FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The invention in its current form relates to providing a method of participating in live games of chance from a remote location, via a remote device over an encrypted wired or wireless communication link.
In the past, playing casino style games of chance from a location other than the playing floor of a casino involved the player logging into a “virtual” casino and playing casino style games, which were in fact, computer algorithms which simulated the casino game.
The player had no sense of the play action normally associated with playing games of chance on a live casino floor.
In an ever-increasingly competitive environment, Casino operators continue to look for additional methods of attracting players, in particular “high-rollers”, and in extending players' time “at the table”. Casino operators continue to offer significant “comps”, or complimentary services to their preferred players, but this has basically equalized among all the best casinos. Casinos invest in new and diverse games of chance to entice players, but again this equalizes among casinos as they all bring the same games onto their playing floor.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The answer is not solely in bringing new and improved games, or offering additional or extended “comps”. What is needed is a method to extended the playing floor and allow preferred clients of the casinos to bet on the on-going, live games happening on the floor, while taking advantage of the amenities offered by the casino.
A system and method for playing live, casino games of chance, occurring in real-time, via a remote device across an encrypted wired or wireless communication link.
One embodiment of the invention comprises a system and method for capturing video of games of chance occurring in real-time via a digital video camera, and transmitting that video via a wired or wireless communication link to a central server where it is distributed to a plurality of hand-held devices or other remote terminal device located at remote locations on a casino property. The central server holds the gaming algorithms, which coordinate the remote devices with the game-play occurring at the live game. The server also authenticates the remote devices and creates separate user accounts for each device, and reconciles the financial account status of the remote device user account with the casino's house account system. Users of the remote devices log-in to the server via an encrypted wireless communication link and are given access to the gaming system on the server. From the gaming system, users can scan through various video feeds from a plurality of games occurring on the gaming floor of the casino. Users can then opt to enter play on a specific game and begin to place bets on the game via the remote device. Betting is controlled at the server via game-play algorithms, which allow betting at the same sequencing and rhythm as the live game.
All data and video, including all events and transactions from both the remote device and the server are stored in a time-stamped data storage file coordinated with the remote device as well as the user.
Another embodiment of the invention involves the implementation of methods of 1, 2, and 3 in an existing casino hotel cable television system, where the methods of 1, 2, and 3 are effected using the cable of the existing casino hotel cable television system as the video transmission and communication links, using the casino hotel television as the viewing system, and using an input device and interface connected to the hotel television as the log-in, authentication, and betting input modality.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In another embodiment of the invention, all methods of 1, 2, and 3 are implemented where video from one set of games is transmitted to a geographically remote server bank (i.e. in another city), which in turn transmits the video feed and provides gaming control algorithms to remote player devices in yet another geographically remote location (i.e. in yet another city).
FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a system of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrates a flow-diagram for one embodiment of the method for accessing the gaming system using a remote device.
The invention is a method and system for playing live games of chance from a remote location via a combination of video and data communication links over a secured, encrypted local or wide area network. In the following description, numerous specific details are used to provide a more complete description of the present invention. However, the invention is not dependent on these specifics to function, but these specifics are used to more fully illustrate the invention.
In general, the invention comprises a method and system by which a person may place bets, in cadence with normal game flow, on any of a plurality of live games of chance occurring in real-time from a location geographically remote from the actual on-going game. The invention also comprises a method and system for controlling betting in precise correspondence with normal betting occurring at the live game. The invention also comprises a method and system for creating individual betting accounts for each remote device logged into the system. The invention also comprises a method and system for archiving all video and data associated with every betting transaction made by each device logged into the system.
FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of the invention that comprises a system and method for betting on live games of chance from a remote location, while still experiencing the live feel and pace of the game.
In this embodiment, the system includes a plurality of cameras placed above the playing surfaces of a plurality of live games of chance. The video feed is captured, compressed, and transmitted via an encrypted wired or wireless communication link to a server where logic processes the video for transport to authenticated remote devices. Remote devices log into the server via encrypted wired or wireless communication link to the server.
Once logged into the server, the remote devices can then choose to view the video feeds from the plurality of on-going live games by selecting them using the Graphic User Interface (GUI) on the remote device. The user of the remote device can select any one of the games observed and enter that game by selecting it on the GUI on the remote device.
Once a specific game has been selected by the user of the remote device, the server creates a transaction account for the remote device and begins sending “open betting” and “closed betting” messages to the remote device, and accepts betting input messages from the remote device.
The server uses logic or manual inputs to determine the results of the play at the actual live game, and then calculates the results of the bets placed by the user of the remote device, debiting or crediting the transaction account as appropriate for each bet. The server stores all video and all data for every transaction made by the remote device and archives it to the disk array.
At periods preset by the system operator, the server will require re-authentication by the remote device user, which may include thumbprint or fingerprint recognition scans, iris scans, or any number of other personal authentication processes.
Also at periods preset by the system operator, the server also sends updates to the house account system (if in-place) to update the financial account status of the remote device user. The server will also monitor bets made from the remote devices and use logic to compare bets made to preset thresholds to determine if betting collusion or other possible illegal betting is occurring. If these thresholds are met, the server will either lock out the remote device, or notify the house security system depending on settings determined by the system owner or operator.
At any time a communication link is lost during a session in which a user of a remote device is logged into the system, the remote device will notify the user via a graphic display that the link has been lost, and will list any bets placed prior to the loss of communication. Upon re-establishment of the link, the user must re-authenticate with the server and will then be notified of the result of any bet placed prior to the loss of communication. If in the case of wireless communication links, the remote device user will be notified via a graphic message when the signal strength begins to degrade, warning the user of pending signal loss and resultant loss of communication.
All communication links utilized in any of the embodiments of this system are encrypted using any number of encryption technologies, including public and private key encryption, proprietary hardware encryption, software encryption, etc., and any combination thereof. Communications links may use various protocols/architectures. If a link is a wireless link, the protocol/architecture may be IEEE 802.11 (a, b, and/or g). For wired links, the protocol/architecture may be RS-232, IEEE-1394 (Firewire.TM.), TCP/IP or Ethernet.
In one embodiment, the regulatory bodies, such as state gaming boards, may be sent messages at the same or at different intervals as those sent to the house accounts system (if in place) by the server to keep such bodies appraised of the activities within and peripheral to the system.
FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of a graphic user interface logic path on a remote device leading from a general gaming screen where the user chooses the type of game to preview, to a screen where the user chooses from a plurality of video feeds from the same type of game, to the actual playing screen where the user can place bets on the chosen game.
The graphic user interface will allow navigation forward and backwards within the gaming system so the user of the remote device can move from game to game both in the playing mode and in the preview mode. The graphic user interface may be displayed on any of a plurality of screens or devices based on the embodiment of the system used in any one specific situation.