1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
The subject invention relates to gaming machines, and more particularly to a configuration of an arcade type gaming machine having a coin hopper.
Modern gaming industry is replete with different gaming machines to allow players an opportunity to win money by placing a certain amount of money at risk. These gaming machines typically pay back to the players an overall percentage of the money deposited therein. Typically, manufactures of the aforementioned gaming machines desire these machines to be attractive, amusing, and comfortable for the players. Various configurations of the gaming machines are currently known in the gaming industry.
One common gaming machine configuration is referred to as the “upright” or “arcade” configuration. The upright gaming machine is generally configured to set upon a stand or cabinet. Extending upwardly, this type of gaming machine is generally tall and narrow. The front of the upright gaming machine generally comprises at least two doors or decks, such as a display door and an operational door having a coin hopper assembly. Two such upright or arcade configurations are shown in United States Patent Application Publication Nos. 2004/0224776 to Nagano and 2005/0026702 to Cole.
Another configuration of the gaming machine configuration is referred to as a “slant top” as taught, for example, by the U.S. Pat. No. 6,201,532 to Tode et al. Typically, this gaming machine is free standing and presents a lower supporting portion and a top display portion, which has a sloping or slanted section where player input buttons and reels or video display are located. The coin collector cabinet for both types of the gaming machines includes a coin hopper and a coin saucer or dish for receiving coins or tokens paid out and discharged from the coin hopper. The coins inserted into the gaming machine for starting a game are collected in the coin hopper through a chute communicating with a coin slot.
- BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION
There is a constant need in the area of gaming machines for improvements in design of a coin collector cabinet to aesthetical pleasant exterior and to be safe to use by a player while handling coins, making the gaming machine more comfortable to play and use.
In one aspect of the present invention, a collector cabinet for processing coins in a gaming machine includes a back wall having a lower back edge, a pair of spaced side walls extending forwardly from the back wall, and a front wall defining a coin retrieving opening with the front wall extending into a hemmed portion presenting a distal edge extending transversely to the side walls. A dish for receiving the coins has an outer edge disposed between the front wall and the distal edge of the hemmed portion. The dish extends rearwardly from the distal edge to the back wall. The dish presents an offset defining a shoulder that engages the distal edge of the hemmed portion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Of course, an important utility for the collector cabinet is its connection with a gaming machine for circulating coins includes a pair of side walls, a top wall, a bottom wall coupled to the side walls to define an interior space. A collector cabinet for processing the coins presents back wall having a lower back edge, a pair of spaced side walls extending forwardly from the back wall, and a front wall defining a coin retrieving opening. A hemmed portion of the front wall presents a distal edge extending transversely to the spaced side walls. A dish for receiving the coins has an outer edge disposed in the hemmed portion. The outer edge extends rearwardly to the back wall. The dish presents an offset defining a shoulder that engages the distal edge of the hemmed portion.
Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gaming machine of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the gaming machine shown in FIG. 1 with a plurality of decks or doors shown in an opened position;
FIG. 3 is a partial perspective and cross sectional view of a collector cabinet of the gaming machine of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a partial cross sectional view of the collector cabinet; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 5 is a perspective partial view of the collector cabinet of the gaming machine of FIG. 1.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an electronic gaming machine, according to one embodiment of the present invention, is generally shown at 10. The gaming machine 10 has a housing, generally indicated at 12, has a pair of side walls 16 and 18, a back walls 19, a bottom walls 20, and a top walls 22 defining an interior surface 24. The side walls 16 and 18, the back wall 19, the bottom wall 20, and the top wall 22 are exposed to an open front. A support base 26 is positioned below the housing 12 to support the housing 12.
The housing 12 is separated into at least three sections. A top door, generally indicated at 30, is pivotably connected to the side walls 16 and 18 by a hinged device 32. In the illustrated embodiment, the top door 30 is pivoted away from the housing 12 vertically relative to the side walls 16, 18 between an opened position, as shown in FIG. 2, and a closed position, as shown in FIG. 1. The top door 30 presents a display area, generally indicated at 34, adaptable for conveying information to a player (not shown). This information may include the title of the gaming machine 10, the minimum cost to operate the gaming machine 10, the potential money that could be won by playing the gaming machine 10, or the like. The top door 30 is connected to the housing 12, with any suitable lifting device, such as, for example, air or hydraulic cylinder 38, gas springs, or the like. The lifting device interconnects the top door 30 with one of the side walls 16 and 18 to exert an upward force on said top door 30.
Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, a display door, generally indicated at 40, is positioned below the top door 30 and is pivotably connected to the side walls 16 and 18. The display door 40 is pivoted away from the housing 12 vertically relative to the side walls 16 and 18 between an opened position, as shown in FIG. 2, and a closed position, as shown in FIG. 1. A display device, generally indicated at 42, is operably connected to the display door 40 and is disposed therewithin. The display device 42 is movable with the display door 40 between the opened position and the closed position. The display device 42 has a display screen 44 that can display text, graphics or a combination thereof. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various suitable devices may be used for display device 42. These suitable devices may include and are not limited to cathode ray tube displays, liquid crystal displays, plasma displays, and any other displays, known to those skilled in the display art, which are capable of visually displaying necessary information to the player.
Alternatively, the display device 42 may be equipped with a touch screen (not shown). The touch screen is also equipped with a cable to communicate with a game controller, generally indicated at 46. The game controller 46 is positioned within the housing 12 and is used to supply the display device 42 with the images, text, and any other information, necessary for the gaming application. In the alternative embodiment of the present invention, the game controller 46 may also be connected and moved with the display door 40. The game controller 46 controls the text or graphics displayed on the display device 42. When the player presses a certain area of the touch screen corresponding to an area of the display device 42, that information is electronically communicated to the game controller 46. The game controller 46 uses this information to continue the game being played.
The display door 40 is connected to the housing 12 through the aforementioned lifting device, which interconnects the display door 40 with one of the side walls 16 and 18 to exert an upward force on the top door 30, making it easier to pivot the display door 40 upwardly away from the housing 12. When the display door 40 is pivoted upwardly, maintenance personnel and others are allowed access to the interior of the gaming machine 10, which is necessary to perform various maintenance tasks, such as, for example, to service the display device 42. A coin acceptor 50, a credit card receiver 52, a ticket injector and receiver 54, and the like may also be disposed on the display door 40.
A collector cabinet or a bottom door, generally indicated at 60, is pivotably connected to the side walls 16, 18 of the housing 12. The bottom door 60 is pivoted away from the housing 12 vertically relative to the side walls 16, 18 between an opened position, as shown in FIG. 2, and a closed position, as shown in FIG. 1. The bottom door 60 includes a front wall 62 and a rear wall or a back wall 64 interconnected by spaced side walls 66, 68. The back wall 64 has a lower back edge 69. The front wall 62 defines a coin retrieving opening 70 for the player to collect the coins. A coin circulation device 72 for circulating coins is connected to the bottom door 60 and is pivoted away from the housing 12 between the opened position and the closed position. The coin circulating device 72 includes a coin hopper (not shown) for storing the coins and a coin dispenser 74, as shown in FIG. 5, operatively connected to the coin hopper for selectively dispensing the coins from the coin hopper. An auxiliary bowl assembly (not shown) for storing the coins includes a coin transporter unit (not shown) for removing the coins from the auxiliary bowl assembly and transporting the coins to the coin hopper. The coin hopper can deliver overflow coins to the auxiliary bowl assembly.
As best shown in FIGS. 3 through 5, a hemmed portion, generally indicated at 80, of the front wall 62 presents a U-shaped configuration and extends into a distal edge 82. The distal edge 82 extends transversely to the spaced side walls 66, 68. A dish 84 for receiving the coins has an outer edge 86 disposed in the hemmed portion 80. The outer edge 86 extends rearwardly to the back wall 64. The dish 84 presents an offset defining a shoulder 88 that engages the distal edge 82 of the hemmed portion 80. The outer edge 86 is disposed into the hemmed portion 80. Alternatively, the outer edge 86 may be connected to the hemmed portion 80 by various methods known to those skilled in a mechanical art.
The shoulder 88 includes a pair of bends 92, 94 having a S-shape configuration, as viewed in a cross section. In the illustrated embodiment, each bend forms an angle of approximately ninety degrees. One of the reversed bends 92 extends to the outer edge 86 sandwiched in the hemmed portion 80. The other of the reversed bends 94 projects away from and extends substantially perpendicular to the front wall 62 and then slops downwardly therefrom. In other words, one of the bends extends around distal edge 82 and into shoulder 88 and then the shoulder 88 extends to the second of bends which extends into dish 84 sloping downwardly therefrom. The distal edge 82 of the hemmed portion 80 presents an abutting engagement with the shoulder 88 between the reversed bends 92, 94. This mechanical connection between the back wall 64 and the dish presents aesthetical pleasant exterior, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, and is safe for the player to use while handling the coins without possibility of being hurt.
The bottom door 60 is pivotally mounted to the side walls 16 and 18 of the housing 12, and, as best seen in FIG. 2, may be pivoted in a direction different than the pivoting direction of the top door 30 and the display door 40. Alternatively, as shown in phantom in FIG. 2, the bottom door 60 is opened upwardly, similar to the top and display door 40, as described above. When the bottom door 60 is pivoted away from the housing 12, the maintenance personnel is allowed access to the interior of the gaming machine 10 to perform various maintenance tasks, such as, for example, to clear jams, to restock the coin hopper, and the like.
While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.