A man walks into a bar (no, it’s not the beginning of a joke) and notices a machine with a brightly flashing screen. He goes up to the machine, puts a dollar in the slot and out comes a coupon worth $2 for him to use later. Then the screen suddenly transforms into what looks like a typical casino slot machine display. The reels spin around, three cherries pop up, and he’s a winner! The machine prints out a winning ticket and he exchanges it with the bartender for his cash winnings.
That’s certainly gambling, right? Actually, under the right circumstances, it’s probably not gambling in the eyes of Illinois law. It’s probably legal. As with so many things, you cannot judge a book by its cover—spinning reels and payouts does not a gambling machine make.