“During a Dec. 10, 1939, election, Los Angeles City Proposition No. 3, banning pinball games, passed with about 161,000 votes for and 113,000 against. The Los Angeles Times reported the next morning:
Pin-ball games, marble boards, scoop claws and similar devices, under the ordinance approved yesterday by the people, will be declared nuisances in public places, and therefore subject to seizure by the police. The ordinance had a substantial majority…
Mayor Bowron and his Police Commission urged the adoption of the anti pin-ball law on the grounds that the machines are used for petty gambling, so widespread that the police are totally insufficient in number to enforce the law.”
Excerpt and 1940 image from Los Angeles Times newspaper at http://framework.latimes.com/2013/07/13/pinball-games-banned-in-l-a/ .
The December 10 election date might not be correct as that was a Sunday in 1939.