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Publication numberUS20030087691 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/244,111
Publication dateMay 8, 2003
Filing dateSep 12, 2002
Priority dateApr 4, 2001
Also published asCA2424421A1, CA2424421C
Publication number10244111, 244111, US 2003/0087691 A1, US 2003/087691 A1, US 20030087691 A1, US 20030087691A1, US 2003087691 A1, US 2003087691A1, US-A1-20030087691, US-A1-2003087691, US2003/0087691A1, US2003/087691A1, US20030087691 A1, US20030087691A1, US2003087691 A1, US2003087691A1
InventorsDaryn Kiely, Derrick Price, Timothy Moser, Laura Hunt, Joe Kaminkow
Original AssigneeDaryn Kiely, Derrick Price, Timothy Moser, Laura Hunt, Joe Kaminkow
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and system for issuing and using gaming machine receipts in secondary game
US 20030087691 A1
Abstract
The invention comprises a gaming system including at least one gaming machine arranged to accept and print receipts. In one embodiment of a method, a player playing a gaming machine is issued a receipt. The receipt is used in the play of a secondary game or event. In one embodiment, the secondary game or event comprising a drawing, lottery or raffle, where the outcome of the event is determined by selecting one or more receipt from a group of receipts. In one embodiment, the receipt issued by the gaming machine is representative of value or an award, and the receipt is redeemed for the value or award before being used in the secondary game or event. In one embodiment, the method includes the step of the player writing identification information on the receipt before entering it in the game or event.
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Claims(16)
We claim:
1. In a gaming environment including at least one gaming machine, a method of participating in an event comprising:
confirming a player's activity at a gaming machine;
generating a receipt at said gaming machine;
issuing said receipt to said player; and
accepting said receipt for participation in a secondary event, the outcome of said secondary event determined by use of receipts used in said secondary event.
2. The method in accordance with claim 1 wherein said secondary event comprises a game.
3. The method in accordance with claim 2 wherein said game includes the step of randomly selecting one or more entered receipts to determine one or more winners of said game.
4. The method in accordance with claim 2 including the step of printing information on said receipt identifying said player.
5. A method of using a receipt in a game comprising:
issuing a receipt to a player as a result of the player's play of one or more wager-type games;
accepting said receipt in a secondary game; and
determining the outcome of said secondary game by selecting one or more of said receipts.
6. The method in accordance with claim 5 wherein said issuing step comprises printing a receipt from a hand-held device.
7. The method in accordance with claim 5 wherein said issuing step comprises print a receipt at a gaming machine at which said player has played a game.
8. The method in accordance with claim 5 wherein said receipt represents value and including the steps of redeeming said receipt for value and then accepting said receipt in said secondary game.
9. The method in accordance with claim 5 wherein said receipt represents a promotional award and including the steps of redeeming said receipt for said award and then accepting said receipt in said secondary game.
10. The method in accordance with claim 5 including the step of identifying said one or more winners using information printed upon said receipt.
11. A method of issuing and using a receipt in a gaming system including a plurality of gaming machines configured to present at least one game to a player and a plurality of peripheral devices including hand-held portable devices, one or more of said gaming machines and one or more of said peripheral devices including a printing device, comprising:
issuing a receipt from said printing device of one or said gaming machines or one of said peripheral devices;
receiving said receipt in a game or event; and
determining the outcome of said game or event by selecting one or more receipts received in said game or event from a group of receipts received in said game or event.
12. The method in accordance with claim 11 wherein said receipt is issued as a result of player playing a game at a gaming machine.
13. The method in accordance with claim 11 wherein said receipt is issued from one of said hand-held portable devices.
14. The method in accordance with claim 11 including the step of displaying game play information regarding a player at said portable device and issuing said receipt in the event said game play information meets predetermined criteria.
15. The method in accordance with claim 11 wherein said receipt is issued from said gaming machine and is representative of value.
16. The method in accordance with claim 11 including the step of awarding at least one award to a winner or winners of said game or event as represented by the one or more selected receipts.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/116,680, filed Apr. 4, 2002, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/281,875, filed Apr. 4, 2001.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to gaming machines, and more particularly, a gaming machine capable of issuing a receipt or ticket.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Game players continually seek new and exciting games which they believe will yield them a large winning. As such, gaming manufacturers and gaming establishments continue to develop and offer new games. Some new games differ from old ones by fundamentally changing the game which is played. Other games differ by changing the odds of receiving a payout or winning amounts paid.

[0004] Gaming establishments also continue to seek new ways of attracting current and new game players. For example, besides common advertising, gaming establishments often offer “player rewards programs.” In accordance with these programs, a player's game play is tracked. If the player's play reaches one or more levels, the player may be entitled to an award separate from any award payed by obtaining a winning outcome while playing a particular game. For example, a player's wagers may be tracked in the form of points. If the player reaches a level of play evidenced by the total points accrued, the player may be awarded a prize.

[0005] A new way of attracting players to gaming establishments and a new way of enticing game players to play games is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention comprises a gaming system and a method of issuing and using receipts. In one embodiment, the gaming system includes at least one gaming machine. The gaming machine is adapted to accept credit from a player, present a game for play to a player, and pay a winning in the event a winning event is achieved by play of the game.

[0007] In one embodiment, the gaming machine is arranged to print receipts. In one embodiment of a method, a player plays a game on the gaming machine and is issued a receipt. In another embodiment, the gaming system includes one or more hand-held devices or separate printing devices. Users of these devices print and issue receipts or tickets to players based upon one or more criteria.

[0008] In accordance with a method of the invention, a player utilizes an issued receipt in a secondary game or event, such as the entry ticket in a lottery or raffle event. In one embodiment, the receipt includes printing for accepting a player's name, address or other identifying information. The player fills out the ticket and enters the receipt in the drawing.

[0009] The receipt is used in the play of the secondary game or event. In a preferred embodiment, the receipts are used to determine the outcome of the game or event. In one embodiment, one or more receipts are entered in the event and one or more receipts are selected from the group of entered receipts. The selected receipt or receipts determine the winner or winners of the game or event.

[0010] In one embodiment, a player is issued a receipt in the event a particular outcome is received when playing a game at a gaming machine. In other embodiments, a receipt or receipts may be issued based upon other criteria. These criteria may comprise game play (even without a win), amounts bet, time of play, random issuance and the like.

[0011] In one embodiment, the receipt which is issued is representative of value or an award. In one embodiment, the receipt represents monetary value or credits that the player provided to or accrued while playing the gaming machine. In another embodiment, the receipt represents a complimentary award. In this embodiment, the player preferably redeems the receipt for the value or award before entering the receipt in the secondary game or event.

[0012] In one embodiment, receipts may be issued at other than a gaming machine. Receipts may be issued with hand-held portable devices or from cashier or other stations. The receipts may be issued based upon a variety of criteria. In one embodiment, player game play activity is provided to the user of a portable device. The user determines, based upon the game play activity information, whether a player is entitled to a receipt. In one embodiment, receipts may be used to entice patrons to play gaming machines

[0013] Further objects, features, and advantages of the present invention over the prior art will become apparent from the detailed description of the drawings which follows, when considered with the attached figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014]FIG. 1 illustrates a gaming machine adapted to print a receipt in accordance with the present invention;

[0015]FIG. 2 illustrates a gaming network including a plurality of gaming machines in accordance with the present invention;

[0016]FIG. 3(a) illustrates a “value” type receipt which may be issued/generated and used in a game or event in accordance with the present invention;

[0017]FIG. 3(b) illustrates a “comp” type receipt which may be issued/generated and used in a game or event in accordance with the present invention; and

[0018]FIG. 3(c) illustrates a receipt configured to accept player information and be used in a game or event in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The invention is a gaming machine arranged to generate receipts, a gaming system including one or more of the gaming machines and/or other devices configured to issue receipts or tickets for use in a secondary game. In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough description of the present invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art, that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known features have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the invention.

[0020]FIG. 1 illustrates a gaming machine or device 20 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In general, the gaming machine 20 is adapted to present at least one game for play to a player. As illustrated, the gaming machine 20 includes a housing 22 which supports and/or houses the various components of the gaming machine 20. In the embodiment illustrated, the gaming machine 20 is adapted to present a game of “slots,” and includes three rotating reels 24 a,b,c. A handle 26 or spin button 28 may be used to effectuate rotation of the reels 24 a,b,c.

[0021] In this well known game, a player may be declared the winner of the game and be awarded an award if the result of the rotation of the reels 24 a,b,c is a predetermined combination of symbols. It should be understood that the gaming machine 20 may be adapted to present one or more of a wide variety of games. Depending upon the game presented, the configuration of the machine may vary. For example, in the event the gaming machine 20 is adapted to present the game of video poker, then the gaming machine 20 may include a video display.

[0022] In one or more embodiments of the invention, the gaming machine 20 is adapted to present a wager-type game. In this arrangement, a player is required to place a bet or wager in order to participate in the game. In the event the outcome of the game is a winning outcome, then the player may be provided with an award. In one arrangement, the award may be winnings in proportion to the amount wagered or bet by the player. The winnings may comprise coins or paper currency, or credit redeemable for coins, paper currency or prizes.

[0023] In order to accept a wager, the gaming machine 20 may include a coin acceptor 30 for accepting coins. The gaming machine 20 may also include a bill acceptor or validator 32 for accepting paper currency. The gaming machine 20 may be provided with other means for accepting or verifying value, such as a credit card reader.

[0024] Preferably, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the gaming machine 20 includes at least one means for generating a receipt. In one embodiment, this means comprises a receipt printer 34. The receipt printer 34 may comprise a variety of now known or later-developed devices. In general, the receipt printer 34 comprises a device for generating a receipt having information associated therewith. In one embodiment, the receipt is generated by printing, such as with ink, information onto an element. It is contemplated, however, that the information need not be printed, but may be generated and associated with the receipt in other manners. For example, electronic data may be generated and then “written” to a magnetic stripe of the receipt.

[0025] In a preferred embodiment, the receipt is constructed from paper or a similar material. The receipt may comprise a wide variety of other elements or members, however, such as cards or the like. While the term “receipt” is used herein, it will be appreciated that these elements may be referred to as vouchers, tickets or the like.

[0026] Though not illustrated in detail, the gaming machine 20 includes appropriate elements for generating the receipts. The gaming machine 20 may include, for example, a receipt storage device for storing blank or unprinted receipts. In one or more embodiments, a controller is provided for controlling the operation of the receipt printer 34. As is well known, the gaming machine 20 may include a master gaming controller (not illustrated) for controlling the operation of many of the peripheral devices of the gaming machine 20, such as lights, input buttons, coin and bill acceptors and the like. The gaming controller may include a bus with which a printer controller is associated. In this manner, the gaming controller may provide instructions, such as print instructions, to the printer for printing receipts.

[0027] In a preferred embodiment, the gaming controller of the gaming machine 20 is associated with other devices, such as through a wired or wireless network, which will be described in more detail below. FIG. 2 illustrates one particular environment/application of the method and apparatus of the invention. As described in more detail below, this preferred environment/application comprises a gaming system 40. The method and apparatus of the present invention may be applied to a number of different environments, including but not limited to food service, entertainment shows, promotional game play, or generally to events or activities where receipts may be issued and redeemed or used.

[0028] In general, the system 40 includes at least one gaming machine 20. As illustrated, in a preferred embodiment, the system 40 includes a plurality of gaming machines 20. Each gaming machine 20 is arranged to present one or more games to a player. The game presented at each machine may be the same or different.

[0029] In a preferred embodiment, the gaming machines 20 are associated with a player tracking or reward system host 44. One or more appropriate communications links, whether wired or wireless, permit information to be transferred to and from each gaming machine 20 and the player tracking host 44. The player tracking host 44 may comprise a single computer or a group of computers associated with one another via one or more communication links forming a network.

[0030] In one embodiment, the player tracking host 44 is associated with a player tracking/reward or “comp” function. The player tracking host 44 may thus be adapted to aggregate game play data regarding the players playing the gaming machines 20. This data may include information such as the length of time of game play, amounts bet, amounts awarded, and a wide variety of other information. The player tracking host 44 may also store information regarding receipts which are issued for “comps,” as described in more detail below. In general, each gaming machine 20 is adapted to transmit the player tracking data over the communications link(s) to the player tracking host 44.

[0031] In one embodiment, the player tracking host 44 includes at least one data storage element for storing the player information. The data storage element may comprise a hard drive, RAM, tape drive, CD or other memory or data storage member or element. The player tracking host 44 also includes necessary communications equipment, such as network cards or the like for receiving and sending information.

[0032] In a preferred embodiment, the gaming machines 20 are also associated with a payment host 45. The payment host 45 may be similar to the player tracking host 44, and comprise a computer or group of computers and include memory or other data storage devices. In one embodiment, the payment host 45 is adapted to store information regarding payment information and receipt or ticket information when a receipt or ticket has associated value.

[0033] The gaming system 40 may include a wide variety of other hosts or be associated with other networks, such as a security monitoring network or the like. As illustrated, in one or more embodiments, a variety of sub-systems or devices are associated with the gaming system 40. In one embodiment, a soft count system 46 is associated with the gaming system 40. The soft count system 46 is for use in a soft count process of reconciling the amounts received and paid by the gaming machines 20 with bills or receipts which have been accepted by the gaming machine 20 and removed therefrom.

[0034] One or more receipt validation mechanisms 50, wireless receipt terminals 52 and cashier cage systems 54 may be associated with the gaming system 40. The manner by which information from these mechanisms, terminals and systems is transmitted to and from other mechanisms, terminals and systems may vary. For example, as illustrated, the wireless receipt terminals 52 may comprise handheld devices adapted to transmit and receive information from the payment host 45 via a wireless communications link. The other systems, including the soft count system 46, receipt validation mechanisms 50 and cashier cage systems 54 are illustrated as being hard wired to the player tracking host 44 and payment host 45.

[0035] The receipt validation mechanisms 50, wireless receipt terminals 52 and cashier cage systems 54 may be arranged to include a variety of apparatus, including both hardware and software, for performing a variety of functions. In one or more embodiments, these mechanisms, terminals and systems may include receipt generation/printing devices and receipt scanning or reading devices. In this manner gaming personnel may issue receipts to players and players may cash-in receipts after play at a variety of locations.

[0036] The receipts which are generated/printed by the gaming machines 20 (and optionally by other devices such as the receipt validation mechanisms 50, wireless receipt terminals 52 and cashier cage systems 54) may have a variety of information associated therewith and may be used for a variety of purposes. In one embodiment, the receipts may be representative of value. As an example, in the event the player is declared a winner of a game played on a gaming machine 20, the player may be paid an award. As noted above, the award may be in the form of coins. In one embodiment of the invention, however, the award may be associated with or represented by a receipt. For example, in the event the player wins 100 dollars and the player wishes to discontinue playing the gaming machine 20, the gaming machine 20 may print a receipt representing this winning amount. As detailed below, data regarding the ticket and the winning amount is preferably transmitted to the payment central host 45. Such a receipt may be referred to as a “value” receipt.

[0037] In one or more embodiments, the gaming machine 20 may be arranged to accept such a (value) receipt, thus forming a basis by which the player may provide credit to play the game. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the gaming machine 20 includes a validating mechanism 32 and a storage device for the bill monies and receipts. The validating mechanism is arranged to verify the authenticity of the bill money or a receipt which is supplied by the player, thus establishing the right of the player to play the game. For example, the validating mechanism is arranged to reject a counterfeit paper item which a player attempts to pass as a treasury bill. The operation of these mechanisms are well known. Additional details regarding the validation of a value type receipt are disclosed below.

[0038] In accordance with the present invention, the generated receipts may be of other types or associated with functions/purposes other than for use in replacement of currency or value as described above. In one or more embodiments, the gaming machine 20 is arranged to print receipts which represent a promotional award or “comp.”

[0039] Such “comp” or award receipts may be generated in a number of manners. In one embodiment, a player's play of any gaming machine associated with the gaming system 40 is tracked. Data regarding the player's play is stored at the player tracking host 44. The player tracking host 44 is also preferably arranged to monitor the play data such that, if the player reaches predetermined levels of play or other criteria of play exist, the player is awarded a “comp.” In another embodiment, the play of a particular gaming machine 20 may trigger a “comp” award. As is known, the tracking of the play of a particular player may be initiated by the player identifying themselves, such as by swiping a magnetic stripe of a player tracking/identification card through a card reader associated with the gaming machine 20. Of course, the means by which a player may identify themselves is not limited, and may include for example smart cards, proximity cards and other means now known or later developed.

[0040] The criteria for awarding a “comp” or “complimentary” reward may vary. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the player is rewarded a comp based upon criteria independent of the direct outcome of a game played at the gaming machine. In this regard, the award may be referred to as a bonus, as the award is above and beyond any award provided to the player based in the above outcome of a player's game, and does not require further or additional consideration (such as an additional bet) by the player. As noted, the comp may be awarded based upon frequency or time of play, actual losses, theoretical win or a wide variety of criteria other than the direct win or loss of a game.

[0041] A “comp” receipt may also be awarded to a player at the discretion of the game operator or casino. For example, regardless of the length of time a player has been playing, the operator may instruct the machine 20 to issue a receipt for a prize or award. The operator may also cause receipts representing awards independent of game play to be issued at several gaming machines, such as a promotion.

[0042] Once a player is entitled to a “comp,” the player tracking host 44 is adapted to send a signal to the gaming machine 20 to cause the gaming machine to issue a “comp” receipt. In one embodiment, the player may be provided with an opportunity to select the “comp” or award which is given. For example, for reaching a predetermined level of play, a player may be permitted to select one prize from a list of prizes. This list may be transmitted from the player tracking host 44 for display by the gaming machine 20 to the player. The player may then input their selection. The gaming machine 20 is then arranged to print the receipt representative of the “comp.” Information regarding the comp which has been awarded is stored at the player tracking host 44 and printed on the receipt.

[0043] In one embodiment, the comp receipt 160 may be issued at a gaming machine 20 or other location, such as at the front desk of the hotel/casino to new patrons or at a station when a player joins a player tracking/rewards club of the casino.

[0044] In one embodiment, the gaming machine 20 may be configured to print the receipt based on tracked play or, as indicated above, the player tracking host 44 or other device may track play and then send a signal to the gaming machine 20 causing the gaming machine to print the receipt.

[0045] In accordance with a method of the invention, the receipts 60,160 which are issued by the gaming machine 20 are used to participate in a secondary event or game. In a preferred embodiment, the receipts 60,160 are used to determine the outcome of the event or game.

[0046] In one embodiment of the invention, the receipt 60,160 is used in a game or event comprising a drawing, raffle or the like. In this embodiment of the invention, the receipt 60,160 is submitted for use in the game or event.

[0047] Additional details of the game or event are described below. Regardless of the type of game or event, in one embodiment, the receipt 60,160 is preferably used for its primarily intended purpose before it is used in the secondary game or event. For example, in the case of a value receipt 60, the player may “cash in” or “redeem” the receipt for its value before the receipt 60 is used in the secondary game or event. For example, in one embodiment, the player may travel to a casino cage and cash the receipt 60 for currency. The cashier may then place the receipt 60 in the drawing. In another embodiment, the redeemed receipt may be validated to indicate that it has been redeemed, such as by physical marking, and then the receipt may be returned to the player. The player may then use the receipt in the secondary event, such as by traveling to a location of the gaming establishment where the event is held and depositing the receipt.

[0048] Likewise, a player may use a “comp” or similar type receipt 160 before using the receipt in the secondary game or event. For example, a player may take the receipt 160 to a redemption area to redeem the receipt 160 for a prize. In like fashion to a value receipt 60, the receipt 160 may then be used in the secondary event.

[0049] As described above, in one embodiment of the invention, a gaming machine or other device is configured to issue a ticket or receipt 60,160 having a primary purpose, such as for representing value or a “comp” or award. This same receipt 60,160 may be used in a game or event, such as a secondary drawing.

[0050] In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, a ticket or receipt 260 (see FIG. 3C) may be issued having its primary or sole purpose use in a game or event. For example, in one embodiment, when a player plays a game at a gaming machine 20, the gaming machine may be configured to issue a receipt 260. This receipt 260 preferably does not have a value or the like associated therewith, and only has utility in participating in a game or event.

[0051] The receipt or ticket 60,160,260 may be used in a variety of games or events. In one embodiment, the game is referred to as a secondary game or event because the receipt 60,160,260 is either issued having a primary or first purpose or is issued as a result of the play of a first game or games at a gaming machine. As indicated, the primary or first purpose may be to signify value or a complimentary award.

[0052] The game or event in which the receipt is used may comprise a wide variety of events. In a preferred embodiment, the game or event comprises an event where one or more winners are determined by selecting receipts or tickets. In one embodiment, the game or event is a raffle, drawing or the like. In this embodiment, receipts or tickets are grouped and then one or more particular receipts or tickets are randomly selected from the group. The selection may be by hand drawing or the like. As known in the art of such games, the receipts or tickets may be rotated in a drum, blown by an air blower or the like in order to make random the selection of one or more particular tickets or receipts therefrom.

[0053] The one or more winners of the event may be entitled to a prize or award. The prize or award may comprise goods or services, or discounts, or cash or other value.

[0054] In one embodiment, the identity of the one or more winners is determined from the selected ticket(s) or receipt(s). In one embodiment of the invention, before entering the event, the player writes their name or other identifying information on the ticket or receipt. For example, the receipt 260 may include, as illustrated in FIG. 3(C), one or more spaces in which the player is prompted to provide information. As illustrated, this information may comprise the player's name, address, phone number or the like.

[0055] In one embodiment, a value or comp receipt 60,160 may include spaces or other printing for accepting player identification information in like manner. In one embodiment, this information is located on a rear side of the receipt 60,160.

[0056] In another embodiment, the player's identity may be determined from information associated with the ticket or receipt when it is generated. For example, as described above, a value receipt 60 may be printed and include a bar code or other information. Player identification information, such as a player's name obtained via the player tracking system or a code obtained from the player's player tracking card, may be printed onto the receipt 60. The information may be printed in direct form, such as the player's actual name, or may be encoded, such as in the case of a bar code.

[0057] In one or more embodiments, as described in part above, receipts may be provided to a player by other than by direct play of a gaming machine 20. For example, receipts may be issued in complimentary fashion by operators of the hand-held devices 52 and distributed randomly.

[0058] In one or more embodiments, receipts may be distributed based upon tracked player play. This feature is described in application Ser. No. 10/116,680, filed Apr. 4, 2002, to which this application claims priority, which prior application is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

[0059] As described therein, the player tracking host 44 (see FIG. 1) may be configured as a game play monitoring system host adapted to monitor play of the one or more gaming machines 20, including the activities of specific players. The game play monitoring system host 44 is preferably arranged to obtain game play information, and manipulate that information, such as by aggregating game play data and displaying game play information. The game play information which is obtained and monitored may comprise a wide variety of information, such as the length of time of game play, amounts bet, amounts awarded, and a wide variety of other information. The game play data or information preferably also includes information regarding the player of the gaming machine or game event, such as the identity of the player. The game play monitoring system host 44 may also store information regarding game play, including individual player game play. The game play monitoring system host 44 is preferably adapted to display game play information to a user of the system 40.

[0060] In one embodiment, game play information regarding a particular player's activities is transmitted to the game play monitoring system host 44. When a player wishes to engage the play of the gaming machine 20 or other gaming device/event, the player may identify themselves. In one embodiment, a player identifies themselves with their player card. As noted above, such a card may be encoded with identification information. When using the gaming machine 20 such as that illustrated in FIG. 1, the player may insert their player card into the card reader 34. The card reader 34 reads the information from the card and then transmits the information. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the identification information may be transmitted directly from the gaming machine 20 to the game play monitoring system host 44.

[0061] In one embodiment, player identification information may be stored at the game play monitoring system host 44, such as in a memory. In response to a player identification code or number, such as read from the player card, more detailed information regarding the player may be obtained from the memory. In another embodiment, such detailed information may be stored remotely and either obtained by or transmitted to the game play monitoring system host 44. For example, the player card may have an encoded identification code, such as AX183291K. This code may be associated with the player known as John Doe. A file may be associated with the player's code, which file includes a variety of information such as the full name and address of the player, their telephone number, accrued points, and other data. In response to receiving the player's code, the game play monitoring system host 44 may obtain information regarding the player from the file or other location.

[0062] Game play information is also transmitted to the game play monitoring system host 44. For example, the gaming machine 20 may transmit information regarding a player's wagers, time play began, time play ended, awards or payouts, and other information. The game play information is preferably generated at the gaming machine 20 or other device. The information may be aggregated and then transmitted at intervals, such as predetermined intervals of time, to the system host 44. In certain embodiments of the invention, the transmitted information may comprise “point” or similar information. The gaming machine 20 or other device may be configured to generate point information based upon particular player events, such as the placing of bets. This point information may be transmitted to the host 44.

[0063] Of course, the gaming machine 20 or other device/element may be adapted to utilize a particular communication format or format data or information in one or more manners which is different from that of other systems. In a preferred embodiment, the game play monitoring system host 44 is provided with an interface allowing the data in different forms to be integrated and presented cohesively.

[0064] In one or more embodiments, the game play data or information is utilized by the game play monitoring system host 44. In one embodiment, some or all of the information may be stored, such as in a memory. In one or more embodiments, some or all of the information may be manipulated, such as aggregated or transformed. The information may also be displayed in one or more formats for viewing.

[0065] The information may be displayed at a variety of devices, including the hand-held devices 52. In this manner, information may be provided to casino or other gaming personnel who are in the vicinity of players. The information may be presented in a variety of forms, including via one or more graphical user interfaces. These interfaces may include menus and other features, including the ability of a use to provide an input to filter data or have displayed information regarding the status of one or more players.

[0066] In one embodiment, ready identification of a player with particular characteristics may be accomplished. For example, it is possible to determine if a particular player is playing a game. In addition, however, it is possible to examine particular characteristics of play by that player. Using these characteristics, a casino or other entity can carefully target players for specific advertising/marketing or the award of a receipt, such as a drawing receipt 260 described above. For example, a user of the system can determine, in real-time, the amounts which are being wagered and/or won by a player. Thus, the user can not only determine if a player is playing a game, but which players are betting or wagering the highest amounts or winning or losing the most money. The user may then target those players for specific awards/marketing. For example, a player betting large sums may be rewarded for their play, even though they have not accrued sufficient points to be awarded a reward. Players who have lost large sums of money with awards or rewards may also be targeted in order to entice those players to not stop playing, but instead play for a longer period of time.

[0067] In accordance with the invention, a casino can identify players which are to be rewarded based on their present or current play. In addition, once such a player is identified, it is possible to know where that player is and have casino personnel travel to them and personally and immediately provide them a reward. For example, a particular player of a table game betting large amounts may be identified. The user of the system 40 may also identify the particular table at which that player is playing, and then contact a floor person to travel to them and provide the player with a reward. In accordance with the invention, a casino can also reward a player based upon their past play or play history.

[0068] In one or more embodiments, the host may be programmed to scan current game play data to identify particular players to be rewarded. For example, a user of the system 40 may program specific filtering criteria which is scanned against the received game play data. Such criteria may comprise a certain length of time for a single player, total coin or credits in, credits or coins won, a number of player points rewarded in a particular session, a number of games played or the like. In the event such criteria are met by the current play of a device or event by a player, then an indication of such may be provided to the user. The indication may be an audible or visible alarm, such as the direct presentation of information regarding the player's identity and game play information which met the criteria.

[0069] In these and other situations, a player or even a non-player may be awarded or issued a receipt which may be used in a game or event as described above. For example, casino personnel may issue receipts to patrons of an associated hotel or restaurant. A player of a gaming machine who has met particular criteria, such as minimum amounts bet, may be awarded one or more receipts.

[0070] As detailed above, the gaming machine 20 may also issue receipts based upon criteria other than a winning game outcome or in response to a player's request to cash-out or representative of an award. For example, specific game events may cause the gaming machine 20 issue a receipt or a number of receipts. These game events may comprise the receipt of a particular symbol or the like, even if the outcome of the game is not a winning outcome which yields a payout of monies/credits. The gaming machine 20 may also issue receipts randomly over time or based on other criteria.

[0071] In one embodiment, a receipt may be issued to a player or prospective player. To be used in a secondary game or event, the party may be required to play at least one game at a gaming machine 20 in order to “validate” the receipt for use in the secondary game or event. In this manner, the receipt is used to both entice a player to play and provide the opportunity of the player to win an award in the secondary game.

[0072] The “receipt” of the invention may have a variety of forms. As indicated, the receipt may be a printed paper receipt. The receipt may comprise a card, such as a card including a magnetic stripe or a smart card or a variety of other elements to which information may be written or with which information may be stored. For example, the method of the invention may be implemented using a player card by writing information to the card. The same card may be used to enter a secondary event by, for example, swiping the card at a card reader at a secondary event device. Information regarding the player and the player's entitled to participate in the secondary event may be obtained from the card.

[0073] The methods and devices of the present invention have numerous advantages. One advantage of the invention is that a new and exciting game is presented to players. In accordance with this game, players of games of gaming machines are provided with the opportunity of a “second chance” to win by participating in another game. In a preferred embodiment, participation in the second game or event does not require that the player place an additional bet.

[0074] As another aspect of the invention, casinos and other establishments may utilize the secondary event as a means to entice players to play games, or certain games. The secondary event serves as a promotion, offering players the chance at a bonus or free winning for simply playing games that they would otherwise play.

[0075] Another advantage is that the secondary game or event may be used to entice players to utilize receipts. The use of value receipts 60 has many advantages to both players and casinos. However, some players may be reluctant to embrace this new technology over the decades common use of coins or cash in playing games and being paid payouts. These players are enticed to utilize the receipt system because they are then eligible for the opportunity to win an additional prize or payout.

[0076] It will be understood that the above described arrangements of apparatus and the method therefrom are merely illustrative of applications of the principles of this invention and many other embodiments and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/25
International ClassificationG07F9/00, G07F17/34, G07G5/00, G07F17/42, A63F13/10, A63F9/24, G06F19/00, G07F17/32
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3237, G07F17/3248, G07F17/32, G07F17/3267, G07F17/3239
European ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/32E6D, G07F17/32E6D2, G07F17/32K4, G07F17/32M4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 14, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: IGT, NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KIELY, DARYN;PRICE, DERRICK;MOSER, TIMOTHY;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:013656/0661;SIGNING DATES FROM 20021216 TO 20021219