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Publication numberUS20020082070 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/742,305
Publication dateJun 27, 2002
Filing dateDec 22, 2000
Priority dateDec 22, 2000
Publication number09742305, 742305, US 2002/0082070 A1, US 2002/082070 A1, US 20020082070 A1, US 20020082070A1, US 2002082070 A1, US 2002082070A1, US-A1-20020082070, US-A1-2002082070, US2002/0082070A1, US2002/082070A1, US20020082070 A1, US20020082070A1, US2002082070 A1, US2002082070A1
InventorsGerald Duhamel, Michael Macke
Original AssigneeLabtronix Concept Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ticket manufacturing device for distribution of virtual tickets into a gaming environment
US 20020082070 A1
Abstract
The invention consists to a ticket manufacturing device to create populations of virtual tickets for a use into a gaming environment. It records these populations on removable updateable cartridges that will be used in the gaming environment. Further, it provides a secure method of managing the use of the ticket manufacturing device. Further, the ticket manufacturing device permits to collect and archive information about the played, redeemed and non-played tickets, therefore having a game that meets the North American Gaming Regulations Association requirements for the class II games. Furthermore, the ticket manufacturing device archives additional information that can be analyzed to increase knowledge of gaming facilities managers about these games.
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Claims(42)
wWat is claimed is:
1. A ticket manufacturing device (TMD) for recording a population of virtual tickets for use in a gaming environment, said TMD comprising:
an internal memory to keep prize distribution schedules used for the creation of said population of virtual tickets;
a creation program to transform information from said prize distribution schedule into a said population of virtual tickets; and
a communication port allowing to record said population of virtual tickets in a non-volatile data recording medium.
2. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising a user interface allowing operators to make choices regarding said prize distribution schedule.
3. The user interface of claim 2 further comprising a display allowing display of said choices and controls communicating said choices to said TMD.
4. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising a security communications module with encryption capability to communicate said population of said virtual tickets to a said non-volatile data recording medium comprising also a compatible said security communication module.
5. The TMD of claim 4 for which said security communications module is a micro-controller with internal EEPROM memory, further said internal EEPROM memory comprising a security program controlling all communications through said micro-controller, therefore rendering communications through said micro-controllers exclusive and secure.
6. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising a non-volatile memory module archiving data regarding said TMD components and use of said TMD, further allowing verification of said data in said non-volatile memory module before authorizing operation of said TMD.
7. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising:
a communications port to transmit information regarding use of said TMD to a archiving device; and
a communication program to control communication between said TMD and said archiving device.
8. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising:
a communications port to transmit information contained in said non-volatile recording medium to a archiving device; and
a communication program to control communication between said non-volatile recording medium and said archiving device via said TMD.
9. The TMD of claim 7 for which said archiving device is in a remote location.
10. The TMD of claim 1, wherein said creation program comprises steps of:
using a random number generator to determine the order of said virtual tickets; and
identifying each of said virtual tickets with a unique identification number.
11. The TMD of claim 3 wherein said controls comprises touch screen controls.
12. The TMD of claim 7 for which communications with said archiving device use a local area network.
13. The TMD of claim 7 for which communications with said archiving device use an Internet connection.
14. The TMD of claim 7 for which said archiving device consists of a computer connected to said TMD via an Ethernet cable.
15. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising a keyhole wherein a key must be inserted to authorize operation of said TMD.
16. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising a magnetic key that must be applied on a receiving disk to authorize operation of said TMD.
17. The TMD of claim 1 for which a unique identification code corresponding to said TMD is transmitted to said non-volatile data recording mediums while recording said populations of virtual tickets rendering the said non-volatile data recording mediums unreadable by another said TMD.
18. The TMD of claim 6 for which the changing a principal component of said TMD and verification of said non-volatile memory module conducts to an automatic refusal of operation of said TMD.
19. The TMD of claim 3 for which a pin number is entered with said controls to authorize operation of said TMD.
20. The TMD of claim 1 further comprising:
a communications port to transmit information contained in said non-volatile data recording medium to a updateable memory; and
a communication program to automatically transmit said information in said updateable memory to a said archiving device afterwards when a predetermined number of said non-volatile data recording mediums transmitted information to said updateable memory.
21. A method of managing gaming devices using virtual tickets, said method comprising steps of:
generating a population of said virtual tickets at a data recording station;
recording said population of virtual tickets on a non-volatile data recording medium at said data recording station; and
distributing individually each said virtual tickets via said non-volatile data recording medium to said gaming devices, further each said virtual tickets being used to determine the outcome of one play of a said gaming device.
22. The method of claim 21 further comprising steps of recording complementary data on said non-volatile data recording medium regarding the play of said virtual tickets on said gaming devices, said complementary data being determined by said gaming devices.
23. The method of claim 22 further comprising step of transmitting data contained in said non-volatile data recording medium to said data recording station before step of recording a new said population of virtual tickets on said non-volatile data recording medium.
24. The method of claim 23 further comprising step of transmitting to an archiving device data of said non-volatile data recording mediums.
25.The method of claim 24 further comprising step of analyzing said data to increase knowledge about play of said virtual tickets on said gaming devices.
26. The method of claim 22 further comprising steps of:
archiving outside information regarding gaming devices coming from an outside source other than said non-volatile data recording medium; and
analyzing together said outside information and said data to increase knowledge regarding about play of said virtual tickets on said gaming devices.
27. The method of claim 22 within said complementary data comprise data regarding players via a player tracking system in said gaming devices.
28. The method of claim 27 wherein a smart card, a pin number entered before play, or a VIP card takes part of said player tracking system.
29. A method of managing gaming devices using virtual tickets, said method comprising steps of:
generating a population of said virtual tickets;
distributing individually each said virtual tickets to said gaming devices, further each said virtual tickets being used to determine the outcome of a play of a said gaming device;
recording data regarding the play of said virtual tickets on said gaming devices and said complementary data determined by said gaming devices on a non-volatile data recording medium.
30. The method of claim 29 further comprising step of transmitting data contained in said non-volatile data recording medium to a data recording station.
31. The method of claim 30 further comprising step of transmitting to an archiving device data of said non-volatile data recording mediums.
32. The method of claim 30 further comprising step of analyzing said data to increase knowledge about play of said virtual tickets on said gaming devices.
33. A method of distribution of ticket manufacturing devices (TMD's) and non-volatile data recording mediums for their use in a gaming environment, said method comprising steps of:
manufacturer selling said TMD's and said and non-volatile data recording mediums to a distributor;
said distributor selling said TMD's and said and non-volatile data recording mediums to gaming facilities;
said gaming facility recording with a said TMD up to a limited number of populations of virtual tickets successively onto said and non-volatile data recording mediums;
said gaming facility communicating a report of use of the said TMD comprising a report code to said distributor after recording said limited number of said and non-volatile data recording mediums on the said TMD;
said distributor communicating said report code to said manufacturer;
said manufacturer communicating a response code in regards to said report code to said distributor;
said distributor communicating said response code to said gaming facility;
said gaming facility entering said response code in the said TMD, said response code therefore unlocking the said TMD for an additional recording of said limited number of said and non-volatile data recording mediums; and
repeating the precedent steps until a predetermined total number of said and non-volatile data recording mediums corresponding to the life of the said TMD has been recorded.
34. The method of claim 33 for which said report of use comprises information regarding the value of said populations of virtual tickets distributed by said non-volatile data recording mediums.
35. The method of claim 33 further comprising the step of automatically locking the said TMD when a number of recordings overshooting a predetermined number of recordings of said non-volatile data recording mediums corresponds to said limited number without entering a said response code.
36. The method of claim 33 further comprising steps of certification of said TMD's by regulation authorities or a certified laboratory.
37. The method of claim 33 further comprising steps of certification of said and non-volatile data recording mediums by regulation authorities or a certified laboratory after the recording of data by said TMD.
38. The method of claim 33 for which said report of use comprises information regarding the value of said populations of virtual tickets distributed by said non-volatile data recording mediums from last said report of use to the present said report of use, therefore the profits generated by these said populations of virtual tickets.
39. A method of distribution of ticket manufacturing devices (TMD's) and non-volatile data recording mediums for their use in a gaming environment, said method comprising steps of:
manufacturer selling said TMD's and said and non-volatile data recording mediums to a distributor;
said distributor selling said TMD's and said and non-volatile data recording mediums to gaming facilities;
said gaming facility linking said TMD to a distributor monitoring system;
said distributor monitoring system unlocking from a remote location said TMD;
said gaming facility recording with a said TMD up to a limited number of populations of virtual tickets successively onto said and non-volatile data recording mediums;
said TMD transmitting to said distributor monitoring system a report of use after recording said limited number of said and non-volatile data recording mediums on the said TMD;
said distributor monitoring system transmitting a response code to said TMD, otherwise said TMD being unable to operate properly; and
repeating the precedent steps until a predetermined total number of said and non-volatile data recording mediums corresponding to the life of the said TMD has been recorded.
40. The method of claim 39 further comprising step of distributor monitoring system archiving information contained in said reports of use.
41. The method of claim 39 for which said report of use comprises information regarding the value of said populations of virtual tickets distributed by said non-volatile data recording mediums from last said report of use to the present said report of use, therefore the profits generated by these said populations of virtual tickets.
42. The method of claim 39 further comprising the step of automatically locking a said TMD when a number of recordings overshooting a predetermined number of recordings of said non-volatile data recording mediums corresponds to a said limited number is recorded without receiving information from said distributor monitoring system.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a data storage device, the apparatus to create and record this data on said storage device and the method of using them in a gaming environment. This invention relates more specifically to the creation and storage of virtual tickets for future distribution to electronic gaming apparatus.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] There are many kinds of lottery video games in commercial use. Managers choose to operate a particular kind of game in regards to players'preferences, to the legislation in force and to the game classification they want from the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). One very popular video game is slot machines.

[0003] The principle of slot machines is simple and well known. For decades, players all around the world have played these machines, at first with mechanical reels and more recently video machines with virtual reels. The outcomes of both these machines are mostly determined on each play by a random number generator (RNG). The random number generator independently determines each element of the outcome, like each reel of a slot machine. The outcome is then analyzed by the game program to determine whether it is winning or losing and its corresponding payout. With these machines, game operator revenues, in the short term, are hard to predict and cannot be stabilized.

[0004] Managers of casinos and other gaming facilities want to be able to predict and stabilize their revenues so they do not experience periods of high revenue and periods of large losses. Knowing the population of outcomes and the prize distribution schedule would help them attain that goal. One way is to use a method similar to the lottery tickets used in a pull tab system. In this system, a predetermined number of tickets are printed and put in a container. After paying a flat fee, the player takes a ticket and then reveals its outcome. With a fixed-size population presenting a fixed distribution of prizes and tickets all selling for the same flat fee, the operators revenues are stable and predictable.

[0005] This method can be adapted to video lottery terminals with the outcomes being displayed on a screen rather than printed on paper. A method used in the industry is to insert in the video lottery terminals a roll of tickets with barcodes indicating to the machine the outcome of the game. The tickets are cut and distributed to the player who has to ask an employee for the redemption value of the ticket. This method requires a high level of maintenance since the operator has to make sure the machine never runs out of ticket. Further more, unlike lottery tickets that can be chosen by the players in a stack or on a counter, these tickets are only given sequentially, removing any sense of control to the player. Finally, the IGRA requires a display on the game screen informing the player when a population begins or ends. Since a whole population can comprise more than one roll, it is difficult for the machine to display this information.

[0006] Crouch et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 4,817,951, explain another method to create a population of outcomes in a video game. This population comprises a fixed number of outcomes with a prize distribution schedule. However, with this method, when the population is completely used up, the game generates a new population with a different prize distribution. The monetary value of each population is the same, so the revenues are predictable. However, since the distribution of prizes varies with time, the revenues are not as stable as with lottery tickets. Once more, this method does not give the players the opportunity to choose a ticket, they are distributed sequentially. Further, the IGRA requires that the prize distribution be displayed on the gaming screen. Having more than one possible prize distribution makes the display logistics more difficult. The display can also confuse players and make them doubt the fairness of the game.

[0007] Other games have only one fixed prize distribution schedule, but like the Crouch system, the population is created in the machine, by the machine. This machine and the program installed in it must provide their own security systems against fraud and cheating, since there is a physical connection between the apparatus used by the players and the population of outcomes.

[0008] Further, the information found in each outcome of the population is only the result of the game, meaning whether the player wins or not and the corresponding payout. This outcome is sent to the game program that, using the RNG, determines a display corresponding to that outcome. Since the games are created when the player pushes the deal button and are not archived individually, little information about each game and the player who played it is available. To track games and player profiles the operators have to buy and install a management system.

[0009] Furthermore, in these methods, the player can never choose the ticket he wants. The outcomes are created in a random order and the player has no influence or control on this order. To be able to choose a specific outcome or ticket in a population, this population has to be determined at the beginning, not an event at a time.

[0010] Finally, the only information about the population available to the operators is its present state, meaning the number of winning outcomes for each level of pay already played and the number of remaining outcomes. There is no way to know when a population is totally empty and when a new population is created, how many times the population has been emptied or if there has been a system reset while a population was in use and what was the used proportion of that population at that time. Not being able to know exactly when a new population is finished and another begins does not respect the IGRA requirements and its obligation of displaying to the player these exact moments.

[0011] In conclusion, none of these methods meet all the requirements of the IGRA. Meeting these requirements would mean for a casino or gaming facility an IGRA Class II classification and many monetary advantages, one of them, is paying much less tax.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] It is the object of this invention to provide a population of outcomes in the form of virtual tickets presenting the same characteristics as regular outcomes for a similar game using a random selection process. For example, for an 8-line slot machine comprising nine (9) symbols, the information on the virtual tickets comprise the nine (9) symbols in the order they would appear on the display and the amount won by the player, being $0.00 for a losing tickets,

[0013] It is another object of this invention to provide an apparatus to create this population of virtual tickets.

[0014] Further, the invention comprises a removable, transportable and updateable medium to record a population of virtual tickets. These tickets are to be used in another location by an apparatus that is not part of this invention, and is the subject of the assignee's co-pending related provisional application entitled “data storage device and method of using it with wagering games” which is hereby incorporated by reference.

[0015] It is another object of the invention to provide an apparatus to record a population of virtual tickets on a removable and updateable medium.

[0016] Further, the invention provides a secure method of managing the use of the creating and recording apparatus.

[0017] Furthermore, the invention provides a system to collect and archive information about the played tickets and the players who played them, providing a player tracking system when coupled with a player identification device, not part of this invention.

[0018] Another object of this invention is to provide a method that can easily meet the requirements of the IGRA Class II games.

[0019] A final object of the invention is to provide a certifiable and secure apparatus. Both the updateable medium and the creating and recording device can be certified by laboratories or by authorities against fraud or illegal virtual ticket manipulations. The creating and recording device and the playing apparatus being in different locations, no physical connection of any kind between them is possible, thus, preventing unauthorized access to the virtual tickets.

[0020] With this method, the monetary value of the whole population is precise, verifiable and certifiable, while offering players a fair game depending on a random process, with no outside influence of the outcomes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will be better understood with regard to the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein;

[0022]FIG. 1 is a representation of a paper lottery ticket;

[0023]FIG. 2 is a representation of a virtual ticket;

[0024]FIG. 3 is a representation of the cartridge;

[0025]FIG. 4 is a representation of the Ticket Manufacturing Device (TMD);

[0026]FIG. 5 is a prize distribution schedule as used in our preferred embodiment;

[0027]FIG. 6 is a block diagram explaining the creation of a population of virtual tickets;

[0028]FIG. 7 is the report printed after the recording of a population of virtual tickets:

[0029]FIG. 8 is the report printed after the use of a population of virtual tickets;

[0030]FIG. 9 is a bloc diagram of the operation of a TMD by a casino or gaming facility.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0031] The virtual tickets present the same characteristics as paper lottery tickets, meaning a losing or winning combination and the corresponding payout. FIG. 1a represents one side of a paper lottery ticket 1 according to the prior art. On the ticket, the name of the game 2, the prize distribution schedule 3 and a validation number 4 are shown. FIG. 1b represents the other side 5 of the same ticket before it has been scratched while FIG. 1c represents it after it has been scratched. The player must remove the coating 6 to reveal the combinations 7 composed each of three (3) symbols 8. By comparing the combinations 7 and the prize distribution schedule 3, the player knows whether he has a winning ticket and its redemption value. The ticket can be redeemed and the value will be confirmed by the validation number 4.

[0032]FIG. 2 shows the preferred embodiment for the printed form of a virtual ticket. The ticket presents a certain amount of information needed by the players or the operators: the identification of the machine in which the ticket has been played or printed 9, the date and time of the play 10, the game's name 11, the combination 12 composed of nine (9) symbols 13, in a set order corresponding to the display of the nine (9) symbols of an 8-line video slot machine, the cost for one ticket 14, the prize won by the player 15 and a verification number 16. As can be seen by comparing FIGS. 1 and 2 much of the virtual ticket is similar to the paper lottery ticket described earlier. These virtual tickets can be used directly to control the display without printing, they can be printed with or without displaying an animated video game play of the ticket. Redemption can be done directly in the video gaming terminal or via a casino attendant.

[0033]FIGS. 3a and 3 b show the preferred embodiment for the updateable medium, a cartridge composed of a micro-controller equipped with EEPROM memory, a physical memory support, more precisely 4 Mb of re-programmable flash memory, a communications port 17, diodes 19 and a low level program that controls the writing in the flash memory and controls the communication port 17 and the diodes 19. It is preferred to use an ATMEL™ AT89S8252 microcontroller with internal EEPROM memory for more security, since the low-level program cannot be accessed or modified without accessing directly the microcontroller. In the same way, the flash memory has been chosen for its security advantages Data in flash memory cannot be written over, it must be erased beforehand. Furthermore, the flash memory can be erased by block only and not by item, like an outcome or a ticket. The low-level program also prevents the early burning of the EEPROM memory by instructing the event pointers to increment their addresses during the multiple recordings of the cartridge.

[0034] The cartridge is also composed of a protective case 18 in which the flash memory, the micro-controller and all the circuits needed are concealed. The communication port 17 is at one end and the diodes 19 are at the other, Since the information is recorded in a flash memory, the cartridge does not need any independent energy source, like a battery, prolonging its active life.

[0035] The communication, via the communication port 17, between the cartridge and the recording apparatus, described later, or the apparatus used to play the virtual tickets, not part of this invention, is exclusive and secure. This security is assured by the micro-controller, as explained later.

[0036] Diodes 19 are used to communicate the state of the cartridge when it is connected to a network or gaming apparatus. The operators know whether the cartridge is connected, in use, in error or all used, helping them to manage the cartridges more easily.

[0037]FIG. 4 shows the Ticket Manufacturing Device (TMD), apparatus used to create and record the population of tickets on the cartridge. It is composed of a Power PC™, a micro-controller using EEPROM internal memory that directs and secures communications with the cartridge, a protective case 20, a screen 21, a port to receive an Ethernet cable 22, a keyhole to receive a security key 23 and a communication port 24 to receive the cartridge. A non-volatile memory in the device logs all events regarding the TMD, like the number of recorded cartridges. The log can be downloaded and archived in a PC via the Ethernet cable. Each TMD micro-controller is unique and has a unique signature, corresponding to its serial number. In the event of two micro-controllers being switched, the information contained on the micro-controller and the RAM backup would be different, freezing both TMD's and rendering them unable to write or read a cartridge. In the same way, a cartridge recorded with a specific TMD could not be read by another TMD.

[0038] The communication between the TMD and the cartridge is controlled by the micro-controllers in both devices, rendering it exclusive and secure. The information is encrypted on the cartridge in a way that can only be recognized by the device used to play the game and the specific TMD, or group of TMD's when more than one has the same generic signature in a same gaming facility. The signature of the TMD is recognized by the cartridge because the micro-controller has been pre-programmed by the manufacturer. The security is also enforced by the use of a security key that must be inserted in the keyhole 23 to activate the TMD.

[0039] When a cartridge is connected to the TMD via their respective communication ports 17 and 24, the state of the cartridge is determined. The cartridge can be blank or in error mode, it can then be fed with virtual tickets and a population can be recorded. If it has been previously used and a population is already recorded and the tickets have been played, the population must be downloaded to a computer using an Ethernet cable 22. The information of the population is then archived for further use as a players'profile or for law requirements. After the download, the cartridge information is erased and a new population is created and recorded.

[0040] To create a new population, the operator answers the questions that appear on the TMD screen 20. He must select the desired game, the population size (up to 165 000 tickets with a flash memory of 4 Mb), the payout of the game and the ticket cost. A serial number for that population is then created and a prize distribution schedule is selected by the apparatus. FIG. 5 presents a prize distribution schedule as used in this preferred embodiment. This schedule presents a possible distribution of the different prizes to attain the desired total payout 25 with the desired population size 26. The different winning combinations of symbols 27 are also called tiers 28. The table also shows the total number of each tiers 29 that can be found in the population and their redemption value 30 (called odds). Combinations of tiers 31 can be found in the table since more than one tier can be displayed at once on a ticket. The numbers of these combinations 32 are then subtracted from the total number of tiers 29 to obtain the real number of single tiers 33. The apparatus then proceeds to create the population as illustrated in FIG. 6. Two copies of the prize distribution schedule 34 are copied, one in ROM memory 35, the other in RAM memory 36. The ROM copy 35 will serve as an image to know the total population and write the information about that population on the cartridge, The RAM copy 36 serves to create the population. A random number between 0 and the population size value is generated by the RNG 37. Knowing the prize distribution schedule 36, the program finds the event corresponding to that number 38. The ticket is generated by the program 39 and recorded on the cartridge 40. The chosen outcome is removed from available outcomes and the population size is decreased by one 41. If there are still outcomes in the population 42, the RNG selects another number, if not, the population of virtual tickets is completed and the final report is printed 43. It is really important to never remove the cartridge from the TMD before downloading and recording are finished, because the cartridge would be set in error mode and could not be used until a new population is recorded.

[0041] When the population has been successfully recorded, a report is generated by the TMD 43. This report, shown in FIG. 7, informs the operator about the cartridge and its contents. Specifically, the serial number of the cartridge 44, its state at the moment of the insertion in the TMD 45, population size 46, number of entries played 47, the selected game 48, the game's payout 49, the ticket cost 50, life expectancy of the cartridge 51 evaluated in number of consecutive recording processes and the version of the program controlling the cartridge 52. On the second line, all the odds in dollars for each level of pay of the prize distribution schedule 53 are written. This list consists of the odds of the single tiers and the odds of the combinations of tiers. On the third line are the date and hour of the cartridge creation 54. The rest of the report is the prize distribution schedule itself 55. The report can then be archived to track the different cartridges.

[0042] For each ticket, there are two kinds of information. The first one is encrypted and is read-only for any other apparatus than the TMD that recorded it on the cartridge in the first place: it is ticket records. It includes the combination of symbols for a slot machine and the corresponding payout. Other information is also written by the TMD on the cartridge regarding the whole population and this information comprises the selections the operator had to make to create the population: name of the game, size of the population, payout, price of a ticket. To this information, the machine adds the serial number of the population and the prize distribution schedule. The second part is added by the apparatus used to play the tickets, this information contains: whether the ticket as been played, the machine in which the game has been played, the date and hour of the play, whether or not the prize has been claimed, and if a player identification system is in place, like smart cards, the player identification.

[0043] When a cartridge has been used up or when the operator decides to, the information contained on the cartridge must be downloaded and archived so the cartridge can be erased and a new population recorded. The information downloaded is presented as a report shown in FIG. 8. The information given on the first two (2) lines is the same as the first two (2) lines of the report created after the recording of the population. The following lines beginning with a number in the two hundreds (200's ) describe the winning combinations of symbols 56 corresponding to the normal odds part of the prize distribution schedule 53 described on the second line of the report. The other lines represent each of the tickets and its content. Each line indicates if the corresponding ticket has been claimed (1 if claimed) 57, the nine symbols of the combination 58, corresponding prize 59 in the prize distribution schedule 53, prize won by the player 60 (0 if the ticket has not been played), the machine on which the ticket was played 61 (0 if the ticket has not been played), player's identification number 62 (0 if the ticket has not been played), date and hour 63 the ticket has been played ( Jan. 1, 1980 and 00:00:00 if the ticket has not been played).

[0044] The information collected by the cartridge can be analyzed, even without a player tracking device (smart cards, PIN number). The operators, their distributor and the manufacturer can determine the popularity of a particular game and make better decision about present and future games. The operator can also make a profile of the popularity of a game regarding the hour or day of the week. If a player tracking device is in use, the operators can also learn a lot about their, clients and their preferences. Combined with outside information, like the layout of the casino, the cartridge information can be used to analyze the popularity of different locations in the casino or gaming facility.

[0045] The TMD can be operated by different people or organizations. It can be operated by the manufacturer, the distributor, the casino managers or gaming facilities and finally, by a gaming board or any other agencies and laboratories. The preferred mode of operation for this invention is to let the casino managers or gaming facilities operate the TMD, but with certain restrictions.

[0046] The manufacturer builds and programs both the cartridge and the TMD. The cartridge program only includes the low level program, but the TMD program includes all the different prize distribution schedules for all the different games.

[0047] The cartridges and the TMD's are then sold to the distributor who will then sell them to casinos and other gaming facilities, like bingo halls.

[0048]FIG. 9 explains the way the TMD's are operated by the casinos and the distributor. After recording twenty-five (25) cartridges 64, the operator must print a report 65 of all the cartridges and send it to the distributor 70. If the report is not printed, no more cartridges can be recorded on that TMD. After the report has been printed and sent, the operator can record up to twenty-five (25) more cartridges on the TMD 66. When the distributor receives the report, he sends a report code included in the report to the manufacturer 71 who enters a code number found on the report in an exclusive program 72 that can only be used by the manufacturer, This program gives a new code number 73 in return for the one that has been entered. This new code number is communicated to the casino manager operating the TMD via the distributor 74. When the code is entered in the TMD 67, the casinos have the freedom to record twenty-five (25) more cartridges 66 from number of recording of the last report, after which a new report will have to be printed 69, and so on until one thousand (1000) cartridges have been recorded. When this number has been reached, the casino must buy a new TMD. If no code has been entered before twenty-five new cartridges has been recorded, the TMD freezes and must be returned to the manufacturer 68.

[0049] This method has the advantage of giving a certain control to the distributor as to the number of cartridges in distribution. It also gives him the exact amount won by the casinos using his cartridges, giving him a direct and easy way to calculate the amounts the casinos owe him. He can also track the different games so he and the manufacturer can make better decisions about present and future games.

[0050] The description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention above has been presented for illustration purposes and do not intent to limit the invention. It will be understood that it is capable of further modifications and the application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice within the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features before set, and follows in the scope of the appended claims,

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US7682241Dec 6, 2007Mar 23, 2010IgtGaming device having free game Keno
US7766741 *Jan 30, 2002Aug 3, 2010Multimedia Games, Inc.Method, apparatus, and program product for presenting results in a bingo-type game
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/16
International ClassificationG07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3248, G07F17/3234, G07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/32E6B, G07F17/32K4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 24, 2012ASAssignment
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:THIRD EYE CAPITAL CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:029010/0788
Effective date: 20120921
Owner name: LABTRONIX CONCEPT INC., QUEBEC
Aug 24, 2010ASAssignment
Effective date: 20100729
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LABTRONIX CONCEPT INC.;REEL/FRAME:024927/0271
Owner name: THIRD EYE CAPITAL CORPORATION, CANADA
Apr 26, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: LABTRONIX CONCEPT, INC., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DUHAMEL, GERALD;MACKE, MICHAEL MAYO;REEL/FRAME:011732/0671;SIGNING DATES FROM 20010411 TO 20010417