Quoted from DrAzzy:
I also don't understand the obsession with ball-time. Ball time during which the ball is cradled on the flipper isn't contributing to wear on the machine, and we sadly don't live in a time when pins are so busy that people are waiting in line to play. So how does the ball time matter, exactly?
I think it's more about wringing more money from hardcore players. People who play regularly on location will continue to do so, it's whether or not they can play all night on 75 cents or $5. Newbs always had short ball times.