US 20050159212 A1
A method of monitoring of live games of chance via a remote device that includes both a system for transporting video feed of a live game of chance via a wireless or wired communication link to the remote device, a method of placing bets on the live game of chance over a secured wireless or wired communication link via the device, a method of calculating the result of the placed bet after the game transaction is complete, and a method of resolving betting account balances based on the results of the bets. Embodiments of the invention comprise apparatus forming a part of a gaming network or system including any live game of chance, a server for coordinating game play, storage of all data, and resolving account balances with the house account system, and remote devices for monitoring game play and placing bets.
1. A method of remotely viewing a live game of chance comprising:
A video capture device, such as a digital video camera, set to view the playing field of the game;
Transmission of the video feed of the live game via a secured wired or wireless communication link to a remote server;
Transmitting the live video feed from the remote server to a remote device, which has registered with the server utilizing a secured wireless or wired communication link;
Capture and cataloging of the video feed and storing of said video feed in a data storage system controlled by the remote server.
2. A method for placing bets on a live game of chance, based on observing the live video feed via an authenticated remote device comprising:
Authenticating a remote device at the server to authorize the remote device into the betting system;
A method for ensuring the authenticated remote device is being operated by the approved user (such as fingerprint scan, eye-scan, etc) during the authenticated session;
Creating an individual transaction account on the server for every authenticated remote device on the system;
Encrypting the data stream between the authenticated remote device and the server;
A manual (human controlled) or automated (logic controlled) system by which betting is opened and closed to the authenticated remote device at the server in coordination with the normal flow of game play;
Transmission of the status of betting (open or closed) to the authenticated remote device via the server;
A graphic display for notifying the user of the authenticated remote device that betting is open or closed;
A graphic user interface on the authenticated remote device to place bets in a similar fashion to players physically participating at the live game;
A graphic display showing the placed bets by the user of the authenticated remote device to that user;
Transmission of any bets placed on the authenticated remote device to the authenticated device's account on the server;
A graphic display on the authenticated remote device to see the result of the bet based on the game play, and the user's account balance after each betting transaction;
In the case of a “house” betting account, encrypted transmission of the user's account balance from the server to the “house” account system for account resolution at timer periods set by the house.
3. A gaming algorithm residing on the server to control gaming protocol consisting of:
Reception of video feed as outlined in section 1.;
Reception of message from the live game via a manual (human controlled) or automated (logic controlled) input that betting is open;
Reception of query for authentication by remote devices;
Authentication of the remote device and creation of a transaction account for the authenticated remote device;
Reception of “open betting” message as described in section 2;
Opening of gaming algorithm to receive bets from authenticated remote devices;
Reception of message from the authenticated remote device of bet placement during an “open betting” session, and storage of that message in the transaction account for that device;
Reception of message from the live game via a manual (human controlled) or automated (logic controlled) input that betting is closed;
Reception of a message from the live game via a manual (human controlled) or automated (logic controlled) input of the result of the game play upon which the bet was placed;
Calculation of the win/loss position attained for each betting transaction for the authenticated remote device, and logging of that result in the transaction account for the authenticated remote device;
Transmission of the account status of the authenticated remote device to a house account (in the situation where a house account is present) at some interval during game play (as in section 2 above) and upon log-out (either intentional or un-intentional) of the authenticated remote device;
Monitoring of the betting patterns of the users of the authenticated remote devices both individually and in aggregate to determine if collusion betting is occurring Transmission of a message to the house security system of any betting patterns identified as collusion betting.
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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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.