FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE ART
The present invention relates to wagering systems, particularly pari-mutuel wagering systems, and more particularly to controls exercised on single race pools and progressive pools for pari-mutuel wagering.
Pari-Mutuel wagering comprises a betting system in which the amount of money paid out to winners is based upon the total pool of bets. This is derived from an original form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets, after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made. Oller called his system “parier mutuel” meaning “mutual stake” or “betting among ourselves.” As this wagering method was adopted in England it became known as “Paris mutuals,” and soon after “pari-mutuels.”
A pari-mutuel wagering system in today's technology based atmosphere is a complex, integrated hardware and software configuration that accepts wagers, prints bet tickets, calculates odds, and allows for the redemption of winning tickets. Transactions are processed at a rate of up to a thousand per second in a secure, redundant environment. Totalisator systems consist of the following components: The Central System—Central Systems consist of triplex redundant computers. Large communication arrays are linked to the central system, enabling the computers to process wagers from thousands of terminals at the local site and at hundreds of remote facilities. Proprietary Software—The software (such as Autotrak™ II software provided by Autotote, Inc.) has been developed over a period of 30 years. It supports multiple bet types, net pool pricing, player tracking, telephone, Internet wagering, and other advanced features. Newer systems, such as the ECLIPSE™ (Autotote, Inc.) totalisator processes transactions at an unprecedented pace per second—a vital advantage for real-time wagering and information processing. The integration of sophisticated database and Internet technologies offer customers both superior processing capacity and a continuous stream of data. There is also a client-defined data management tool in the system that swiftly renders these masses of data more understandable and usable. The Data Access System (or DAS) is a robust, intranet-based application providing access to real time data for use in analysis, performance tracking, tax processing and numerous other applications. Designed to work together in a cohesive and integrated manner, computer systems, terminals, peripheral devices and personnel provide superior technology and service to customers worldwide. There are numerous providers of terminals, software, and systems (e.g., Autotote, Amtote, Unitote, IQ-Ludorum, and others) to the gaming industry. Over 100,000 units are in service worldwide.
Flexibility and extensibility are key features of all modern terminals. The latest generation are PC-based terminals that use a common architecture, but different terminal packaging for different wagering venues. Applications include teller-based wagering, large group self-service wagering, table or small group self-service wagering, and personal wagering. Similarly, one type of terminal can use alternate software for different applications. One example is the EXTREMA™ terminal (Autotote, Inc.), which can be used for lottery, racing, and sports betting applications by installing different software and peripherals. Yet another example is Autotote's PROBE®XL, which can be used for a combination of gaming and racing.
Pari-mutuel or pari-mutuel race contestant wagering presently does not have a large instant payoff which can compete with a) state lotteries, b) national lotteries and c) progressive and interconnected slot-type gaming machines such as the “Megabucks” slot machines. One of the reasons for the inability to compete with slot machines is that slot machines that have very high odd random actuators and are linked together between machines. The probability of a jackpot event is fixed according to statistics and game controls, and portions of wagers are contributed to the jackpot pool over extended periods of times from many different machines. The highest paying wager for a pari-mutuel race contestant wagering today is the “Pick Six” wager based in California, programmed and operated by the totalizator company Autotote, Inc. However, this “Pick Six” wager requires the player to watch a race every half hour for six consecutive races which is very time consuming since people have to work during the day. Also, the “Pick Six” fails to have lottery sized pools because of consolation rules, whereby the wager will pay off the jackpot or pool with only four winners versus six winners. Therefore, there will be no progressive carryover if a player has four winners in six races, five winners in six races and, of course, a jackpot win with six winners in six races.
Also, in a Pick Six pari-mutuel event, a group of players can “box” and “key” race contestants via handicapping skills to further eliminate the chances of a progressive carryover to build the jackpot or betting pool for the next day. Since race contestant wagering is a game of skill via handicapping variables and not merely balls hopping with theoretically random occurrence out of a hopper, such as occurs in a lottery or a random actuator in a slot machine where reel probabilities can be predetermined by either physical mapping, software mapping, weighting or the like, so that probabilities can be specifically controlled within wide ranges of occurrence and frequency. Because the frequency in a slot machine is approximately truly random and can be programmed, it is substantially different from the frequency of a Pick Six pari-mutuel event being won. On the other hand, the jackpot or grand prize in a “pick six” wager or any exotic racing wager can be “busted” or won consistently at moderate award levels (thereby preventing progressive building) due to handicapping skill of narrowing the odds. If the grand prize or jackpot is greater than the possible combos of race contestants, one can “box the field” (make every conceivable wager) for a guaranteed jackpot win, thereby again eliminating any progressive carryover. For example, if the superfecta pool is $30,000 and there are only 24,024 combos in a 14 horse field (14×13×12×11=24,024) a player will be able to box the field for 24,024 different $1 combos since the jackpot is greater than the available combos (at least if there is a single winning ticket). Therefore, it is desirable and should have been considered by the industry to be able to create a wager where more potential combos (combinations) are involved such as picking the first 8 horses in exact order or 9 horses in exact order in another embodiment. (8 horses in exact order translates into 121,080,960 combos (14×13×12×11×10×9×8×7=121,080,960 combos) and 9 horses in exact order of a 14 horse field (a 14 horse field is used because this is the maximum race contestant field size without using an auxiliary gate for special races such as the Kentucky Derby and many tracks won't permit more than 14 horses for safety reasons) translates into 726,485,760 combos ([14!/6!] or 14×13×12×11×10×9×8×7×6=726,485,760 combos). Whatever the underlying reasons, this complexity of a wager has not been accepted by or promoted by the industry.
There are many different types of smaller wagers available to the player. EXACTA is a two horse bet, where one must pick the winner and second place finishers in exact order, or “box” the bet so that either order of first and second place wins the bet. NOTE: A player is able tom box most conventional and available wagers. When a player boxes a wager, all possible combinations of contestant wins, or limited numbers of contestant wins (a partial box) are wagered upon with multiple tickets or a special box ticket. For example, a $1.00 Exacta partial box of the contestants 1-2-3 will cost $6.00 (wagering $1.00 on each finish combination of 1-2-3; 1-3-2; 2-1-3; 2-3-1; 3-2-1; and 3-1-2, for six possible combinations at a cost per wager of $1.00). To determine the number of combinations possible in a box wager for an Exacta wager, the formula is: (# of Horses×(# of Horses−1) or in the example above, 3×2=$6.00. A 1-2-3-4 Exacta box=4×3=$12.00.
TRIFECTA is a three horse bet, where one must pick the winner, second, and third in exact order, or “box” the bet so that the three can finish in any order. The formula for a Trfiecta is mathematically similar: (# of Horses×(# of Horses−1)×(# of Horses−2). A 1-2-3 Trifecta box=(3×2×1=$6.00) and a 1-2-3-4 Trifecta box=(4×3×2=$24.00)
QUINELLA is a bet involving win and place (first and second) only. For example, to win a two horse QUINELLA bet both horses must run first or second, in either order. If a QUINELLA bet links a horse to several other horses, it must run first or second, and any of the other horses must run first or second.
SUPERFECTA is a four horse bet, where on must pick the first, second, third and fourth place horses in exact order, or “box” the bet so that four horses can finish in any of the first four places.
A KEY bet requires that you pick one horse to win, and several horses in any combination to complete the bet. For example, a $1 KEY trifecta with your selection to win plus 2 other horses (in any order) will cost $2. Your win horse with 3 other horses, $6. Your win horse with 4 other horses $12.
PICK THREE bets require that you select the winners in 3 consecutive races. There are also PICK FOUR, PICK SIX, and even PICK TEN (place bets, where your selections can finish either first or second). On Breeders Cup day the PICK SIX pool is several million dollars.
Some tracks have TWIN EXACTA and TWIN TRIFECTA bets, where one must pick an exacta or Trifecta in a designated race, then exchange that winning ticket (for which you get paid) to select the second exact or Trifecta in another designated race to win or share the betting pool. If there are no winners, the betting pool is carried forward to the next day. Mathematical formulae exist for determining the box bets for each of these forms of wagers.
There are numerous regulations that apply to the form and content of pari-mutuel wagering, pari-mutuel tickets, and pari-mutuel payouts. Typical of these are the content and definitions in a present Kansas State Regulation.
112-9-3. Parimutuel Wagering.
Each form of wagering shall be used only with permission of the commission and in accordance with the provisions of the Kansas parimutuel racing act. (Authorized by K.S.A. 1988 Supp. 74-8804 (p); implementing K.S.A. 1988 Supp. 8819(b); effective, T-112-3-31-89, Mar. 31, 1989; effective Jun. 26, 1989.)
112-9-4. Parimutuel Tickets.
(a) Each parimutuel ticket shall be evidence of a contribution to the parimutuel pool operated by the organization licensee and shall be evidence of the obligation of the organization licensee to pay to each holder the portion of the distributable amount of the parimutuel pool that is represented by each valid parimutuel ticket. Each organization licensee shall cash each valid, unmutilated winning ticket when each ticket is presented for payment during the course of the meeting where sold, and for a period of 60 days after the close of the race meeting.
(b) Each valid parimutuel ticket shall have been issued by a parimutuel ticket machine operated by the organization licensee and recorded as a ticket entitled to a share of the parimutuel pool, and contained imprinted information as to:
- (1) The name of the organization licensee operating the meeting and the racetrack;
- (2) the date of the wagering transaction and the date of the race;
- (3) a unique identifying number or code;
- (4) the race number for which the pool is conducted;
- (5) the type or types of wager represented;
- (6) the number or numbers representing the wagering interest for which the wager is recorded;
- (7) the amount or amounts of the contribution to the parimutuel pool or pools for which the ticket is evidence; and
- (8) the number of the ticket issuing machine.
(c) Each parimutuel ticket recorded or reported as previously paid, canceled or nonexistent shall be deemed an invalid parimutuel ticket by the organization licensee. (d) Any organization licensee may withhold payment and may refuse to cash any parimutuel ticket deemed not valid. (Authorized by K.S.A. 1988 Supp. 74-8804 (p); implementing K.S.A. 1988 Supp. 74-8819; effective, T-112-3-31-89, Mar. 31, 1989; effective Jun. 26, 1989.) One of the reasons that larger odds wagering has not been introduced to the racing industry (e.g., horse racing, dog racing, thoroughbred racing or harness racing) relates to the fact that the pari-mutuel racing industry is a heavily regulated industry. The pari-mutuel racing industry is controlled on a state-by-state basis via a state racing commission. However, there are some federal laws such as the Horse Racing Wire Act (this act allows wagers to cross state lines in order to commingle or share betting pools) but many of the model rules for racing such as racing dates, off track betting, medication and the introduction of a new bet type or new wager is regulated at the state level. Therefore, if one wanted to introduce a new national or international type of wager, it would have to be approved by the 42 states that have pari-mutuel wagering or any other international jurisdiction that wanted to participate in the commingled betting pool. The French-U.S. tax treaty permits commingling of pari-mutuel race contestant wagering between France and U.S. which was negotiated in the treaty. The more state racing commissions that adopt the new bet type or new wager, the greater the betting pool since distribution of the wager is increased by the access to more wagering locations and off-track betting web sites(e.g., racetracks and parlors). This increases the wagers' distribution. However, since a new bet type can be introduced only on a state-by-state basis, introducing a new bet type would result in high administrative and travel costs just to open “X” locations for distribution. Also, whenever introducing a new bet type, it takes time for public acceptance due to the learning curve of the new wager and also to create awareness that a new wager exists from a marketing perspective. It took six years to gain market wide acceptance and regulatory approval for the superfecta wager in 42 states.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Another reason why a 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 race contestant wager in exact order is so difficult to implement is because it requires the results of more horses to be sent on the totalizator network which uses bandwidth and requires each host racing jurisdiction supplying simulcast races to record and monitor (photofinishes for example) extra race results requiring approval by (e.g., produced) the placing judges and stewards. Currently there are only results of the first four finishers available on the totalizator network since no more than four race contestants is required to complete of a bet type. (The superfecta bet type involves four race contestants which is the most results for any bet type relating to a specific race. Also, many players are tuned off by picking five or more contestants because they feel the risk is too great since many bettors have never even won a superfecta (4 contestant) let alone a wager with five or more contestants. Thereby it would be desirable to use only four numbers instead of five numbers from the psychological point of view where it is easier to pick four numbers instead of five numbers.
In gaming today, there are several avenues today where one can play or wager such as bingo, keno, slot machines, card games (such as black jack) state lotteries, sports betting and pari-mutuel race contestant wagering via dogs and horses to name a few. These different ways or avenues of gaming have different rules, methods and fundamentals of how to play, where the money comes from, what determines the result etc. What keeps many of these different avenues of gaming alive is that players have different tastes and learning curve abilities or governments have only legalized certain type of gaming, thereby creating a monopolistic scenario for that type of gaming. An example of a monopolistic scenario would be horse racing and dog racing since it is legalized in 42 states of America whereby many of these 42 states do not authorize card games or slots. This is why in markets where there is little gaming, pari-mutuel race contestant wagering can succeed due to lack of competition. Many players today say that pari-mutuel race contestant wagering operates at too slow of a pace where there is only a race every five minutes in the simulcast menu (a simulcast menu is where races are pulled down by decoders by a specific track or OTB to show many broadcasted races comprising a menu of scheduled races for the day) whereas slot machines or card games can be played every minute or less. However, another major fault of pari-mutuel race contestant wagering is fluctuating odds which lead to lower winning payouts. For example, many times a player makes a wager on race contestant before a race where the odds at that moment in time were greater than the official payoff. In other words the win odds dropped from 4 to 1 before post to 2 to 1 after the race was declared official in one example. This is because the totalizator system which totals the bets only scans the odds every 30 seconds on average due to limited bandwidth on the totalizator network. However, even if the totalizator networks were re-scaled there still would be decreasing odds because two players could be at the same time causing fluctuation without giving enough notice for both players to see re-scanned odds on a T.V. set or totalizator board or player A bets before player B on the same race contestant causing player A odds to be lowered since player A is already “locked in” the pool before player B lowered the odds on player A. This last instance causes severe lineups at racetracks by each player wants to the last person in the pool to prevent minimal odd fluctuation. In theory, if the player were successfully to be the last player in the pool his or her odds would only decrease by the respective pro-rata amount wagered by him or herself.
Many seasoned or veteran pari-mutuel wagerers realize that that's part of the game due to fundamental problems of pari-mutuel race contestant wagering but it is still disappointing, especially if the player wins a superfecta wager (a wager where the first, second, third, fourth race contestant is picked in consecutive order which is very difficult to do thereby producing high payoffs) only to find out in this example there were three other players with the same winning numbers and the jackpot had to be split three ways in this instance or example. (The jackpot in this example is the total pari-mutuel superfecta betting pool). This jackpot pool splitting happens less in state lotteries which are also pari-mutuel because there are so many more combinations to choose from (The maximum number of superfecta combinations of a superfecta can have is 24024 in a 14 race contestant field however, the average field size for pari-mutuel race event is only 8 resulting in only 880 different combos where as a state lottery has millions of unique combos) and even if pool splitting does happen, the state lottery jackpot is so much bigger that player doesn't notice it as much. Not only does pari-mutuel race contestant wagering have less combos to choose from or smaller jackpots, it also has pari-mutuel race contestant consolation rules whereby the grand jackpot or betting pool must be allocated even if nobody has the correct numbers. For example, say the winning race contestants were 4, 5, 10, 2 and the closest winning tickets to resemble this combination were 4, 5, 7, 8 and 4, 5, 1, 9, or 4, 5, 3, 9 etc. In other words, many more players have two correct number (4, 5) let alone four correct numbers. The pari-mutuel race consolation contestant rules for exotic wagering today, totally destroy the pari-mutuel race contestant winning payoffs since consolation rules allow no carryovers to build jackpot. With other forms of gaming such as bingo, slot machines, blackjack this is not the case since there is only one winner on a game by game situation thereby causing no sharing or splitting winners with another player. In order to not be vulnerable to pari-mutuel race contestant consolation betting rules, one would have to create separate betting pools where the wagers are not commingled with out of state jurisdictions that have consolation rules for exotic wagering. If the exotic wagering is done in state where consolation rules exist that stop carryovers then those model rules would have to be changed at the “host” or “in state” racing commission. In order to allow out of state races to be separate pooled, one would have to receive permission from the state racing commission. An example of this being done today is in Canada whereby Canadians cannot commingle into U.S. betting pools due to I.R.S. withholding tax issues, therefore Canadian racetracks create their own separate betting pools, however these pools are small and can result in minus pools to the track if one race contestant takes major share of the betting and the track's contractual obligations (horseman's takeout, government takeout and out of state broadcast fees) are higher than the commission rate since the pari-mutuel laws in every state say that the racetrack must pay a minimum 5% in a minus pool situation, this guarantees a return to the player when the specific betting pool does not have enough money to pay the winning players. However, I will now explain how a Quick Pick odds/payout stabilizer can prevent minus pools.
In order to prevent splitting of jackpots or betting pools for exotic wagering (Superfecta, trifecta, exacta) and the plummeting of win/place/show odds/payoffs, one would need a “Quick Pick odds and payoff stabilizer.” A Quick Pick odds stabilizer prevent the splitting or sharing among players of betting pools by limiting the number of combos given out in a superfecta, triactor, exactor. For example, in a six horse field the machine or quick pick would only give out 30 different combos (6×5=30 possibilities) thereby no two players would have the same tickets in this example. If there was a need to have more than 30 exactor combos a separate stand alone exactor betting pool would be created whereby the same 30 combos would be given out again. If only $20 was wagered in this scenario only 20 combos would be given out. If the winning combo was not one of the 20 combos given out by the quick pick odd/payoff stabilizer, this particular exactor pool would carryover to the next race since the quick pick odd/payoff stabilizer did not give out the correct numbers for a winning exactor. If the quick pick odd/payoff stabilizer does choose a winning combo or gives out winning numbers then the entire betting pool for that particular bet type is paid out and the betting pool or jackpot starts at zero for the next race. Once again each combo of numbers (in this example two correct numbers for the exactor) will be different or unique. In this example of 30 unique combos in a six horse field for an exactor bet type (6×5=30 combos) there will always be an individual winning combo or ticket since each individual ticket or combo was used by the quick pick odd/payoff stabilizer since $30 was put into the machine by the players. If less than $30 was bet in this machine for a particular race event there may be the possibility of a carryover since not all 30 combos were given out by the quick pick odd/payoff stabilizer. (The assumption in this example is that all the players are playing with one denominator per combo.) The quick pick odd/payoff stabilizer can use any exotic bet type (triactor, superfecta) whereby two or more winning numbers are required. The more correct winning numbers in exact order required the greater number of combos available to be given out or sold. For example, the quick pick odd/payoff stabilizer would give out 24,024 unique combos in a 14 race contestant field (14×13×12×11=24,024). The greater amount of sold combos or combos given out the greater the jackpot since more money is in the pool. If all 24,024 combos were sold or bet on, a new separate superfecta pool would be created in this example to meet the demand for more money or players participating. If 24,024 combos were required in this example and extra 1000 combos would be sold in a separate betting pool. Therefore, in this example there would be 1000 tickets with the same numbers but the identical numbers or combos would be in separate betting pools. The first betting pool in this example would contain 24,024 dollars and the second betting pool in this example would contain 1000 dollar with 23,024 guaranteed by insurance or in-house marketing dollars. If one of the 1000 unique combos in the second pool was not a winner, the insurance or in-house marketing dollars would not be used and the 1000 dollars would be carried over for the next race. a progressive pool controller can operate in a number of modes which will be described herein. An example of one particular method will provide a basis for introduction to the generic concept. A handicapping database that is in the machine or accessed via a server determines (e.g., by handicapping methods known in the art, for example, those handicapping methods and concepts described in copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/997,288 and PCT Application PCT CA02/01832, which references are herein incorporated by reference) which contestants are more likely to lose and are less likely to finish in the top four positions. The handicapping variables used in the algorithm, to name a non-limiting few would be time between races, trainer statistics, bullet track times, new additional equipment (new blinders, new tack), track conditions, change in competition category or class, weight changes, jockey record, change in jockey or trainer, etc. Many sophisticated handicappers today feel that it is easier to handicap contestants that are likely to lose, than it is to handicap contestants to win. Therefore, the pool controlling handicapping database supplies “X” number of horses that are the least likely for a high finish and supposedly will not finish in the top four of a combination of contestants wager, such as a superfecta, in one embodiment of a database for the selection process for determining the “Y” number of combos. The more losing combos given out in one event, the larger the jackpot will be due to carryovers. The algorithm will take this data and formulate unique combos to give the players, or when the unique combinations are exhausted repeat the combinations within the weakened pool or expand the combinations to continue providing unique combinations, yet still using reduced likelihood combinations. For example, if the first set of reduced likelihood combinations excluded the first four low odds contestants, when the combinations were exhausted, the algorithm, program or system, could then add the fourth lowest odds contestant into the available contestant pool for the algorithm, or even require that contestant to be used (to maintain uniqueness for the tickets and wagers), to expand the number of unique wagers available. For example, with fourteen contestants, and the first set of low probability wagers excluding the top four (lowest odds) contestants in the race, the addition of one more contestant (still without the top three contestants) would add over ten thousand new unique tickets to the available combo selection. It must be noted that even though the combinations are weighted in stages in favor of a growing pool, and this weighting can shift over time, any ticker always has the possibility of winning at any stage of the wagering events.
The present invention may also be described as an apparatus or wagering system on race events having pools (e.g., pari-mutuel wagers, shared pools, segregated pools, closed pools, etc.) wherein an initial wager is placed by a player in an wagering terminal. The terminal must be in communication with a processor that enables the execution of certain functional capabilities already described herein, particularly the automatic selection of race contestants. The selection may be performed by the ‘skilled’ handicapping software and program previous described, may be a quick-pick random function, or may make selections based solely on odds needed to meet set payout odds or goals identified on the machine. These odds may be reconfigured or redisplayed at the beginning of each initial wagering event, but should fluctuate minimally or not at all during the total wagering event in the practice of the invention (which may include and preferably does include multiple race events with multiple, and preferably consecutive wagers placed). The selection of contestant(s) for wagers on at least a first racing event is enabled so that it is possible that at least a portion of any winnings from the initial wager can be or is applied as wagers in at least one additional race event finishing subsequent to a finish in the first race event. That is, when the initial wager is made, and there are winnings from that wager, at least some of the winnings are placed onto a next (additional) wager in another race event, and possibly remainders from the initial winnings are placed at wagers in other race events so that the entire winnings are not parlayed onto a single wager. For example, if the first $2.00 wager wins $6.40, the machine may automatically place wagers of $2.00 on a first additional event (e.g., Race 10 at Laurel Raceways), $2.00 on a second additional event (e.g., Race 9 at Aqueduct), and $2.00 on a third additional event (e.g., race 1 at Canterbury Downs). If none of those wagers win, the remainder ($0.40) may either be returned to the original player or pooled with remainders from other players and placed on a fourth additional wagering event. For example, if the $0.40 remainder were pooled with three other players with $0.60, $0.70 and $0.30 remainders, and the combined wager was on a winning event that paid $7.40, the first player would receive 20% of that win amount (0.20×$7.40), the second player would win 30% of that win amount (0.30×$7.40), the third player would win 35% of the winning amount (0.35×$7.40) and the fourth player would win 15% of the winning amount (0.15×$7.40). In this way, all moneys won could then be paid out on tickets or in accounts of the players. If the winning amount for players from this combined wager were sufficient, additional wagers could be continued, or if needed, again combined with other players' remainders and wagered as another combined wager. The player may elect a specific type of program that meets that player's wagering strategy. For example, the player may elect a long-shot strategy, a mid-shot strategy, a favorite strategy, a retention of portions of winnings not divisible by $1.00 or $2.00 (e.g., if the win were $7.40, the strategy would require that either $0.40 or $1.40, respectively be banked), or any other stylistic strategy for which a program has been programmed.
The wagering event or system may be practiced where at least one wager placed on an at least one additional race event (of course to have the available money from the first or initial wagering event, the additional event should start and must finish subsequent to the finish in the first race event) is automatically selected and the wager on the at least one additional wager is placed by a processor in information transmission association with the wagering terminal. This automatic selection may be based upon any of the designs placed into the game, which will be described in greater detail, including random quick-pick selection, handicapped selection by a program and/or algorithm, selection based purely on available odds needed to meet predicted wager returns, etc. The race events, as clearly identified above, do not have to be at the same race facility, but may be accessed anywhere in the country.
The wagering system preferably operates by at least one of the initial wager and the at least one additional race event being selected by an automatic handicapping program that handicaps race events based on at least one of handicapping information and track wagering odds. An individual player may make the initial wager in the first race event, and the system will continue to place wagers until a predetermined or later determined or a preselected or later selected condition is met. These conditions may be based on any wagering strategy, for example, and by way of non-limiting examples may selected from the group consisting of: a) a pre-specified number of subsequent events have been run; b) a pre-specified amount of time has expired; c) all funds available for wagering are exhausted; d) when a player-specified or system specified winning total amount has been won; e) when a player-specified or system specified winning total amount has been lost; and f) until a player indicates to the system that wagering should cease.
It is a unique capability of the parlaying or continuing wager of the invention may be attributed to an individual account or ticket that is tracked within the system for each initial wager. The wager may be tracked on an account to which the wager is attributed (which has been previously opened by the player), may be attributed to a single wagering ticket, or may be attributed to any record identifiable function (a wager number, a specific terminal, a specific wager number at a specific terminal, a specific code identifier for a wager, etc.). An advantage of that type of wager identification is that the system may be accessed for status information on wager results by the player, and the player may terminate the progression of the wagers, collect winnings, or restart a wagering event, as long as all of the account money has not already been wagered in upcoming future events. If money has been wagered in upcoming events, the player may withdraw uncommitted funds. The player may be specifically alerted that additional money is still in play, and the results of that wagered can be identified to the player at the conclusion of that event. Any money won can either be deposited in an account, or can be assigned to the coded ticket event. It is desirable that the probable time-line for the conclusion of the event is provided to the player. For example, if the player has available money of $27.30 from the initial wager and there is a $5.00 wager in play, a screen notice or ticket might inform the player:
- Balance=$27.30 Active=$5.00 Time=5 minutes to Post
This would inform the player that he can immediately access or further apply $27.30, that $5.00 is presently active on a wager, and that there is 5 minutes to Post on the active wager.
After the active wager race event has concluded, the account (if there is one) may be notified, for example with either a notice that Previously Active Wager (a specific date and time of the initial wager may indicate the event date) Paid $0.00, or if the event was a winning event. Previously Active Wager paid $13.70. Thus, the system may be accessed for status information on wager results by the player. The player may access the system by an access, by way of non-limiting examples, selected from the group consisting of wagering terminal, booth, ticket reading system, player information access, player code, internet connection, and terminal panel connection.
The wagering system may operate with wagers being placed in a wagering ladder, with increasing potential odds on each or some of the wagers to provide the potential for a significant jackpot-like event. For example, at least some of any winnings from the initial wager are programmed to be wagered in additional wagers at higher odds than the initial wager. If the first wager, for example, were on a Show bet, the second wager might be on a Place Wager, a third bet on a Win Wager, a fourth bet on a Daily Double and a fifth bet on an Exacta. The initial paytable for the wager may change each day or over the course of the day to show potential jackpots in this ladder. For example, the paytable may show a ladder of 1St Wager, 3:1 (or an absolute amount of $5.00), the Second Wager, 5:1 (or an absolute amount, based on the initial wager of $15.00), the Third Wager, 8:1 (or an absolute amount of $50.00, based on the initial wager), etc. progressing through the series of wagers on the ladder. The wagering system may search through all available race events to automatically find candidates that provide the necessary odds. The wagering system provides a uniquely attractive playing event where at least some of any winnings from the initial wager are programmed to be wagered in additional wagers at higher odds than the initial wager. For example, the wagering system may have a program that targets a series of at least four separate wagers to be placed in sequence, with at least two wagers in the series of four wagers have higher odds than an immediately preceding wager.
The wagering system may allow the player to receive a ticket in between the first race event and any other additional race events that shows the status of wagers. The wagering system may be enabled so that when there are any winnings on wagers, at least some winnings are placed on separate wagers in the same or different race event. For example, if the player has $8.40 available for wagering, the system may be programmed to allow for any desired combination of wagers in the same next race that provides desired odds (using some or all of the available wager-available money) and retention of money not wagered. By way of non-limiting examples, the program may provide a $2.00 Win Bet on a long-shot and a $4.00 Place Bet on a mid-range contestant, retaining $2.40 for wagers in subsequent events. Or the program will place $8.00 on a single contestant, and pool the remainder of $0.40 on another wager with other players.
The wagering system may advertise or post odds on the initial wager or on the series of all wagers so that the prospective odds are identified before wagers are entered into pools. The system then identifies an available contestant(s) at a race event that approximates or exceeds the identified odds and places an odds wager so that the identified odds will be covered by a winning event on the odds wager. Where no specific wager on a contestant or contestant is provided in a next race, the program may wait for another race, or odds on all wagers are identified before wagers are entered into pools, and the system identifies a contestant(s) at a race event that approximates the identified odds and places an odds wager so that the identified odds will be covered by a winning event on the odds wager or the system contributes a buffering amount to a winning event to cover the odds. In a ladder event, a jackpot maybe specifically (e.g., $10,000.00) or approximately (e.g., at least $5,000.00) identified at a time when the initial wager is made and the system automatically selects a series of wagers at odds that will at least meet the amount of the jackpot if a sufficient number of consecutive wagers made from the initial wager are winning wagers. In one version of the ladder event, the wagering system may have at least some consecutive wagers that are automatically made in an increasing sequence of difficulty of selection.
The above description has used many specific examples and specific numbers in providing a non-limiting description of the invention. It should be apparent and is intended to be understood by those skilled in the art that alternatives to these specific examples may be used within the scope of the invention. The particular games described may be accessed, uploaded or downloaded on demand into terminals or PC's through information transmission (wired or wireless) to the wagering sites. This may be by I.P. broadcasting or multitasking with appropriate transmission security applied (e.g., encryption verification, encoding, secure lines, secure encoded signals, and the like. IP (Internet Protocol) is used to refer to a group of emerging technologies that are reshaping the landscape of every industry involved with mass communications. Enabled by the IP concept, the Internet has emerged as a massive threat to TV, radio, cable, DBS and other broadcast distribution infrastructures. TCP and EP were developed by a Department of Defense (DOD) research project to connect a number of different networks designed by different vendors into a network of networks (the “Internet”). It was initially successful because it delivered a few basic services that everyone needed (file transfer, electronic mail, remote logon) across a large number of client and server systems. TCP/IP is composed of layers. IP is responsible for moving packets of data from node to node. IP forwards each packet based on a four-byte destination address (the IP number). The Internet authorities assign ranges of numbers to different organizations. The organizations assign groups of their numbers to departments. IP operates on gateway machines that move data from department to organization to region and then around the world. TCP is responsible for verifying the correct delivery of data from client to server, as data can be lost in the intermediate network. TCP adds support to detect errors or lost data and to trigger retransmission until the data is correctly and completely received.
TCP/IP is not a broadcast technology. It is a one-to-one packet-based communications protocol designed for the reliable delivery of data across interconnected networks. Digital broadcasting, on the other hand, is a one-to-many stream-based technology designed for the isochronous delivery of data across a variety of competing, largely non-interconnected networks. This is particularly applicable to wagering terminals where it is desirable to provide different wagering games to the terminals or to personal home computers or wagering sites.
Isochronous means that the data packets within a stream must be delivered on time and that the network must provide guaranteed bandwidth to support the peak bit-rate requirements of the content that is being delivered—typically audio and video streams. If the data does not arrive on time or it is corrupt, too bad—there are no second chances with real-time broadcast streams. This is uniquely critical in the wagering environment to have the information delivered in a timely manner. There are commercially available systems (e.g., SMPTE 259M (SDI) to move digital video through the routing switchers found in modern video facilities, and the MPEG-2 transport protocol is optimized for the delivery of compressed digital video streams) that are the transport layers of choice for digital cable, DBS and DTV broadcasting around the world. The benefit of IP Broadcasting is becoming obvious as the worlds of mass media broadcasting and the Internet collide. TCP/IP has become the language of peer-to-peer digital networking. It is found at the transport layer for the Ethernet networks that link computers together in offices and homes worldwide. And it is the transport layer for cable modems and digital subscriber lines, the broadband pipes that threaten to deliver mass media content on demand, to anyone, anywhere, anytime.