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Publication numberUS20050090306 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/959,686
Publication dateApr 28, 2005
Filing dateOct 4, 2004
Priority dateOct 17, 2000
Publication number10959686, 959686, US 2005/0090306 A1, US 2005/090306 A1, US 20050090306 A1, US 20050090306A1, US 2005090306 A1, US 2005090306A1, US-A1-20050090306, US-A1-2005090306, US2005/0090306A1, US2005/090306A1, US20050090306 A1, US20050090306A1, US2005090306 A1, US2005090306A1
InventorsJerald Seelig, Lawrence Henshaw
Original AssigneeAtlantic City Coin & Slot Service Company, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Image alignment gaming device and method
US 20050090306 A1
Abstract
In at least one embodiment, the present invention relates to a gaming device that includes a game display having at least one display section. The gaming device also includes a game controller adapted to display images in the display section. At least a portion of the images comprise fractional images corresponding to at least one composite image. The images appearing in the display section are randomly selected. A prize is awarded when a plurality of fractional images are aligned such that they form a composite image.
Images(20)
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Claims(55)
1. A method of playing a game comprising, but not necessarily in the order shown:
(A) placing a wager on a gaming device;
(B) starting a game on the gaming device;
(C) generating a game outcome;
(D) displaying fractional images of a composite image on the gaming device on at least a portion of a plurality of changeable display sections formed in a matrix of m rows by n columns; and
(E) awarding a prize when the composite image is formed by alignment of the fractional images.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the prize is dependent on which of the plurality of changeable display sections the fractional images align to form the composite image.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the prize is dependent on which row of the matrix displays the composite image.
4. The method of claim 2, wherein the prize is dependent on which column of the matrix displays the composite image.
5. The method of claim 1, further comprising displaying fractional images of a plurality of composite images on the gaming device on at least a portion of the plurality of changeable display sections.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the composite image is a fractional image of another composite image.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the prize has a value, wherein a greater value prize is awarded when multiple composite images simultaneously appear on the matrix of changeable display sections.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein the value of the greater value prize is dependent on the position of each multiple composite image appearing on the matrix of changeable display sections.
9. The method of playing a game according to claim 1, wherein the fractional images are carried on a display mechanism, the displaying mechanism comprising a flexible band movably positioned over at least one roller.
10. The method of playing a game according to claim 9, the display mechanism causing the fractional images displayed by the display mechanism to rotate about a vertical axis.
11. The method of playing a game according to claim 1, further comprising awarding a partial prize when less than the composite image is displayed, the partial prize and the prize having a value, the value of the partial prize being less than the value of the prize.
12. The method of playing a game according to claim 11, the value of the partial prize corresponding to the number of fractional images corresponding to the composite image appearing on the matrix of changeable display sections.
13. The method of playing a game according to claim 1, further comprising simultaneously displaying at least a second composite image to the player and awarding a number of prizes to the player corresponding to the composite images that are displayed.
14. A gaming device comprising:
(A) a game display comprising at least one display section;
(B) a game controller adapted to display images in the at least one display section, at least a portion of the images comprising fractional images corresponding to a plurality of composite images, the images appearing in the at least one display section being randomly selected, wherein a prize is awarded when a plurality of the fractional images are aligned such that they form at least one of the plurality of composite images.
15. The gaming device according to claim 14, wherein the game display comprises a set of rotatable reels, each reel corresponding to the at least one display section, each reel configured to display at least one of the fractional images.
16. The gaming device according to claim 14, wherein the game display comprises a flexible band of material disposed on at least one roller, the band bearing at least a portion of the plurality of images.
17. The gaming device according to claim 16, wherein the flexible band comprises a series of slots and the roller comprises teeth adapted to engage the slots.
18. The gaming device according to claim 16, wherein the band rotates about a vertical axis.
19. The gaming device according to claim 14, wherein the game display is a video display.
20. The gaming device according to claim 14, wherein a partial prize is awarded when less than all of the fractional images corresponding to a composite image are displayed, the prize and partial prize having a value, the value of the partial prize being less than the value of the prize.
21. The gaming device according to claim 20, the partial prize corresponding to the number of fractional images corresponding to a composite image that appears on the game display.
22. The gaming device of claim 14, wherein the at least one display section may display fractional images corresponding to more than one of the plurality of composite images.
23. The gaming device according to claim 14, wherein at least one display section comprises a plurality of display sections, wherein the plurality of composite images may simultaneously be displayed on the game display.
24. The gaming device of claim 14, wherein the game display comprises a plurality of rotating wheels.
25. The gaming device of claim 24, wherein the plurality of rotating wheels are concentric.
26. A gaming device comprising:
(A) a housing;
(B) a game display associated with the housing, the game display adapted to present a plurality of images to a game player;
(C) at least a first display mechanism associated with the game display, the first display mechanism comprising:
(a) at least one roller;
(b) a flexible band wrapped around at least one roller, the flexible band bearing a plurality of indicia, at least one of the plurality of indicia being a fractional image of a composite image;
(c) an actuator connected to the at least one roller and adapted to drive the at least one roller, thereby moving the flexible band;
(D) a controller in communication with the first display mechanism, the controller adapted to cause the first display mechanism to display at least one of the plurality of indicia corresponding to a randomly determined game outcome.
27. The gaming device of claim 26 wherein the game outcome comprises a first game outcome whereby the controller causes the first display mechanism to display at least one of the fractional images of the composite image, wherein at least one of the fractional images is positioned proximate at least a second fractional image corresponding to the composite image, whereby a player viewing the proximate fractional images will see the composite image, the first game outcome entitling the player to a prize.
28. The gaming device of claim 27 wherein the second fractional image does not appear on the first display mechanism.
29. The gaming device of claim 27 wherein the prize has a value, the game outcome comprising a second game outcome where less than all of the fractional images corresponding to the composite image are displayed to the player, the second game outcome entitling the player to a partial prize, the partial prize having a value less than that of the prize.
30. The gaming device of claim 29, wherein the value of the partial prize corresponds to a number of the fractional images corresponding to the composite image that is displayed to the player.
31. The gaming device of claim 26 wherein the flexible band comprises a series of slots on the periphery of the band, the at least one roller comprises a plurality of teeth, whereby the plurality of teeth engage the series of slots.
32. The gaming device of claim 26, further comprising at least a second display mechanism, wherein the first and second display mechanisms are arranged to form an m by n matrix where m and n are integers.
33. The gaming device of claim 32 wherein at least one of m and n is greater than one.
34. The gaming device of claim 33 wherein both m and n are greater than one.
35. The gaming device of claim 32 wherein the prize has a value, the value of the prize depending on which matrix positions the composite image appears.
36. The gaming device of claim 26 wherein a plurality of composite images are simultaneously presented to the player.
37. The gaming device of claim 36 wherein a prize is awarded to the player for each of the plurality of composite images displayed.
38. The gaming device of claim 37 wherein the player is entitled to a second prize when the plurality of composite images are simultaneously displayed, the prize and second prize having a value, the value of the second prize being greater than the value of the prize.
39. The gaming device of claim 37, wherein the second prize has a value, the value of the second prize depending on the position of the plurality of composite images.
40. The gaming device of claim 26 wherein the flexible band is linear.
41. The gaming device of claim 26 wherein the flexible band is at least partially circular.
42. A gaming method comprising, but not necessarily in the order shown:
(A) allowing a player to place a wager and play a game of chance;
(B) initiating the game of chance;
(C) determining a game outcome;
(D) moving at least a first flexible band, at least a portion of the first flexible band being viewable by the player, the first flexible band bearing a plurality of indicia, at least one of the plurality of indicia on the first flexible band comprising at least a first fractional image corresponding to a composite image;
(E) if the game outcome comprises a first game outcome:
(a) displaying the composite image to the player including the first fractional image corresponding thereto; and
(b) awarding the player a first prize.
43. The gaming method of claim 42, the composite image comprising a plurality of fractional images, further comprising, if the game outcome comprises a second game outcome:
(a) displaying at least the first fractional image but less than the plurality of fractional images corresponding to the composite image; and
(b) awarding the player a second prize.
44. The gaming method of claim 43 wherein the first and second prize each has a value and the value of the second prize is less than the value of the first prize.
45. The gaming method of claim 42, further comprising:
(A) moving at least a second flexible band, at least a portion of the second flexible band being viewable by the player;
(B) displaying the viewable portions of the first and second flexible bands to the player in a matrix of m rows and n columns, where m an n are integers and at least one of m and n is greater than one.
46. The gaming method of claim 45 wherein m and n are greater than one.
47. The gaming method of claim 45 wherein the value of the first prize depends on the position in the matrix of the fractional image corresponding to composite image.
48. The gaming method of claim 45 further comprising displaying at least two composite images by aligning a plurality of fractional images, including the first fractional image.
49. The gaming method of claim 48, further comprising awarding a second prize when the at least two composite images are formed on the game, the first and second prizes having a value, the value of the second prize being greater than the value of the first prize.
50. The gaming method of claim 48, further comprising awarding second prizes for each of the at least two composite images displayed to the player.
51. A gaming device comprising:
(A) housing means for holding gaming components;
(B) display means for presenting a game to a player;
(C) display mechanism means for displaying a plurality of indicia to the player, the plurality of indicia comprising at least a first fractional image corresponding to a composite image;
(D) controller means for determining a game outcome and causing the display mechanism means to display an image corresponding to the game outcome.
52. The gaming device of claim 51 wherein the display mechanism means comprises flexible band means for movably displaying the plurality of indicia to the player.
53. The gaming device of claim 51 wherein the display mechanism means comprises a first spinnable wheel means, the plurality of indicia appearing on a face of the spinnable wheel.
54. The gaming device of claim 53 further comprising a second spinnable wheel means, the plurality of indicia appearing on the face of the second spinnable wheel means, wherein the first and second spinnable wheel means are in a concentric relationship.
55. The gaming device of claim 51 wherein the game controller means is configured to produce a first game outcome wherein the display mechanism means displays the first fractional image proximate to a second fractional image such that the player views the composite image.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is:

  • I. a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/245,623 filed on Sep. 16, 2002, which:
    • 1. is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/967,055 filed on Sep. 28, 2001;
      • A. claims priority of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/241,384, filed on Oct. 17, 2000; and
  • II. a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/811,104, filed on Mar. 26, 2004, which:
    • 1. claims priority of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/503,325, filed on Sep. 15, 2003;
    • 2. is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/967,033, filed on Sep. 28, 2001, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,719,630, issued on Apr. 13, 2004, which:
      • A. is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/894,197, filed on Jun. 27, 2001;
    • 3. is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. Ser. No. 10/664,228, filed Sep. 16, 2003;
      • A. which is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/968,952, filed on Oct. 1, 2001, which is now U.S. Pat. No. 6,644,663, issued Nov. 11, 2003; and
    • 4. is continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/245,623, filed on Sep. 16, 2002, which:
      • A. is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/967,055 filed on Sep. 28, 2001, which:
        • a. claims priority of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/241,384, filed on Oct. 17, 2000.
          All of these applications are hereby expressly incorporated by reference.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to gaming devices and, more particularly, to a gaming device that adds to player excitement and satisfaction.

BACKGROUND

Many types of slot and video gaming machines have been designed over the years. The traditional slot machine has a series of annular reels disposed in a side-by-side relationship that rotate separately about a common axis. The reels can be implemented mechanically or visually on a video display driven by a computer. The game players score or winnings are indicated by indicia on the peripheral surfaces of the reels, which may align in any of a number of different combinations following a period of rotation of the reels. Players of gaming apparatus typically find it enjoyable to have a variety of different forms of gaming apparatus available. For this purpose, slot machines of the spinning reel type have been provided with a variety of different graphics, shapes, sound effects and scoring systems. Gaming machines that are more interesting generate more player excitement and in turn are played longer resulting in more revenue for the game operator.

Unfortunately, the similarity of slot machines poses a problem for slot machine manufacturers in differentiating their machines from competitors. Modifying slot machines to enhance player enjoyment is not beneficial if the basic geometry and function of the visual components of the machine is retained.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,891 to Inoue appears to suggest a slot machine having a plurality of rotatable mechanical reels. Inoue purports to describe an embodiment where the reels are rotatable about a vertical axis. However, Inoue appears to use standard images on the reels of this embodiment.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,302,791 to Frohm et al. purports to suggest a slot machine with a high volatility index for awarding high value prizes. It appears that, in at least one embodiment, Frohm may suggest a column of mechanical reels rotatable about a vertical axis where a plurality of fractional images may be aligned to form a composite image. However, it appears that Frohm suffers from several drawbacks.

It appears that Frohm is designed only to display one composite image. Frohm also appears to be limited to a single column of reels. Finally, the reels of the Frohm device appear to be spaced quite far apart. The spaces between the images in Frohm make it more difficult for players to see the composite image formed by the fractional images.

The 1936 Groetchen HIGH STAKES gumball vender appears to have three mechanical reels bearing fractional image of a race horse ridden by a jockey. See Marshall Fey, Slot Machines: A Pictorial History of the First 100Years, 169 Liberty Belle Books, Reno, Nev. (4th ed. 1994). It appears that the goal of the game was to align three fractional horse images of the same color. While HIGH STAKES appears to have used fractional images, the machine always formed the same basic image because each reel appears to have borne only images corresponding to a fractional image, differing only in color.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,154,420 to Gutknecht purports to describe a gaming device having a two-sided coin having two rotatable pieces. Because the device of Gutknecht device can only display four possible outcomes, its usefulness is quite limited. U.S. Pat. No. 5,749,576 to Heinen et al. appears to suggest a similar device. However, Heinen appears even more limited than Gutknecht, with the device only able to form a whole image or not.

U.S. Pat. No.5,373,440 to Cohen et al. purports to describe an advertising device whereby a player may be awarded goods or services for achieving a winning combination of symbols. In one embodiment, Cohen may suggest the winning combination being the alignment of a plurality of fractional images to form a composite image. However, Cohen is an advertising device and not a game of chance. Cohen appears to be limited to a single row of images. Additionally, Cohen specifically states that the use of fractional images is not preferred. Finally, Cohen appears to suggest that the game display is computer generated and does not appear to suggest how mechanical reels could be closely spaced together to avoid the spacing problems discussed in conjunction with Frohm.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,095,921 to Walker et al. purports to suggest a gaming device having a plurality of wheels bearing various shapes. It appears that the goal of the game is to align images on the wheels in order to form the image of a star. It appears that only one composite image may be formed by the device. In addition, Walker does not appear to enable a mechanical version of the game.

A current unmet need exists for a gaming device that is different than previous slot machines in order to provide game players with a more exciting and desirable gaming experience.

SUMMARY OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Advantages of One or More Embodiments of the Present Invention

The various embodiments of the present invention may, but do not necessarily, achieve one or more of the following advantages:

provide a gaming device that adds to player excitement and satisfaction;

provide a gaming device that is interesting to players, resulting in longer playing time;

provide a gaming device that is readily distinguishable from conventional slot machines;

provide a gaming device that awards a prize when several fractional images are assembled into a composite image;

provide a matrix of displays that may be used to form one or more integrated images;

provide a novel use for flexible band displays;

provide a gaming device where whole images may be formed by aligning fractional images appearing on one or more wheels;

provide a gaming device capable of simultaneously forming a plurality of composite images from a plurality of fractional images;

provide a game whereby a player may be awarded multiple prizes for simultaneously forming a plurality of composite images from a plurality of fractional images;

provide a game whereby a player may be awarded a prize for simultaneously forming a plurality of composite images from a plurality of fractional images;

provide a mechanism for placing images in close proximity to one another; and

provide a gaming device that may form a plurality of composite images from a plurality of fractional images.

These and other advantages of the present invention may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification, claims, and abstract.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

In at least one embodiment, the present invention relates to a gaming device that includes a game display having at least one display section. The gaming device also includes a game controller adapted to display images in the display section. At least a portion of the images comprise fractional images corresponding to at least one composite image. The images appearing in the display section are randomly selected. A prize is awarded when a plurality of fractional images are aligned such that they form a composite image.

In other embodiments, the present invention relates to a method of playing a game. According to the inventive method, a wager is placed on a gaming device and a game is started. A game outcome is generated. Images are displayed on the game display in at least a portion of a plurality of changeable display sections formed in a matrix of m rows and n columns. A fractional image of a composite image is displayed in at least a portion of the changeable display sections. A prize is awarded when a composite image is formed by the alignment of fractional images appearing in the changeable display sections.

The above description sets forth, rather broadly, a summary of at least one embodiment of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and will form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one preferred embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is substantially a front view of a gaming device in accordance with the present invention in which the image displayed is a composite image.

FIGS. 2A-2F are substantially perspective views of display devices for use with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is substantially a front view of a matrix display of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is substantially a front view of the gaming device of FIG. 1 in which the image is not aligned.

FIG. 5 is substantially a front view of a matrix display of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is substantially a flow chart showing the operation of the gaming device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is substantially a front view of an alternative embodiment of a gaming device in which the present invention is used as a bonus game.

FIG. 8 is substantially a flow chart showing the operation of the bonus gaming device of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is substantially a front view of an alternative embodiment of a gaming device in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 10 is substantially a front view of another embodiment of a gaming device.

FIG. 11 is substantially a flow chart showing the operation of the gaming device of FIG. 9.

FIG. 12 is substantially a flow chart showing the operation of the gaming device of FIG. 9 when used as a bonus game in conjunction with a primary game.

FIG. 13 is substantially a flow chart showing the operation of the gaming device of FIG. 10.

FIG. 14 is substantially a flow chart showing the operation of the gaming device of FIG. 10 when used as a bonus game in conjunction with a primary game.

DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, exemplary embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Gaming Device

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, a gaming device 10 is shown. Gaming device 10 may comprise a housing (or case) 12, a game display 50 having several display sections 52, a lever 14, selector buttons 16, a coin acceptor 18, a coin bin 20 and a game controller 22 (generically represented) adapted to control at least one display mechanism (not shown in FIG. 1). The display mechanism may cause one or more fractional (or partial) image 60 to be displayed in a particular display section or sections 52. When properly aligned, fractional images 60 may form a composite image 62. By composite image 62, Applicants mean the image 62 formed by aligning the constituent fractional images 60 of the composite image 62. For example, in FIG. 1, the composite image 62 of a girl's face is formed by alignment of the fractional images 60 corresponding to the top, middle, and bottom portions of the girl's face.

Housing 12 contains the gaming device components. Coin acceptor 18 accepts value from a game player, generally to be converted to credits on gaming device 10. Coin acceptor 18 may be configured to also accept tokens, paper currency, and vouchers. In addition, a card reader (not shown) may be included for accepting credit cards, ATM cards, player tracking cards, smart cards, and the like. A coin bin 20, which may be mounted below the housing 12, holds coins that may be dispensed after a winning game event has occurred. Of course, the present invention may also be used in devices that do not dispense currency. Lever 14 may be pulled by the game player to start the game. Alternatively the player may initiate a game by using a selector button 16.

Display 50 is shown with three display sections 52. Of course, more or less display sections could be used. In addition, display sections 52 are shown arranged in a 3 by 1 matrix (3 rows and 1 column). The present invention is not limited to any particular configuration of display sections 52. For example, display sections 52 may be arranged in an m by n matrix, where m is the number of rows, n is the number of columns, m and n are integers, and at least one of m and n is greater than 1. Non-linear arrangements could also be used, for example an image might be formed using quadrants, halves, or other portions of a circle.

In certain embodiments only one display section 52 may be movable or changeable. For example, the bottom half image of a composite figure might be painted or otherwise depicted on the surface of display 50. In contrast, the top half image of the same composite figure could be displayed by display mechanism utilizing a display section 52 that is changeable. Specifically, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, the images 60 appearing in top and bottom display sections 52 could be depicted on display 50 with only the middle of the girl's face appearing in a display section 52 that is changeable.

The images 60 displayed on display sections 52 may be carried by one or more display mechanisms. The display mechanism may be a mechanical spinning reel, a video display, a video display that simulates mechanical spinning reels, a mechanical moveable flexible band of material, or other suitable display device. Display sections 52 are shown oriented, or aligned, vertically. However, horizontal, linear, at least partially circular, diagonal, or other arrangements could be used.

In at least some embodiments, it may be desirable to place display sections 52 as close to one another as possible. Close proximity of fractional images 60 may aid players in visualizing the composite image 62 formed by the fractional images 60 and make gaming device 10 more aesthetically pleasing.

Traditional mechanical reel assemblies (such as typically used in slot machines) are limited in how closely they can be placed together by their chassis and other component parts. A reel shelf that allows reels to be placed more closely to one another than conventional reel assemblies can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,644,663, as well as in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/664,228, the entire disclosures of which are hereby expressly incorporated by reference.

It also may be beneficial to dispense completely with traditional reel mechanisms in favor of display devices that rotate a flexible band of material about one or more rollers. A number of suitable devices may be obtained from Starpoint Electrics Ltd. of Chessington, UK. These band displays produce smooth and quiet operation and may present a visually different look from traditional reel slots machines. In addition, these band mechanisms may be constructed so that they may be placed very closely together.

As already discussed, in gaming devices 10 presenting fractional images 60, it may be beneficial to place the fractional images 60 as closely together as possible. For example, FIG. 2A illustrates a display mechanism 200 consisting of a band of flexible material 202 that passes over a plurality of rollers 210. Rollers 210 may be mounted to a chassis 208. Band 202 may bear a number of different indicia 206. Indicia 206 may be traditional slot machine images, such as fruits, bars, or 7s, fractional images, or any other image desired by a game designer. At least one roller 210 may be connected to an actuator 214, which may be a motor, such as a dc motor, servo motor, stepper motor, or the like. In at least one embodiment, actuator 214 is a standard 48 step bi-directional 12 volt dc motor. Actuator 214 may be in communication with a controller (not shown).

One or more illumination sources 212 may be placed behind band 202 in order to illuminate indicia 206. Illumination sources 212 may be incandescent lights, fluorescent lights, light emitting diodes, or any other suitable light source. Illumination sources 212 may also be connected to a controller (not shown) in order to create interesting lighting effects.

Rollers 210 may have toothed portions 222 for engaging holes or slots 224 on flexible band 202. The use of this tractor feed system may aid in securing band 202 and provide a secure actuation mechanism. Display mechanism 200 may include an optical sensor (not shown), or other position-sensing device, for determining the position of band 202. Display mechanism 200 is available as model FS1RM from Starpoint Electrics Ltd.

Although display mechanism 200 positions band 202 at an incline, other configurations may be used. For example, FIG. 2B illustrates a display mechanism 250 that may be constructed in a similar fashion to display mechanism 200. However, display mechanism 250 positions band 202 in a curved or arced manner. Display mechanism 270, shown in FIG. 2C, is similar to display mechanism 250, also displaying band 202 in a curved or arced manner, but has a more compact design than display mechanism 250. Display mechanisms 250 and 270 are available from Starpoint Electrics Ltd. as models FS2RM and FS3RM, respectively.

Another display mechanism, 280, is illustrated in FIG. 2D. Display mechanism 280 is extremely compact and well suited for use in the present invention. In particular, if game display 50 (FIG. 1) contains display sections 52 (FIG. 1) arranged in a m by n matrix, a display mechanism 280 may be used for each cell, or display section 52, of the matrix. The compact nature of display mechanism 280 allows each display mechanism 280 to be placed closely together, aiding a player in viewing a plurality of fractional images 60 (FIG. 1) as a composite image 62 (FIG. 1). Display mechanism 280 is available from Starpoint Electrics Ltd. as part number FM1. The display mechanisms 200, 250, 270, 280 shown in FIGS. 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D allow for a modular design that allows various displays 50 to be constructed however a game designer desires.

Although display mechanisms 200, 250, 270, and 280 provide similarly shaped bands 202, the bands 202 of the present invention are not so limited and can be adapted to provide a variety of configurations or shapes. For example, as best illustrated in FIG. 2E, display mechanism 290 includes a band 202 having a semi-circular shape. One such suitable display mechanism 290 is the 1FD Flexi Disc manufactured by Sega SA and available from Starpoint Electrics Ltd.

As further shown in FIG. 2E, band 202 has a plurality of indicia 206 representing head portions of various figures that are arranged in a plurality of sections 292. A prize may be awarded when the player matches the head portion with a corresponding bottom portion 294, or the prize could be paid depending on which head portion was combined with which bottom portion 294. Of course, other representations and game play methods may be used without departing from the scope of the present invention. It is understood that a variety of displays 50 may be constructed by utilizing various combinations of display mechanisms 200, 250, 270, 280, 290 including bands 202 of the same and/or different shape.

As shown in FIG. 2F, fractional images or indicia 414 and 416 may also be displayed on the faces of spinnable wheels 408, 412. In this embodiment, composite images are formed by aligning the fractional images, or indicia 408, 412 appearing on concentric wheels 408, 412. For example, indicia 414, which may be the bottom of a figure or icon, may be shown on an inner wheel 412 and other indicia 416, which may be the top of the. figure or icon, may be displayed on an outer wheel 408.

Outer wheel 408 may be attached to an outer wheel actuator 422 and inner wheel 412 attached to an inner wheel actuator 424. Wheel display 400 may be supported by a chassis 420. For embodiments with two concentric wheels, a suitable display mechanism may be part 1CRD available from Starpoint Electrics Ltd. An additional mechanism that may be used for concentric wheel displays is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,105,962. Of course, more concentric wheels, and other types of display mechanisms, may be used in conjunction therewith without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Referring back to FIG. 1, the axis of rotation of display sections 52 may be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. FIG. 1 shows displays sections 52 having a vertical axis of rotation 54. If the game player is standing or sitting upright facing the display 50, axis of rotation 54 is parallel to the game player. At least a portion of display sections 52 are capable of displaying a fractional image 60.

Fractional image 60 is a portion of the composite image 62. The image 62 can be a wide variety of subjects such as pictures or paintings including movie stars, celebrities, animals, famous landmarks, musicians, vehicles, buildings, politicians, etc. The composite image 62 is a contiguous recognizable image 62. If desired a pay line (not shown) can be added to the display 50 to aid the player in seeing the alignment of the fractional images 60.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, display sections 52 may contain fractional images 504 or whole images 506. For example, fractional images 504 and whole images 506, including typical slot machine images, such as fruit 508, bars 510, and 7's 514, may be displayed on the same display 500. In addition, more than one composite image 62 may be displayed on display 500. Accordingly, each display section 52 may be configured to display fractional images 504 corresponding to more than one composite image 62. Therefore games may be designed where prizes are awarded not just based on forming a composite image 62, but which depend on which composite image 62 is formed.

In the case where display 500 has a matrix of display sections 52, a composite image 62 may be formed along a row (image 520), column (image 522), diagonal (image 524), or other portion of the matrix. In addition, a composite image 62 can be formed by having all of the display sections 52 show a portion of the composite image 62. If the matrix, or other arrangement of display 50, is large enough, more than one composite image 62 can be displayed at the same time.

Not every display section 52 of display 500 needs to display a fractional image 504 in order for a composite image 62 to be formed. For example, in FIG. 1, a composite image 62 could be formed using two of the display sections 52, the center and either the top or bottom display section 52.

In embodiments having a matrix (or other suitable arrangement) of display sections 52, such as illustrated in FIG. 3, multiple composite images 62 may be simultaneously formed by fractional images 504 on the same display 500. Multiple composite images 62 may be used to indicate one prize or may be used to award multiple prizes. For example, FIG. 3 illustrates display 500 having a composite image 62 of a crown 520 above the composite image 62 of a head 526.

For example, forming a single composite image 62, such as image 526, might entitle a player to a small or moderate bonus. Forming a plurality of composite images 62 that are integrated, such as images 526 and 520, might entitle the player to a larger jackpot or progressive prize. Although the composite image 62 of a crown 520 and the composite image 62 of a head 526 are related composite images 62, this relatedness is not required.

FIG. 1 illustrates a composite image 62 broken up into three fractional images 60. If desired, composite image 62 could be broken into a larger or smaller number of fractional images 60. A conventional game controller 22 may be used to control the displaying of the fractional images 60. Game controller 22 may contain a random number generator (not shown) to cause the display mechanism such as mechanical reels (not shown) or video display (not shown) to generate a particular combination of fractional images 60.

During game play, a game player inserts currency or currency equivalents into coin acceptor 18, places a wager, and then pulls lever 14 (or presses the appropriate selector button 16) to start play. If game display 50 includes a display mechanism, such as mechanical reels, the reels may spin or rotate about their rotational axis 54. Game controller 22 selects a fractional image 60 to display in each display section 52.

In at least one embodiment, a player may be allowed to provide input to influence display 50. For example, the player may be allowed to activate one of the selector buttons 16 during a game round to stop one or more display mechanisms from moving (or otherwise displaying different images) and to stop on an image. In certain embodiments, activation of a selector button 16 does not influence the outcome of the game, but only determines when the display mechanism begins to stop moving and eventually settles on a particular, randomly determined, image.

If game display 50 includes a display mechanism, such as a video display, the video display may simulate mechanical reels and game controller 22 may select a fractional image 60 to display in each display section 52. The game controller 22 can be configured to automatically stop moving the display mechanism after a predetermined time period has passed without the player activating the player input device 16.

In FIG. 1, fractional images 60 line up to form a composite image 62. In this example, the composite image 62 is a girl's face. In FIG. 4, the fractional images 60 do not line up to form a composite image 62. In FIG. 1, each fractional image 60 corresponding to the girl's head appears in the proper row of the matrix. Display 50 could be configured so that the fractional image 60 corresponding to the top of the girl's head always appears, if at all, in the top display section 52. Similarly, the middle and lower portions of the girl's head could be configured to always appear, if at all, in the corresponding display section 52. Of course, the present invention embraces alternative configurations. For example, rather than appearing in the top display section 52, the fractional image 60 corresponding to the top of the girl's head could be made to appear in the middle display section 52, as shown in FIG. 4, or in other displays sections 52.

In some embodiments, when fractional images 60 in display sections 52 form a composite image 62, a game-winning event may be generated and the player may be awarded a prize in accordance with a pay table. In some embodiments, when the fractional images 60 displayed in display sections 52 do not form a composite image 62, a game losing event is generated, the game is ended, and the player must place a new wager by depositing more coins, or using accumulated credits, to play the game again. If desired, the payout table can be structured to make a partial payout depending upon the number of fractional images 60 that are properly aligned. For example, if 2 of the 3 fractional images 60 are properly aligned, the payout could be a percentage, such as 50 percent, of the payout for having all 3 of the fractional images 60 properly aligned. An award could be given for having even one fractional image 60 appear on a display section 52 of display 50.

In certain embodiments, the location of a composite image 62 formed by fractional images 60 may be correlated to the value of a prize. For example, consider a 3 by 3 matrix 600 (FIG. 5) of display sections 52. A game (not shown) could be designed having a horse race theme. The top row could correspond to a horse taking first place in a race, the middle row to second place, and the bottom row to third place (the rows could also correspond to win, place, or show). If a composite image of a horse is formed in the top row, the player might be entitled to a first prize. If the composite image of the horse is formed on the middle or bottom row, the player might receive a lesser prize.

Prizes could be awarded for having multiple composite images formed at one time. For example, in the horse racing embodiment described above, a player might be awarded a jackpot or progressive prize for having horses appear in all three rows. Such a winning event might correspond to a trifecta.

In other embodiments a number of fractional images 60 may be assembled to form a number of composite images 62. Those composite images 62 might themselves form another composite image 62. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 5, a gaming device 10 (FIG. 1) might be designed with a hamburger theme. Top row 604 of display 600 might have fractional images 60 corresponding to the top of a hamburger bun 610. Bottom row 608 may have fractional images 60 representing the bottom of a hamburger bun 612. Middle row 606 may have fractional images 60 representing a hamburger patty 614. The player might be given different awards for forming the images of one or more of bun sections 610 and 612 and hamburger patty 614 with a more valuable prize being awarded if the composite image 62 of a hamburger is formed.

Flowchart

Referring to FIG. 6, a flowchart 80 is shown. Flowchart 80 depicts the steps followed in playing a game on gaming device 10 (FIG. 1). A wager is placed by the game player at step 82 in order to start game play on gaming device 10. At step 84, the player pulls lever 14 in order to start the game. At step 85, the game controller 22 determines which fractional images 60 are to be displayed in each display section 52 and displays those fractional images 60. Game controller 22 randomly selects the fractional image 60 to be displayed in each display section 52. Next, gaming device 10 moves to a decision step 86. At decision step 86, the number of fractional images 60 that are aligned in the correct location or display section 52 are determined. If the number of correctly aligned fractional images 60 is equal to zero, a yes is returned and the game progresses to step 94 where a losing event is determined along with no pay out of an award. From step 94, the game loops back to step 82 to allow the game player to place another wager. If a no is returned at decision step 86, the game moves to decision step 88.

At decision step 88 the number of fractional images 60 that are aligned in the correct location or display section 52 is compared to see if it is equal to one. In the case where the answer is “yes” at step 88, the game progresses to step 96 where a partial payout is determined. For example, if a wager of one dollar was placed, the payout for correctly aligning one of the three fractional images 60 could be 50 cents. From step 96, the game loops back to step 82 to allow the game player to place another wager. If a no is returned at decision step 88, the game moves to decision step 90.

At decision step 90 the number of fractional images 60 that are aligned in the correct location or display section is compared to see if it is equal to two. In the case where a yes is returned at step 90, the game progresses to step 98 where a partial payout is determined and paid. For example, if a wager of one dollar was placed, the payout for correctly aligning two of the three images could be one dollar. From step 98, the game loops back to step 82 to allow the game player to place another wager. If a no is returned at decision step 90, the game moves to step 92.

At step 92, the number of fractional images 60 that are aligned in the correct location or display section is equal to three, thereby forming a composite image. The game next moves to step 100 where a full payout is determined and paid for a game-winning event. For example, if a wager of one dollar was placed, the payout for correctly aligning all of the three images could be two dollars. From step 100, the game loops back to step 82 to allow the game player to place another wager.

Bonus Game Embodiment

The gaming device 10 shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 is configured as a primary game. The gaming device 10 can also be used as a bonus game that is attached to another primary game. Referring to FIG. 7, a bonus gaming device 120 is shown. Bonus gaming device 120 comprises a primary game 122 and a bonus game 124 mounted on top. Primary game 122 can be almost any game. In FIG. 7, primary game 122 is shown as a conventional slot machine. Primary game 122 comprises several rotating reels 126 with a pay line 128 and that is actuated by a lever 14. One or more meters or displays 130 tell the game player their winnings and remaining playing credits. A special symbol 132 is generated on pay line 128 to signify a bonus qualifying or generating event. After a bonus qualifying event has occurred the bonus game 124 becomes available for play. Bonus game 124 would then be played in a similar manner as to gaming device 10 (FIG. 1). The conventional slot machine triggers a bonus-qualifying event that allows the game player the opportunity to play bonus game 124 to win a bonus prize or payout.

Bonus Game Flowchart

Referring to FIG. 8, a flowchart 150 of the operation of bonus gaming device 120 (FIG. 7) is shown. At step 152, a wager is placed by the game player in order to start game play on primary game 122. At step 154, the player plays the primary game 122. Next, primary game 122 moves to a decision step 156. At decision step 156 the, game checks to see if the bonus-qualifying event has occurred. If the bonus-qualifying event has not occurred, the game loops back to step 152 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game 122 again. If the bonus-qualifying event has occurred at step 156, the method continues to decision step 158. At decision step 158, the player may elect to play the bonus game 124 or return to the primary game 122. If the player elects to return to the primary game 122, the game loops back to step 152. If the player elects to play the bonus game 124, the game proceeds to step 160. At step 160, the player plays the bonus game 124, which generates and displays either fractional 60 or composite images 62. The operation at this point of the bonus game 124 is identical to that of gaming device 10 of FIGS. 1 and 4. At step 162, the game player is then paid a payout depending upon the number of fractional images 60 that are correctly aligned. The game then loops back to step 152 to allow the player to play the primary game 122 again.

Alternative Embodiment

Referring to FIG. 9, an alternative embodiment of a gaming device 700 is shown. Gaming device 700 is similar to gaming device 10 of FIG. 1 with the addition of a spin or game play meter 702 and a multiplier meter 710. Gaming device 700 comprises a case 12, game play meter 702, multiplier meter 710, a game display 50 having several or more display sections 52, a lever 14, selector buttons 16, a coin acceptor 18, a coin bin 20 and a game controller 22 adapted to control a plurality of fractional images 60 displayed in the display sections 52. The fractional images 60 form a composite image 62.

Game play meter 702 has several spin indicators 704 labeled 1 through 6 spins that are aligned vertically. Game play meter 702 may be shown as a voltage meter for example. Meter 702 is in communication with game controller 22. The spin indicator 704 displays the number of times selected by game controller 22 that the game is to be played or repeated for one wager. Spin indicator 704 displays a randomly generated integer for the number of times that the game is to be played. For example, if gaming device 700 selects three (3) times to play the game, spin indicator 704 would light up or otherwise indicate that three plays or spins of display 50 would occur. The spins would occur sequentially without the need for the game player to pull lever 14. An award for each game is generated in the same manner as in gaming device 10. That is, when a composite image 62 is formed, a prize or award is generated. The award from each game is added to obtain a cumulative award or prize. The cumulative award or prize is displayed on meter 720. If no award or prize is won in any of the spins, a consolation prize may be generated by game controller 22 and awarded.

Multiplier meter 710 is located at the top of case 12. Multiplier meter 710 selects and displays a multiplier that the cumulative award or prize is to be multiplied by to obtain a total prize that is then awarded to the game player. Multiplier meter 710 has several multiplier indicators 712 and an arrow 714. Multiplier meter 710 is in communication with game controller 22. Game controller 22 randomly selects a multiplier. Arrow 714 points to the multiplier selected by game controller 22. Arrow 714 can be a mechanical arrow that is rotated or can be one of several arrows that light up to point to the selected multiplier. The selected multiplier is multiplied by the cumulative award shown on meter 720 to obtain a total prize that is then paid to the player. The total prize is shown on total prize meter 722. The total prize is added to the game player's credit meter 724.

Gaming device 700 is shown as a primary game in FIG. 9. Gaming device 700 could also be used as a bonus game. In the case where gaming device 700 is used as a bonus game, it would replace bonus game 124 in FIG. 7. Gaming device 700 would be mounted on top of primary game 122.

Alternative Embodiment Flowchart

Referring to FIG. 11, a flowchart 300 is shown. Flowchart 300 depicts the steps followed in playing a game on gaming device 700 (FIG. 9). A wager is placed by the game player at step 302 in order to start game play on gaming device 700. At step 304, game controller 22 randomly selects a number of times to play a game on gaming device 700. The number of games is displayed on game play meter 702. At step 306, the game controller 22 determines which fractional images 60 are to be displayed in each display section 52 and displays those fractional images 60. Game controller 22 randomly selects the fractional image 60 to be displayed in each display section 52. At step 308, a base award is generated depending upon the number of fractional images 60 that are correctly aligned. The game then proceeds to decision step 310 where the number of games played is compared to the selected number of times to play gaming device 700. If the number of times that gaming device 700 has been played is not equal to the selected number of times, the game loops back to step 306 where the fractional images 60 are generated and displayed again. If the number of times that gaming device 700 has been played is equal to the selected number of times, the game proceeds to step 312. At step 312 the award from each individual game played is added to obtain a cumulative prize. The cumulative prize is displayed on meter 720.

Next, the game proceeds to step 314 where game controller 22 randomly selects a multiplier. The multiplier is shown on multiplier meter 710. At step 316, the multiplier is multiplied by the cumulative prize to obtain a total prize. The total prize is shown on total prize meter 722. Next, at step 318 the total prize is displayed and paid. The game then returns to step 302 where the game player is allowed to place another wager and play again.

Alternative Bonus Embodiment Flowchart

Referring to FIG. 12, a flowchart 800 is shown. Flowchart 800 depicts the steps followed in playing a game on gaming device 700 (FIG. 9) when it is used as a bonus game in conjunction with primary game 122 (FIG. 7). A wager is placed by the game player at step 302 in order to start game play on primary game 122. At step 802, the game player plays primary game 122. Next, at decision step 804 the game checks to see if a bonus-qualifying event has occurred. If the bonus-qualifying event has not occurred, the game loops back to step 302 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game 122 again. If the bonus-qualifying event has occurred at step 804, the method continues to step 304 to allow the player to play the bonus game on gaming device 700. At step 304, game controller 22 randomly selects a number of times to play a game on gaming device 700. The number of games is displayed on meter 702. At step 306, the game controller 22 determines which fractional images 60 are to be displayed in each display section 52 and displays those fractional images 60. Game controller 22 randomly selects the fractional image 60 to be displayed in each display section 52. At step 308, a base award is generated depending upon the number of fractional images 60 that are correctly aligned. The game then proceeds to decision step 310 where the number of times the game has been played is compared to the selected number of times to play gaming device 700. If the number of times that gaming device 700 has been played is not equal to the selected number of times, the game loops back to step 306 where the fractional images 60 are generated and displayed again. If the number of times that gaming device 700 has been played is equal to the selected number of times, the game proceeds to step 312. At step 312 the award from each individual game played is added to obtain a cumulative prize. The cumulative prize is displayed on meter 720.

Next, the game proceeds to step 314 where game controller 22 randomly selects a multiplier. The multiplier is shown on multiplier meter 710. At step 316, the multiplier is multiplied by the cumulative prize to obtain a total prize. The total prize is shown on total prize meter 722. Next, at step 318 the total prize is displayed and paid. The game then returns to step 302 where the game player is allowed to place another wager and play primary game 122 again.

Second Alternative Embodiment

Referring to FIG. 10, an alternative embodiment of a gaming device 750 is shown. Gaming device 750 is similar to gaming device 700 of FIG. 9 except that spin or game meter 702 (FIG. 9) is not present. Gaming device 750 comprises a case 12, multiplier meter 710, a game display 50 having several display sections 52, a lever 14, selector buttons 16, a coin acceptor 18, a coin bin 20 and a game controller 22 adapted to control a plurality of fractional images 60 displayed in the display sections 52. The fractional images 60 form a composite image 62.

Multiplier meter 710 is located at the top of case 12. Multiplier meter 710 selects and displays a multiplier that the award or prize in the game is to be multiplied by to obtain a total prize that is then awarded to the game player. Multiplier meter 710 has several multiplier indicators 712 and an arrow 714. Multiplier meter 710 is in communication with game controller 22. Game controller 22 randomly selects a multiplier. Arrow 714 points to the multiplier selected by game controller 22. Arrow 714 can be a mechanical arrow that is rotated or can be one of several arrows that light up to point to the selected multiplier. The selected multiplier is multiplied by an award meter 720 to obtain a total prize that is then paid to the player. The total prize is shown on total prize meter 722. The total prize is added to the game player's credit meter 724.

Gaming device 750 is shown as a primary game in FIG. 10. Gaming device 750 could also be used as a bonus game. In the case where gaming device 750 is used as a bonus game, it would replace bonus game 124 in FIG. 7. Gaming device 750 would be mounted on top of primary game 122 (FIG. 7).

Second Alternative Embodiment Flowchart

Referring to FIG. 13, a flowchart 900 is shown. Flowchart 900 depicts the steps followed in playing a game on gaming device 750. A wager is placed by the game player at step 302 in order to start game play on gaming device 750. At step 306, gaming device 750 generates and displays the fractional images 60. Game controller 22 randomly selects the fractional image 60 to be displayed in each display section 52. At step 308, a base award is generated depending upon the number of fractional images 60 that are correctly aligned. The game then proceeds to step 314 where game controller 22 randomly selects a multiplier. The multiplier is shown on multiplier meter 710. At step 902, the multiplier is multiplied by the base award or prize to obtain a total prize. The total prize is shown on total prize meter 722. Next, at step 318 the total prize is displayed and paid. The game then returns to step 302 where the game player is allowed to place another wager and play again.

Second Alternative Bonus Embodiment Flowchart

Referring to FIG. 14, a flowchart 950 is shown. Flowchart 950 depicts the steps followed in playing a game on gaming device 750 when it is used as a bonus game in conjunction with primary game 122 (FIG. 7). A wager is placed by the game player at step 302 in order to start game play on primary game 122. At step 802, the game player plays primary game 122. Next, at decision step 804 the game checks to see if a bonus-qualifying event has occurred. If the bonus-qualifying event has not occurred, the game loops back to step 302 to allow the player the opportunity to place another wager and play the primary game 122 again. If the bonus-qualifying event has occurred at step 804, the method continues to step 306 to allow the player to play the bonus game on gaming device 750. At step 306, the game controller 22 determines which fractional images 60 are to be displayed in each display section 52 and displays those fractional images 60. Game controller 22 randomly selects the fractional image 60 to be displayed in each display section 52. At step 308, a base award is generated depending upon the number of fractional images 60 that are correctly aligned. The base award is displayed on meter 720.

Next, the game proceeds to step 314 where game controller 22 randomly selects a multiplier. The multiplier is shown on multiplier meter 710. At step 902, the multiplier is multiplied by the base award to obtain a total prize. The total prize is shown on total prize meter 722. Next, at step 318 the total prize is displayed and paid. The game then returns to step 302 where the game player is allowed to place another wager and play primary game 122 again.

Conclusion

Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8485881May 3, 2006Jul 16, 2013IgtGaming machine with movable display
US8740699Mar 3, 2010Jun 3, 2014Jon H MuskinSlot machine with sliding symbols
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/16
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/32
European ClassificationG07F17/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 28, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK F/K/A FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK, NEW
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017537/0671
Effective date: 20060322
Owner name: WACHOVIA BANK F/K/A FIRST UNION NATIONAL BANK,NEW
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:17537/671
Jan 4, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: ATLANTIC CITY COIN & SLOT SERVICE COMPANY, INC., N
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SEELIG, JERALD C.;HENSHAW, LAWRENCE M.;REEL/FRAME:015528/0290
Effective date: 20041222