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Publication numberUS20060030404 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/182,549
Publication dateFeb 9, 2006
Filing dateJul 15, 2005
Priority dateJul 19, 2004
Publication number11182549, 182549, US 2006/0030404 A1, US 2006/030404 A1, US 20060030404 A1, US 20060030404A1, US 2006030404 A1, US 2006030404A1, US-A1-20060030404, US-A1-2006030404, US2006/0030404A1, US2006/030404A1, US20060030404 A1, US20060030404A1, US2006030404 A1, US2006030404A1
InventorsThomas Pohlman
Original AssigneeSensortronic Gaming Technologies, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Marker transaction monitoring
US 20060030404 A1
Abstract
Signal emitting lamer buttons coming within range of a sensor underneath a gaming table are detected. The signal carries the lamer button's identify and denomination. The transmitted information, which can also include an identification of the gaming table and the sensor, is recorded in a log so that every lamer button that gets placed on or removed from the gaming table will be recorded. Like the lamer button, a signal from a buy back button can also be detected by sensor, where that signal carries an identifier signifying a loan repayment by a player in the amount of the lamer button(s) on the gaming table. The placement on, of removal from, the gaming table of any button is detected by the sensor, which in turn triggers a visual recording of button movements. As such, marker scams can be detected using the log and/or the visual recording.
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Claims(32)
1. A method comprising electronically detecting an entrance into and an exit out of an electronic detection zone by:
a first set of one or more signal emitting tokens, wherein emissions from the first set that are electronically detected within the electronic detection zone represent a payment to a player of a game of chance at a gaming table proximal the electronic detection zone of a monetary amount of a debt for use by the player in gambling in the game of chance at the gaming table; and
a second set of signal emitting tokens, wherein emissions from the second set that are electronically detected within the electronic detection zone represent a repayment of the monetary amount of the debt by the player.
2. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein each said electronically detecting occurs within a predetermined time limit.
3. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the electronically detecting of:
the first set further comprises the step of taking a tangible document from the player that evidencing the debt; and
the second set further comprises the step of returning the tangible document to evidence the repayment of the debt.
4. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein:
each of the first and second sets includes one or more radio frequency identification (RFID) emitting tokens; and
the electronically detecting further comprises detecting the RFID of each said RFID emitting token entering into and exiting out of the electronic detection zone.
5. The method as defined in claim 4, each said RFID emitted includes data selected from the group consisting of the monetary value of the token, an identifier for the token, a repayment indicator, and a combination of the foregoing.
6. The method as defined in claim 5, wherein the identifier for the token is a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID).
7. The method as defined in claim 6, further comprising validating each said GUID against a database of known GUIDs.
8. The method as defined in claim 6, further comprising validating the monetary value of the token and the GUID of the token against a database of known GUIDs and their respective the monetary values.
9. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein each said electronically detecting further comprises the step of recording an entry in a log file corresponding to each said entrance into and the exit out of the electronic detection zone.
10. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein each said recorded entry in the log file includes data selected from the group consisting of date, time, the monetary amount of the corresponding token, the sum of the monetary amounts of the corresponding tokens in the first or second sets, an identifier for the corresponding token, a repayment indicator for the corresponding token, an identifier for the player, an identifier for an electronic reader that read the corresponding emissions, an identifier for the gaming table, and a combination of the foregoing.
11. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein:
electronically detecting the first set further comprises putting cash or its equivalent in the amount of the debt on the gaming table for said use by the player; and
electronically detecting the second set further comprises moving cash or its equivalent on the gaming table in the amount of the repayment away from the player to terminate any said use thereof by the player.
12. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein:
electronically detecting the first set further comprises providing cash or its equivalent in the amount of the debt proximal the gaming table for said use by the player; and
electronically detecting the second set further comprises moving cash or its equivalent on the gaming table in the amount of the repayment distal the player to terminate any said use thereof by the player.
13. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the gaming table is selected from the group consisting of a black jack table, a roulette table, a craps table, a poker table, a baccarat table, a 3 card poker table, a Caribbean stud poker table, a ‘Let It Ride’ table, a specialty game table, and any table for a game of chance.
14. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein:
each said token is either a lamer button showing a face monetary amount or a buy back button;
the first set consists of one or more lamer buttons;
the second set comprises one buy back button and one or more lamer buttons;
the monetary amount is the sum of the value of the one or more lamer buttons respectively in the first set and the second set.
15. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein each said entrance into and exit out of the electronic detection zone is visually recorded.
16. The method as defined in claim 15, wherein each said visual recording comprises one or more areas selected from the group consisting of an area proximal the gaming table, one or more said players at the gaming table, a casino worker facilitating gaming at the gaming table, one or more areas proximal the electronic detection zone, and a combination of the foregoing.
17. The method as defined in claim 15, wherein each said visual recording:
begins with the electronic detection of the entrance into the electronic detection zone by a first said signal emitting token; and
ends after the passage of a predetermined time limit from the beginning.
18. A computer readable medium comprising executable instructions which, when executed by a computer, perform the method of claim 1.
19. A method comprising:
electronically detecting an entrance into and an exit out of an electronic detection zone by:
a first set of one or more signal emitting tokens, wherein emissions from the first set that are electronically detected within the electronic detection zone represent a payment to a player of a game of chance at a gaming table proximal the electronic detection zone of a monetary amount of a debt for use in gambling in the game of chance at the gaming table; and
a second set of signal emitting tokens, wherein emissions from the second set that are electronically detected within the electronic detection zone represent a repayment of the monetary amount of the debt by the player;
recording an entry in a log file corresponding to each said entrance into and the exit out of the electronic detection zone; and
visually recording each said entrance into and exit out of the electronic detection zone.
20. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein:
each of the first and second sets includes one or more radio frequency identification (RFID) emitting tokens; and
the electronically detecting further comprises detecting the RFID of each said RFID emitting token entering into and exiting out of the electronic detection zone.
21. The method as defined in claim 20, wherein:
each said RFID emitted includes an identifier for the RFID emitting token; and the method further comprises:
validating the identifier against known identifiers; and
when any said identifier for a corresponding said RFID emitting token is found to be invalid by said validating, identifying, using the log file, one said visual recording corresponding to said entrance into and said exit out of the electronic detection zone by the corresponding said RFID emitting token found to be invalid.
22. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein each said recorded entry in the log file includes data selected from the group consisting of date, time, the monetary amount of the corresponding token, the sum of the monetary amounts of the corresponding tokens in the first or second sets, an identifier for the corresponding token, a repayment indicator for the corresponding token, an identifier for the player, an identifier for an electronic reader that read the corresponding emissions, an identifier for the gaming table, and a combination of the foregoing.
23. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein:
electronically detecting the first set further comprises putting cash or its equivalent in the amount of the debt on the gaming table for said use by the player; and
electronically detecting the second set further comprises moving cash or its equivalent on the gaming table in the amount of the repayment away from the player to terminate any said use thereof by the player.
24. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein:
electronically detecting the first set further comprises providing cash or its equivalent in the amount of the debt proximal the gaming table for said use by the player; and
electronically detecting the second set further comprises moving cash or its equivalent on the gaming table in the amount of the repayment distal the player to terminate any said use thereof by the player.
25. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein the gaming table is selected from the group consisting of a black jack table, a roulette table, a craps table, a poker table, a baccarat table, a 3 card poker table, a Caribbean stud poker table, a ‘Let It Ride’ table, a specialty game table, and any table for a game of chance.
26. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein:
each said token is either a lamer button having a face monetary value or a buy back button;
the first set consists of one or more lamer buttons;
the second set comprises one buy back button and one or more lamer buttons;
the monetary amount is the sum of the value of the one or more lamer buttons respectively in the first set and the second set.
27. The method as defined in claim 19, wherein each said visual recording:
begins with the electronic detection of the entrance into the electronic detection zone by a first said signal emitting token; and
ends after the passage of a predetermined time limit from the beginning.
28. A computer readable medium comprising executable instructions which, when executed by a computer, perform the method of claim 19.
29. A gaming system comprising:
a gaming table for one or more players to play a game of chance;
means for electronically detecting an entrance into and an exit out of an electronic detection zone proximal said gaming table by a means for emitting a signal; and
a plurality of said signal emitting means, wherein the emitted signal can be electronically detected by a means for reading the emitted signal when the signal emitting means is within the electronic detection zone, wherein the players playing the game of chance are bound by rules such that:
the signal emitted from a first kind of said signal emitting means carries data including a monetary value; and
the signal emitted from a second kind of said signal emitting means carries data including an identifier of a repayment of a debt by one said player in the amount of the monetary value of the first kind of said signal emitting means.
30. The gaming system as defined in claim 29, further comprising means for recording each said entrance into and exit out of the electronic detection zone proximal said gaming table by each said means for emitting said signal.
31. The gaming system as defined in claim 30, wherein the means for recording comprises:
means for visually recording each said means for emitting said signal from the entry thereof into the electronic detection zone until the exit thereof out of the electronic detection zone; and
means for storing:
an identifier for the means for emitting said signal that entered into and exited out of the electronic detection zone;
the monetary value carried in the signal emitted from the first kind of said signal emitting means that entered into and exited out of the electronic detection zone;
a time stamp for the entrance into and exit out of the electronic detection zone by the means for emitting said signal.
32. The gaming system as defined in claim 29, wherein:
each said means for emitting said signal is either a lamer button showing a face monetary amount or a buy back button;
each said lamer button emits the signal emitted of the first kind; and
each said buy back button emits the signal emitted of the second kind of said signal emitting means.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/589,364, filed on Jul. 19, 2004, titled Marker Transaction Monitoring System, which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to gaming and more particularly to tracking the issuance and repayment of a debt or marker incurred by a game player and represented by a physical token that is held by an operator of a game of chance.

BACKGROUND

A lamer button is a token that evidences a marker. A marker is an advance or debt owed by a gambler to a casino. When a gambler wishes to borrow money to gamble with, a casino worker puts one or more gaming chips on a gaming table in front of the gambler, where the one or more gaming chips equal value of the amount that the gambler had asked for. A casino worker also puts one or more lamer buttons on the gaming table in front of the gambler, where the one or more lamer buttons add up to the monetary amount borrowed by the gambler. The gambler is then free to gamble with the borrowed money by using the gaming chips. Later, a casino worker has the gambler sign a document indicating that the gambler has borrowed the amount of money signified by the one or more lamer buttons on the gaming table in front of the gambler.

One of the highest theft exposures in casino table games is the marker scam. This scam, which has a few variations, has heretofore been virtually undetectable. Casinos, nevertheless, attempt to detect marker scams using different procedures. One procedure requires floor supervisors (e.g., for instance, pit bosses) to call for surveillance on markers issued and on markers that are redeemed over a certain amount. For example, casinos may require that floor supervisors call for surveillance on marker issuances and on marker redemptions that are equal to or greater than $2,000. In another procedure, surveillance staff are required to do random audits on marker issuances and redemptions. A casino may require that each employee perform two (2) transaction reviews per shift, which (with 9 employees) totals eighteen (18) reviews per day. The transactions are randomly picked from a printout that is retrieved from the data in the casino's general accounting system, such as a cage in the casino (e.g., a casino ‘cage’). This printout has all marker issuances and redemptions that were issued, and actually printed, by the pit. At first glance, the procedures seem adequate enough to achieve the ultimate goal—detecting possible marker scams. There are, however, major problems with each of these procedures as discussed below.

All marker scams discussed below involve complicity by a floor supervisor at a gaming establishment. If the floor supervisor is required to report or call on marker transactions equal to or greater than $2,000, and a scam is going to take place during that transaction, the floor supervisor is not going to call, thereby hiding the scam. Even if the supervisor does call in a marker transaction, it is generally after the lamer button has been placed on the table and the money has been issued. If the marker being issued is $2,000, and the player is given $3,000 in gaming chips, by the time the floor supervisor has reported a $2000 marker transaction to the surveillance department of the gaming establishment, the player (e.g., gambler) has an opportunity to hide the extra $1,000. With a monetary limit set for telephone reporting on all marker transactions equal to or greater than $2,000, there is a large risk that marker scams will occur at transaction amounts below the $2,000 threshold.

Surveillance departments, in general, are inadequately staffed to detect marker scams. On average, most surveillance rooms only have 3 employees working in their department at one time. With hundreds of cameras to attend to, and numerous departments to observe, a surveillance department is unlikely to observe all transactions throughout the casino, including all marker transactions, that are going on at all times.

With random checks, the surveillance department might review 18 transactions per day—although this is unlikely in most surveillance departments. For example, a casino with 32 table games, doing a total of 725 marker transactions per week, would have an average of 103.6 transactions conducted per day. Therefore, surveillance can only review approximately 17% of the transactions that occur.

Another major problem is that some marker scams involve the floor supervisor failing to generate the document for the gambler to sign that evidences the marker transaction (e.g., ‘marker paperwork’). In this case, the marker transaction would not be on the cage report that the surveillance department uses for its random reviews of the marker transactions. If a marker transaction is not on the cage report, there is no way for that marker transaction to be reviewed, unless a surveillance employee happened to be watching a table game at the exact time the marker scam occurs (which does happen occasionally).

Basic Scams

There are four main variations to the marker scam. In every scam described below, the floor supervisor, dealer, and player would all be complicit in the marker scam.

Marker Scam One:

This floor supervisor does not generate marker paperwork for the player to sign to evidence a debt to the casino. A player comes up to the game (e.g., a craps table) and asks for a $1,000 marker. The player hands the floor supervisor his player's card (e.g., a card that identifies the player). The floor supervisor places a $1,000 lamer button on the table (in a designated area) and instructs the dealer to give the player $1,000 in gaming chips. The floor supervisor then makes his way back to the podium to have the pit clerk generate the marker paperwork. While on his way, he gets diverted and starts to do something else. A few minutes later, the lamer button is still on the table, and the marker paperwork still has not been generated. The floor supervisor goes back to the table and removes the lamer button from the game. The only people that would see it are the players on the game (who do not really know what the procedures are), the dealer (who is in on the scam), and the floor supervisor. In this case, $1,000 has been stolen from the bank at the gaming table and has been given to the player.

Marker Scam Two:

The floor supervisor does generate marker paperwork, but for the incorrect amount. A player comes up to the game and asks for a $1,000 marker. The player hands the floor supervisor his player's card. The floor supervisor places a $1,000 lamer button on the table (in the designated area) and instructs the dealer to give the player $1,000 in gaming chips. The floor supervisor goes back to the podium and has the pit clerk generate marker paperwork for the incorrect amount of $500. The $500 marker paperwork is taken to the player and is signed by the player, thereby evidencing a debt of only $500. The marker paperwork is then signed by the dealer and dropped into the drop box at the gaming table. To everyone watching this scam occur, it would appear as if it were a legitimate transaction. One would observe the player receiving the money and signing the marker paperwork. In reality, the player was given $1,000 in chips, but had only signed marker paperwork for $500, thereby causing theft of $500 from the casino.

Marker Scam Three:

This scam occurs on the redemption (buy back) portion of the scam. The player is given his marker paperwork back to signify redemption of a marker debt, but the player fails to pay back the casino by giving gaming chips back to the casino in amount of the player's debt. The player, for instance, may already have taken a $500 marker to signify a $500 debt. The marker paperwork was generated correctly and was dropped into the drop box. After playing for an hour, the floor supervisor comes over and puts a $500 lamer button on the table. The floor supervisor then has the dealer sign and drop the proper redemption marker paperwork, and gives the original signed marker paperwork back to the player. In this scam, at no time was $500 in gaming chips given back to the dealer from the player. The player received his signed marker paperwork back, but didn't give anything in return. This resulted in a $500 theft from the casino.

Marker Scam Four:

This scam also occurs when redeeming a prior marker transaction (e.g., a player is paying back a loan from the casino as evidenced by a lamer button and signed marker paperwork). The player is given his signed marker paperwork back, and the player gives the dealer gaming chips in return, but for an amount that is less than the original marker transaction. For instance, the player had already taken one or more lamer buttons totaling $ 1,000, and the signed marker paperwork was generated correctly and was dropped into the drop box. After playing for an hour, the floor supervisor comes over and puts a $500 lamer button on the table. The player gives the dealer $500 in gaming chips. The floor supervisor hands the $1,000 marker paperwork to the dealer to sign and drops the redemption portion. Once the signed marker paperwork is dropped, the dealer puts the $500 in chips back into the rack, and the player leaves the game. In this case, the player has signed marker paperwork in the amount of $1,000 and was issued $1,000 in chips. During the redemption process, the player received his $1,000 signed marker paperwork back, but only gave the dealer $500 in chips. This scam resulted in a $500 theft from the casino.

Note that in marker scams, it is most common for Marker Scams Two and Four to occur. Since the proper steps are being followed and only incorrect numbers are used, it is much more difficult to detect than if they just missed a complete step (as in Marker Scams One and Three).

Given the forgoing, it can be seen that casinos are vulnerable to the above types of marker scams. This can happen on a daily basis without the table games or surveillance departments even having knowledge. By way of example, a casino can be spending $102 per day (see calculation below) to review only 17% of all generated marker transactions. Here is an example calculation based on a casino with only 32 table games:

    • Time: it takes an average of 20 minutes per review
    • Average Hourly rate: the average rate for a surveillance employee is $17/Hr.
    • Total Time Daily: 6 Hours
    • $17 × 6 = $102

Even with this money being spent on a daily basis ($37,230 per year), marker scams continue to be one of the top concerns of casino executives. To combat these scams, two procedures are used by casinos to detect possible marker scams, which are as follows:

    • A) Floor supervisors are required to call on marker issuances and redemptions over a certain threshold (i.e., $2,000 or above).
    • B) Surveillance departments do random audits to verify transactions. The transaction are chosen from a report that is currently printed from the cage. This report documents each marker paperwork that has been generated.

With the current procedures in place, there are problems:

    • A) What if a floor supervisor doesn't call in a marker transaction when the floor supervisor is supposed to?
    • B) What about marker transactions that are less than the set threshold?
    • C) Surveillance procedures allow for less than 17% of transactions to be reviewed, and are very time consuming. This 17% is based only on a casino with 32 table games, and 2 transactions reviewed per day, per employee. A majority of casinos do not have the capability to review this many transactions, which means they are reviewing far less than 17% of their marker transactions.

If marker paperwork isn't printed for a marker transaction (which is a variation of the scam), then it will not show up on the current cage report. If this is the cage report that audits are chosen from, these marker transactions will never be audited.

Analyzing The Marker Scam Problem:

    • 1. If a marker scam occurs during a marker transaction where the floor supervisor is required to call the surveillance department to report the marker transaction, the floor supervisor is not going to call.
    • 2. Most marker scams are going to occur on marker transactions that are below the threshold set for calling ($2,000 in the aforementioned descriptions).
    • 3. A majority of the marker scams occur while using a lamer button and corresponding marker paperwork, but they are generally the incorrect amounts.

Given the forgoing facts and problems, it would be an advance in the art to provide:

    • 1. an alternative notification method to protect the possibility that the floor supervisor is involved in a marker scam and may not call in the marker transaction to the surveillance department, although a casino does not want to take the responsibility of notification of marker transactions away from the floor supervisor;
    • 2. awareness to surveillance personnel of every lamer button placed on a table games layout;
    • 3. a way to compare the lamer buttons that hit the table games layout (denomination) and the actual marker paperwork that were generated through the cage report; and
    • 4. technology that would allow a casino to monitor 100% of a casino's table game marker transactions so that if a marker scam was occurring, the scam would most likely be detectable. Since marker paperwork is issued in the cage, it is desirable to monitor lamer buttons issued at the casino's table games department and will also be able to monitor the marker paperwork occurring in the cage.
SUMMARY

Implementations provide methods and a gaming environment to monitor marker transactions so as to detect marker scams.

In one implementation, an electronic detection is made of an entrance into and an exit out of an electronic detection zone by a first set of one or more signal emitting tokens, wherein emissions from the first set that are electronically detected within the electronic detection zone represent a payment to a player of a game of chance at a gaming table proximal the electronic detection zone of a monetary amount of a debt for use by the player in gambling in the game of chance at the gaming table. An electronic detection is also made of a second set of signal emitting tokens, wherein emissions from the second set that are electronically detected within the electronic detection zone represent a repayment of the monetary amount of the debt by the player.

In another implementation, a gaming environment is provided with a gaming table for one or more players to play a game of chance, means for electronically detecting an entrance into and an exit out of an electronic detection zone proximal said gaming table by a means for emitting a signal, and a plurality of the signal emitting means. The emitted signal from the signal emitting means can be electronically detected by a means for reading the emitted signal when the signal emitting means is within the electronic detection zone. The players playing the game of chance are bound by rules in the gaming environment such that the signal emitted from a first kind of the signal emitting means carries data including a monetary value, and the signal emitted from a second kind of the signal emitting means carries data including an identifier of a repayment of a debt by one of the players in the amount of the monetary value of the first kind of the signal emitting means.

In yet another implementation, makers can be monitored so as to detect marker scams. Lamer buttons, buy back buttons, and gaming tables are provided with transponder capability. Each ASIC in each button would transmit information pertaining to the denomination in the case of the lamer button and to its buy back identity in the case of a buy back button. Another sensor is placed underneath the portion of the table game where buttons will be placed. This sensor transmits information pertaining to an identification of the table. When any button comes within range of the sensor under the table game layout, a signal will be sent to an antenna or through hardwire. The signal, which carries denomination of the lamer button, identification of a button, and the identification of the gaming table, will then be transmitted from the antenna to a computer. The signal can be sent from the gaming table to the antenna using wireless technology. The computer runs a program that logs the data transmitted from the buttons and from the table game layouts so that every button that gets placed on a table games layout is logged. With the movement of buttons onto and off of the gaming table, a visual recording of the movements can be also be triggered upon electronic sensing of such movements.

In a still further implementation, lamer buttons and gaming tables are provided with technology computer chips (e.g., an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC)) with transponder capability. Each computer chip in each lamer button transmits information pertaining to its denomination. Sensors or devices proximal the gaming table where lamer buttons are placed transmit information pertaining to the location of the table. For example, radio frequency identification software and hardware (e.g., RFID) and related transponder and reader technology can be used for the computer chip in the lamer buttons. Optionally, a sensor can also be used to detect the weight of one or more lamer buttons that are placed on the portion of the table game where lamer buttons are to be placed. Upon sensor detection, a video camera can then be initiated to record the gaming table almost simultaneously with the placement of a lamer button on the gaming table.

When the lamer button comes within range of the sensor or device on the table game layout, a signal will be sent by hardwire and/or wirelessly to a receiver or antenna placed in the ceiling above the pit, and to near the pit podium. The signal will then be transmitted, through hardwire and/or wirelessly, to the computer in the surveillance room. The signal will be sent from the gaming table to the antenna or receiver using wired and/or wireless technology. The signal that is sent to a system, such as a personal computer or server, will provide the location of the signal (e.g., which comes from the layout sensor or device) and the denomination of one or more lamer buttons on the table (which comes from a computer chip or RFID in the one or more lamer buttons). With the development of digital recording devices, this technology can be used to send a signal to a digital recording unit every time a lamer button is placed on a particular gaming table so as to be detected. The recording made by the digital recording unit will be “flagged” for future use—for instance, if a review is to be made of every $500 marker paperwork issued, the “flag” will help in the retrieval of video images coverage of every time a $500 lamer button was placed on a layout.

The system in the surveillance room will have a program designed to make sense of the information that is transmitted from the lamer buttons and table game layouts. The program can keep a log of every lamer button that gets placed on, and removed from, a table games layout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the implementations may be had by reference to the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates an environment for gaming in an exemplary embodiment, including a black jack gaming table.

FIG. 2 illustrates an environment for gaming in another exemplary embodiment, including a roulette gaming table;

FIG. 3 illustrates an environment for gaming in yet an exemplary embodiment, including a craps gaming table.

FIG. 4 illustrates the environment for gaming as show in FIG. 1, and further showing sound, hard and soft copy diagnostic issuances.

FIGS. 5-7 each illustrate an exemplary embodiment of a process for marker transaction monitoring for use in an environment for gaming.

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a process involving a signal emitting lamer button, a reader, network processes for processing the emitted signal, and server processes for marker transaction monitoring for use in an environment for gaming.

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of server and client for server processes to produce sound, hardcopy and softcopy diagnostic issuances for marker transaction monitoring in an environment for gaming.

FIGS. 10A-10B depict, respectively, exemplary embodiments of a user interface screen to request a demand report for marker transactions and a softcopy of a demand report for marker transactions.

FIG. 11 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a hardcopy of a marker transaction report.

The same numbers are used throughout the disclosure and figures to reference like components and features. Series 100 numbers refer to features originally found in FIG. 1, series 200 numbers refer to features originally found in FIG. 2, and series 300 numbers refer to features originally found in FIG. 3, and so on.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Implementations provide technology in the surveillance and table games departments of casinos. This technology enables the monitoring of marker transactions, and the detection of marker scams that are occurring. Each lamer button is fabricated to include a chip or senor that is able to transmit, through a wireless signal, information pertaining to the denomination or amount of the lamer button (i.e., $1,000) as well as its identity. The table game layout includes a sensor to sense lamer buttons that are placed on a portion of the surface of the table where lamer buttons are placed by a game operator (e.g., a dealer). This sensor will transmit information pertaining to the location (i.e. BJ-7: Black Jack Gaming Table No. 7). The sensed data will be sent to a computer terminal that executes an application, such as a computer program, to properly account for the data.

FIG. 1 shows an environment 100 for a black jack card table for players 102 a-102 e having respective card play areas 108 a-108 e to which cards are dealt by a dealer 112 under the supervision of a pit boss and/or a floor supervisor 116 who may be located from time to time at a podium near one of more of the gaming tables. A cage 118 can also be near the gaming tables, which is a location for accounting and/or monetary functions needed for environment 100.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) buttons 120A can be placed on the blackjack card table, including one or more lamer buttons, shown in FIG. 1 as being the $100, $500, and $1000 denominations, to evidence a player's debt, and a buy back button. When a buy back button is placed with one or more lamer buttons, the value of the one or more lamer buttons is meant to evidence that a player is paying back the player's debt in the amount of the one or more lamer buttons. A location 120B is depicted for depositing RFID buttons 120A after corresponding marker paperwork has been signed by a player, which paperwork is an acknowledgement of the debt represented by the RFID buttons 120A being deposited in the location 120B. Also shown in environment 100 is a bank roll location 104, a drop box 112 for receiving the marker paperwork has been signed by a player, a location 106 for RFID buttons 120A prior to issuance of marker paperwork to a player 102, the cage 118, a client or surveillance area 124 including personnel 124A, a camera 150 to record movements of lamer buttons, buy back buttons, and game play, a computer that may be inside the surveillance area 124 and that can be networked to a computer or server 122 outside the surveillance area 124, and a speaker communicating audible diagnostics into the surveillance area 124, such as by giving audible alarms.

Players 102 a-102 e are situated around the black jack table in environment 100. RFID buttons 120A are placed within an area 106. Area 106 represents the physical extent on the black jack table that a signal from an RFID button 120A can be sensed. In FIG. 1, sensing area 106 is depicted by a dashed line 110. A sensor, or other device, would be placed underneath the sensing area 106 of the blackjack table where the RFID buttons 102A will be placed. A signal from each RFID button 120A placed within the sensing area 106 can be detected by the sensor under the black jack table. Alternatively, dashed line 110 can represent an antenna that receives a signal emitted by RFID buttons 120A that are situated within area 106. These signals can be further communicated by antenna 110 and communicated by wire and/or wirelessly to another antenna so that the signal can be communicated to server 112 for interpretation. In turn, the interpretation of the signal sent to server 122 can be further communicated to the client or surveillance area 124.

The signals picked up by antenna 110 are communicated by conventional electronic devices to the other antenna in communication with server 122. These signals contain data, including a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) for each of (i) one or more RFID readers that read signals from RFID buttons 102A; (ii) the black jack table; optionally each player 102 by way, for example, of a player identification card that is presented to dealer 112 to be read by a card reader that detects a GUID for the player; and (iii) each RFID button 120A that is sensed by an RFID reader as being situated within area 106. Of course, the RFID buttons 120A and/or the sensing area 106 can be equipped with hardware and/or software to encrypt the signals and/or to overcome measures that would otherwise defeat proper communication of the information carried in the signals, for instance the amounts, the table, the RFID button GUID, etc. As such, the signal will consistently carry or otherwise include information sufficient to identify the amount of the RFID button 120A, its reader, optionally the player 102 involved with the marker transaction, and its gaming table where the dealer 112 has given the RFID button 120A to the player 102 at the black jack gaming table.

FIG. 2 includes many of the same objects to perform like functions as in FIG. 1, though it more particularly illustrates an environment 200 for a roulette gaming table. Environment 200 includes one or more players 202 a-202 g, and a wheel operator 206 for a roulette wheel 204. As in FIG. 1, FIG. 1 shows an antenna represented by a dashed line 110 that detects signals from RFID buttons 120A within area bounded by dashed line 110, and communicates data in signals to server 122. The data is communicated over a wireless path 114 to server 122, as in FIG. 1, and may include GUIDs for the table, for one or more RFID reader(s), optionally for the player engaging in the marker transaction, and for one or more RFID buttons 120A in the area bounded by dashed line 110.

FIG. 3 includes many of the same objects to perform like functions as in FIGS. 1-2, though is more particularly illustrates an environment 300 for a craps gaming table 350. Environment 300 includes one or more players 302 a-302 j and a prop area 320. FIG. 3 shows dual antennas each represented by respective dashed lines 110A-110B, each detecting signals from RFID buttons 120A within the respective areas bounded by dashed lines 110A, 110B, and for communicating data in signals to server 122. The data is communicated over a wireless path 114 to server 122, as in FIGS. 1-2, and may include GUIDs for the table, for one or more RFID reader(s) associated with sensing areas 110A, 110B, optionally for the player engaged in the marker transaction, and for one or more RFID buttons 120A within sensing areas 110A, 110B.

FIG. 4 includes many of the same objects to perform like functions as in FIGS. 1-3, but further illustrates a card gaming table 440, a printer 420A to print out a hard copy report 420B of marker transactions that have been logged via marker transaction processes, a speaker 414A, preferably in a surveillance area, for emitting audible diagnostics or warnings 414B of or relating to marker transactions, and a display device 418 to render softcopy diagnostics or warnings of or relating to marker transactions. As such, surveillance personal in a surveillance area can be alerted or can monitor each marker transaction as it occurs in a gaming environment. Moreover, a camera 150 can capture movement at a gaming table during marker transaction activities, and the captioned visual images can be later archived and reviewed by surveillance personal.

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a process 500 for marker transaction monitoring in an environment for gaming. Process 500 can be performed, in different implementations in environments 100-400 respectively depicted in FIGS. 1-4, as well as in other gaming environment providing similar functionality. At step 502, a player makes a request to a dealer or other casino worker to borrow money that the player can use to play a game of chance. In addition, but optionally, the player can offer a player card to the dealer that can be read by a card reader so as to identify the player with a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID). At step 504, one or more RIFD buttons are placed in a sensing area on the gaming table. The RFID buttons can be one or more lamer buttons, which is an indication that the player is borrowing from the casino in the amount of the one or more lamer buttons in the sensing area.

The loan amount in lamer button(s) is obtained from the float area during a marker “buy—back”. During an issuance, the lamer button(s) will be taken from the podium or another area within the pit and then placed on the gaming table.

At step 506, one or more antennae around the gaming table sense various signals. Each signal contains data. One such signal contains data that is a GUID for each RFID button. Optionally, a camera can be activated to record game play images at the gaming table as soon as an RFID button signal has been detected. Another signal contains a GUID for a reader of each in the RFID buttons. Another signal, for instance, may contain a GUID for the gaming table. A time period is started with the initial detection of a signal from an RFID button. At the start of this time period, a camera is turned on to record images of the gaming table as perhaps the surrounding area.

At step 508, each GUID in each signal is derived (which may include also a derivation of the value of one or more detected lamer buttons). At step 510, there is a validation in a processing system, for instance a client or a server to which data in the signals have been communicated. This validation can be a table look up against an inventory of known GUIDs for each of the readers, the players, the RFID buttons, the gaming tables, and/or a combination of the forgoing. Other validation processes are also contemplated. In the event that a GUID fails to validate, such as for unknown GUIDs, for duplicate GUIDs, for a GUID that fails to match a known value of the corresponding lamer button, etc., then a diagnostic can be rendered to the attention of surveillance personnel, for instance at step 512.

At the end of the time period started in step 506, each RFID button that has been sensed is accounted for as being included as a group representing a single loan transaction in step 514. The data for this loan transaction can include the GUIDs for the lamer buttons, the table, the readers, and optionally the involved player. The loan transaction is to be interpreted as acknowledging the placement of markers of a certain value on the gaming table, and the created transaction is stored as a log entry in a log file at step 516.

At step 518, marker transaction paperwork is signed by the involved player, the dealer drops the signed marker transaction paperwork into the drop box at the gaming table, and currency and/or gaming chips are placed on the gaming table so as to be equal to the value of the placement marker transaction. The one or more lamer buttons are removed from the gaming table and put into the float: bank roll at the gaming table. When the RFID buttons are removed, their signals emitted by their RFID circuitry can no longer be detected. With the initial loss of the signal, a predetermined time period is started. At the end of this predetermined time period, the camera stops recording images of the game play area.

Also at the end of the predetermined time period, at step 520, the lamer buttons that are no longer detected as being present are deemed to be a group. This group can be made up of the GUIDs for each lamer button, the table, the readers, the involved player, and the total lamer button value that was removed from the gaming table. A removal marker transaction is created for the group and is recorded as an entry in a log file in the marker transaction database. The marker transaction log file can be used for a demand or periodic softcopy and/or hard copy report for review by surveillance personal at the casino in conjunction with the recording of visual images taken of any game play by the camera at the game table.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a process 600 for marker transaction monitoring in an environment for gaming. Process 600 can be performed, in different implementations in environments 100-400 respectively depicted in FIGS. 1-4, as well as in other gaming environment providing similar functionality. A step 602, a player has previously borrowed money from a casino. This borrowing transaction might have been represented by one or more lamer buttons, such as in the process 500 seen in FIG. 5. As such, in process 600 the player makes a request to a casino worker to pay back previously borrowed money that was used to play a game of chance.

At step 602, in addition but optionally, the player can offer a player card to the dealer that can be read by a card reader so as to identify the player with the player's GUID. At step 604, at least two RIFD buttons are placed in a sensing area on the gaming table. These at least two RIFD buttons include one or more lamer buttons and a buy back button. The presence of the buy back button indicates that the involved player is paying back the casino in the amount of the value of the one or more lamer buttons. These RFID buttons can be obtained from the float: bank roll at the gaming table. Once obtained, these RFID buttons are then placed on the gaming table in an area where signals from the same can be detected by proximal conventional electronic devices.

At step 606, one or more antennae around the gaming table sense various signals. Each signal contains data. One such signal contains data that is a GUID for each RFID button. Optionally, a camera can be activated to record game play images at the gaming table as soon as an RFID button signal has been detected. Another signal contains a GUID for a reader of each in the RFID buttons. Another signal, for instance, may contain a GUID for the gaming table. A time period is started with the initial detection of a signal from an RFID button at step 606. At the start of this time period, a camera is turned on to record images of the gaming table as perhaps the surrounding area.

At step 608, each GUID in each signal is derived (which may include also a derivation of the value of one or more detected lamer buttons). At step 610, there is a validation in a processing system, for instance a client or a server to which data in the signals have been communicated. This validation can be a table look up against an inventory of known GUIDs for each of the readers, the players, the RFID buttons, the gaming tables, and/or a combination of the forgoing. Other validation processes are also contemplated. In the event that a GUID fails to validate, such as for unknown GUIDs, for duplicate GUIDs, for a GUID that fails to match a known value of the corresponding lamer button, etc., then an audible and/or visual diagnostic can be rendered to the attention of surveillance personnel, for instance at step 612.

At the end of the time period started in step 606, each RFID button that has been sensed is accounted for as being included as a group representing a single loan payoff transaction in step 614, referred to there as a placement buy back transaction. The data for this placement buy back transaction can include the GUIDs for the lamer buttons, the buy back button, the table, the readers, and optionally the involved player. The placement buy back transaction is to be interpreted as acknowledging the placement of one of more lamer buttons markers that add up to a certain value on the gaming table along with the buy back button, and the created placement buy back transaction is stored as a log entry in a log file at step 616.

At step 618, currency and/or gaming chips are placed on the gaming table by the involved player so as to be equal to the value of the placement buy back transaction. Paperwork that had been previously signed by the involved player to acknowledge the debt is returned to the player. The RFID buttons are removed from the gaming table and placed back at the pit podium. When the RFID buttons are removed, their signals emitted by their RFID circuitry can no longer be detected. With the initial loss of the signal, a predetermined time period is started. At the end of this predetermined time period, the camera stops recording images of the game play area.

Also at the end of the predetermined time period, at step 620, the RFID buttons whose signals are no longer detected as being present are deemed to be a group. This group can be made up of the GUIDs for each lamer button, the buy back button, the table, the readers, the involved player, the total lamer button value that was removed from the gaming table, and any combination of the foregoing. A removal buy back marker transaction is created for the group and is recorded as an entry in a log file in the marker transaction database. The marker transaction log file can be used for a demand or periodic softcopy and/or hard copy report for review by surveillance personal at the casino in conjunction with the recording of visual images taken of any game play by the camera at the game table.

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a process 700 for marker transaction monitoring in an environment for gaming. Process 700 can be performed, in different implementations in environments 100-400 respectively depicted in FIGS. 1-4, as well as in other gaming environment providing similar functionality. Step 702 can be initiated, for instance, at the end of the fiscal gaming day for a casino, where the marker paperwork is transferred for storage at the pit podium. The marker paperwork is transferred from the pit podium to the casino cage. At Step 704, all lamer buttons are removed from the float: bank roll of each gaming table and are placed back at the pit podium.

At step 706, a validation process can be performed. This validation process determines any irregularities by considering and correlating the retrieved signed marker paperwork, the retrieved the lamer buttons, the retrieved buy back buttons, and the entries in the log file of the marker transaction database.

For each finding of a validation failure in step 706, there can be a derivation of a time period for the corresponding marker transaction at step 708. At step 710, the derived time period can be used to retrieve, archive, and/or review images that were recorded by a camera for the marker transaction at a corresponding gaming table. The images may reveal a marker scam in the making, its methodology, and its perpetrators.

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a process 800 involving a signal emitting lamer button 802, reader and network processes 804 for processing the emitted signal, and server 810 performing a processes 812, 814 for marker transaction monitoring for use in an environment for gaming, such processes 500-700. A virtual memory process 808 includes data read by a reader of wireless signals, each of which carries data. These data, which can include the GUIDs of players, RFID buttons, tables, readers, and combinations thereof, can be stored as respective log entries for later storage in a maker transaction database via one or more database processes 814.

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of server 902 and client or server 904 processes, respectively 908, 914. In the server process 908, a radio process 910 communicates with a server database process 912 regarding signals that are wirelessly detected and processed in server process 908. In the client or server process 914, an alert process 916 communicates with a live client process 918 to produce sound, hardcopy and softcopy diagnostic issuances for marker transaction monitoring in an environment for gaming. Example issuances of diagnostics include a display 920 of a demand or automatic log or report, a display 922 of a diagnostic message, and a hardcopy report 924 of a demand or automatic log or report.

FIG. 10A depicts an exemplary embodiment of a screen shot 1000A by which a user can request a demand report for marker transactions. FIG. 10B depicts an exemplary embodiment of a softcopy 1000B of a demand report for marker transactions that had been requested by a user, such as by the user interface depicted in screen shot 10A. FIG. 11 depicts an exemplary embodiment of a hardcopy 1100 of a demand report for marker transactions that had been requested by a user, such as by the user interface depicted in screen shot 10A.

As shown in FIGS. 10B and 11, line items appear in each report as various marker transactions along with the value of the marker transaction, for instance, as was discussed with respect to process 600. Various buy back marker transactions are shown as line items in the reports along with the value of the buy back, for instance, as was discussed with respect to process 600, above. Validation failures are also indicated, such an “Unidentified Lamer” or a “Deactivated Lamer”. Such failures can be determined, for instance, as was discussed with respect to steps 512, 610 and 706 in respective processes 500, 600, and 700, above.

The environments 100-400 are given by way of example and not by way of limitation. Rather, the technology disclosed herein can be used on many other gaming tables—essentially any gaming table where a marker is issued. With respect to the RFID buttons, by way of example and not by way of limitation, the “Safechip”™ technology might be provided by the Bourgogne et Grasset, based in Nice, France, and could be used for one or more embodiments of the above described RFID buttons. Another sensor, or device, would be placed underneath the portion of the table game where lamer buttons will be placed. This sensor or device will be able to transmit information pertaining to the location of the table. For example, BJ-14: Black Jack Gaming Table No. 14.

By way of example and not by way of limitation, in yet another implementation, the “Safechip” technology provided by the Bourgogne et Grasset, mentioned above, can be used in conjunction with a radio frequency identification “RFID” transponder and reader technology developed by Philips Semiconductors company having offices in the USA.

In yet another implementation, when the lamer button comes within range of the sensor or device on the table game layout, a signal will be sent to a receiver or antenna placed in the ceiling above the pit, or near the pit podium. The signal will then be transmitted through, through hardwire, to the computer in the Surveillance room. The signal will be sent from the table game to the antenna or receiver using wireless technology (or hardwire). The signal that is sent to the PC will provide the location of the signal (comes from the layout sensor or device) and the denomination of the lamer button (which comes from the RFID chip in the lamer button).

The computer in the surveillance room will have a program designed to makes sense of the information that is transmitted from the lamer buttons and table game layouts. The program would keep a log of every lamer button that gets placed on a table games layout:

Date Time Game Amount
Feb. 15, 2004 15:34:33 BJ-4 $1,000
Feb. 15, 2004 15:36:22 BJ-7   $500
Feb. 15, 2004 16:22:07 C-3 $5,000

The computer in the surveillance room would provide an audio alert through speakers. For instance, as soon as the computer translated the signal, an alarm would go off that says “BJ-4, $1000.” This would alert surveillance that a $1,000 lamer button was just placed on the layout of BJ-4. The surveillance agent would then know to pull up that game and review the transaction that was taking place.

If the surveillance department is busy with other activities, and they are not able to pull up the transaction, there will be another safeguard in place. At the end of each gaming day, a report will be printed from the Surveillance Lamer Log. This report can then be taken and audited against the Actual Marker Transaction Log printed from the cage. The software that each casino uses varies. Some casinos use a system called “AS-400” which handles all information tracking in the casino. As such, this or other systems need not be limited to being “cage software” when used in conjunction with the technology disclosed herein—such as the casino's general accounting system. Since the Cage Log documents all transactions that were printed, and the exact amount they were printed for, this comparison would red flag any suspicious transactions. The following are some example comparisons:

Lamer Log:
Date Time Game Amount
Feb. 15, 2004 15:22:21 BJ-4 $500

Cage Log:
Date Time Game Amount Type
Feb. 15, 2004 15:22:57 BJ-4 $500 CC

In this case, the marker transaction would be correct.

Please note the time difference between the “Lamer Log” and the “Cage Log”. This variance exists because the Lamer Button is placed on the layout prior to the marker transaction being printed. This variance exists on all transactions and will not affect the ability to be able to verify transactions. Also note the “Type” portion of the Cage Log. The “CC” indicates a Casino Credit (marker issuance). “BB” would indicate a buy-back (marker redemption).

Comparison B:

Lamer Log:
Date Time Game Amount
Feb. 15, 2004 15:22:21 BJ-4 $1,000

Cage Log:
Date Time Game Amount Type
Feb. 15, 2004 15:22:57 BJ-4 $500 CC

In this case, the floor supervisor placed a $1,000 lamer button on the layout, but only printed a $500 marker. This is a case where a red flag would go up.

Comparison C:

Lamer Log: *** No Entry ***

Cage Log:
Date Time Game Amount Type
Feb. 15, 2004 15:22:57 BJ-4 $500 BB

In this case, a $500 buy-back was issued on BJ-4, but no Lamer Button was placed on the table. This would indicate that the floor supervisor returned the marker without the patron paying the chips back to the dealer.

Comparison D:

Lamer Log:
Date Time Game Amount
Feb. 15, 2004 15:22:21 BJ-4 $5000

Cage Log:
Date Time Game Amount Type
Feb. 15, 2004 15:22:57 BJ-4 $1,000 BB

In this case, a $1000 buy-back was issued, but the player only paid back $500 in chips to the dealer.

This computer software can be programmed to interface with the cage system or the casino's general accounting system. By integrating the two, the Marker Detection Software can be programmed to automatically pull the information needed from the Cage Log. The computer will then compare the transactions and create an Exceptions Report. This Exceptions report will list all of the transactions that occurred for that day that are suspicious (based on the criteria set by the program). Since different casinos use different programs in their cage, this programming would need to be done on a one-to-one basis.

In another implementation, one or more specially-equipped gaming tables and an RF link between the tables and a receiver are provided. A computer monitoring and processing station is also provided so as to be linked to the receiver. The gaming tables further comprise an area for recognizing the placement of a lamer button, circuitry to recognize the dollar value associated with a particular lamer button, and a means to transmit lamer placement information to the central monitor through the RF link. The monitoring computer comprises hardware running software to log and track lamer placement events, and to reconcile the log with back office payment information so as to analyze whether proper marker accounting has occurred. The software then has alert capability to describe certain trigger events, such as placement of a particular token, and events such as detection of a particular scam event.

In still another embodiment, the lamer buttons contain smart chip technology that communicates the dollar amount to the table when the button is placed. Alternate embodiments may also exist such as bar code or optical scanning, or other mechanism to indicate dollar value such as a mechanical key-type actuator. Also, in an alternate embodiment, the gaming tables are not linked by RF to a central computer, but by a direct connection such as wiring or fiber optics. In yet another embodiment, the gaming tables prepare a log and download the log to a medium such as a computer disc or flash memory that is then interfaced with a central monitoring computer. In yet another embodiment, the storage medium for the lamer placement log is integrated to the drop box that is periodically removed from the table, and then the lamer placement log is automatically downloaded by the drop box being placed in a receptacle in the back office. In a still further embodiment, a system and/or method that combines the detection, control, and accounting of both electronic lamer buttons and electronic gaming chips can be employed.

A Computer System

FIGS. 1-4 and 9 shows exemplary computer systems (e.g., 122, 124, 408, 810, 902, 904), such as servers and/or clients, that can be used to implement the processes described herein. Each computer system can include one or more processors or processing units, a system memory, and a bus that couples various system components including the system memory to the processor(s). The bus represents one or more of any of several types of bus structures, including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, an accelerated graphics port, and a processor or local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures. The system memory includes read only memory (ROM) and random access memory (RAM). A basic input/output system (BIOS), containing the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within the computer, such as during start-up, is stored in the ROM.

A number of program modules may be stored on the storage components of the computer. The computer commonly operates in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers, such as a remote computer. The remote computer may be a personal computer, another server, a router, a network PC, a peer device or other common network node, and typically includes many or all of the elements described above relative to the computer. The logical connections depicted in FIG. 1 include a local area network (LAN) and a wide area network (WAN). Such networking environments are commonplace in local computing environments, enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets, and the Internet.

When used in a LAN networking environment, the computer is connected to the local network through a network interface or adapter. When used in a WAN networking environment, the computer typically includes a modem or other means for establishing communications over the wide area network, such as the Internet.

Generally, the data processor(s) of the computer are programmed by means of instructions stored at different times in the various computer-readable storage media of the computer. Programs and operating systems are typically distributed, for example, on floppy disks or CD-ROMs. From there, they are installed or loaded into the secondary memory of a computer. At execution, they are loaded at least partially into the computer's primary electronic memory. The invention described herein includes these and other various types of computer-readable storage media when such media contain instructions or programs for implementing the blocks described below in conjunction with a microprocessor or other data processor. The invention also includes the computer itself when programmed according to the methods and techniques described herein.

For purposes of illustration, programs and other executable program components such as the operating system are illustrated herein as discrete blocks, although it is recognized that such programs and components reside at various times in different storage components of the computer, and are executed by the data processor(s) of the computer.

Any of the functions described herein can be implemented using software, firmware (e.g., fixed logic circuitry), manual processing, or a combination of these implementations. The term “logic” or “module” as used herein generally represents software, firmware, or a combination of software and firmware. For instance, in the case of a software implementation, the term “logic” or “module” represents program code that performs specified tasks when executed on a processing device or devices (e.g., CPU or CPUs). The program code can be stored in one or more computer readable memory devices. The illustrated separation of logic and modules into distinct units may reflect an actual physical grouping and allocation of such software and/or hardware, or can correspond to a conceptual allocation of different tasks performed by a single software program and/or hardware unit. The illustrated logic and modules can be located at a single site (e.g., as implemented by a single processing device), or can be distributed over plural locations.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7727060 *Mar 24, 2006Jun 1, 2010Maurice MillsLand-based, on-line poker system
US20090054130 *Apr 27, 2007Feb 26, 2009Gaming Partners InternationalSystem, Apparatus, and Method For Calculating Bets In Casino Table Games, In Particular For Poker Games
US20100240446 *Mar 3, 2010Sep 23, 2010Universal Entertainment CorporationGaming system
US20110079959 *Oct 5, 2010Apr 7, 2011Peter HartleyUsing real playing cards for online gaming
US20120115616 *Jan 18, 2012May 10, 2012Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.Integrated active control system for managing gaming devices
WO2007119912A1 *Sep 28, 2006Oct 25, 2007Aonebiz Co LtdA system for playing a remote card game using rfid
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/29
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3209, G07F17/3206, G07F17/32, G07F17/3234
European ClassificationG07F17/32, G07F17/32C2B, G07F17/32C2D, G07F17/32E6B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 15, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: SENSORTRONIC GAMING TECHNOLOGIES, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:POHLMAN, THOMAS M.;REEL/FRAME:016802/0230
Effective date: 20050715