One nitpick: it would be a fair assumption that these gaming machines back in the early-mid 20th century wouldn't be "electronic" but rather, mechanical.
MayorDefacto: Most machines made between 1930 and 1978 were electro-mechanical.
An interesting and well written story, thanks to the author. I would add however that racketeering in Portland using pin ball machines and the like did not end with the fall of Jim Elkins. It continued on for a number of years, as did the bribes paid to ranking members of the Portland Police Bureau and the District Attorney's Office to look the other way and to ensure that their subordinates did the same. For a street level PPB officer to do otherwise may have resulted in some very nasty things happening to them. Phil Stanford can likely confirm this. I know about it because of family members that were involved, back in the day...
I'm going to check out Portland Exposé. Never heard of it and this story makes me very interested in finding out more.
4-and-a-half minutes of teaser for "Portland Expose":

It's on DVD too. Multnomah County Library owns eight copies, cataloged as "Forgotten noir. Vol. 1, Portland exposé ; They were so young"

Worth mentioning that Portland has more games per capita than, well, anywhere, at least according to http://www.pinballmap.com/portland . I've recently come across a few of the CFF tuesday night characters. You oughtta do a story on them. They have a lingo all their own, and names like "Tank" "Bumpers," and "The Whapper." Let's not forget that the epic pinball zine MULTIBALL! was PDX-based...
Pedaltone: That story's been done. Check the archives.