US 20070060381 A1
A wide area network that provides information with respect to casino properties and manufacturers including information with respect to awards, prizes, promotions, tournaments and the like to enable a player an independent source of information with respect to both different modes of entertainment that are available once one attends a casino property and the means by which an award, prize, etc. is to be pursued.
1- A system for a player to call up and view casino related information, comprising:
(a) a display screen;
(b) a network in communication with said display screen;
(c) means for the player to log onto said network, said network configured to display at said screen a menu of options for the player including at least player status and a free play of a game of chance; and
(d) decision-making buttons for selection of an option by a player.
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10- A system for a player to call up and view casino related information, comprising:
(a) a network;
(b) a gaming device in communication with said network;
(c) a touch screen display for a player to make selections;
(d) a log in device for the player to log onto said network, said network configured to display at said screen a menu of options for the player including at least player status and a free play of a game of chance, and further, wherein said network is configured to provide an award to a player of a free game where the free game results in a winning outcome.
11- The system of
12- A method for a player to interface with a gaming network, comprising:
(a) displaying at a touch screen display controlled by the network a menu of options for the player to select, said options including player status and player promotions;
(b) logging the player into the network; and
(c) the player selecting between said options by said touch screen.
13- The method of
14- The method of
This application is a continuation of pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/687,769, filed on Oct. 13, 2000, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
The following invention relates generally to a system which provides an overview of the universe of awards available as a result of gaming endeavors. More specifically, the instant invention is directed to a wide area network which correlates with a laming instrumentality that allows past, present and future players of the gaming devices an overview of the gaming system, particularly keeping track of a universe of prizes to be earned or awarded as gifts as well as requirements in order to attain same.
Progressive jackpot systems today offer players a chance at winning a single lifestyle-changing jackpot. The effect is that one player wins the money while everyone else just contributes to that prize on gaming machines which deduct from the machine's short term payout to fund the progressive pool. Those large jackpots are paid over time (25-30 years in most cases) and that money, for the most part, never makes it back into the casinos.
Gaming is becoming a larger part of our society. Each day new jurisdictions adopt gaming while other jurisdictions, already having gaming, experience growth primarily in the form of new casinos and renovations of old properties. Players are faced with more and more options as to how to spend their entertainment dollar on a larger variety of gaming devices. Even in existing casinos, the gaming floor provides a player with a large universe of alternatives and opportunities which can over stimulate one's senses particularly because of the extravagant lighting and sounds emanating from and around the machines. Presently, players both new and old to the gaming environment find themselves over stimulated by the wide variety of choices and tend to be attracted to gaming propositions which are familiar because they correlate with either gargantuan pay off prospects or machines having themes which are familiar and resonate themes that can be associated with non-casino endeavors, such as game shows, sporting events, and familiar non-wagering games. Still, the basis by which a player, whether experienced or not, selects any of the multiplicity of games on a casino floor leaves something to be desired.
While each casino or family of casinos may have a wide area network web site which allows a player to get generalized information with respect to the facilities including accommodation information, upcoming entertainment acts and sporting endeavors for which they can place a reservation, such an overview does not exist with respect to gaming devices per se. Specifically, the universe of gaming devices is much less detailed on a web page insofar as providing particularized information on the overall universe of games, awards potentially available as a function of both gaming selection and proposition adoption within a given game—in short, targeting a goal.
The instant invention organizes the multiplicity of games available for a player's participation. A wide area network is employed to allow a prospective player an overview of the universe of machines that can be played, the different gaming propositions that are associated with one type of machine or many types of machines and the potential award associated with playing one of the several gaming devices and one of the available propositions. It is to be noted that many machines presently allow a player to select one game from several gaming scenarios and one or more betting propositions. The wide area network allows the player to extrapolate from initialization of the machine and through the several games and propositions prior to entering the casino.
The manner in which a player can embark upon research on the wide area network can take a multiplicity of forms. However, there are at least three organizing principles that one may initially utilize in order to make an assessment of subsequent gaming strategy while at the casino. First, the universe of available machines can be scanned and analyzed as to the theme or motif associated with the game. For example, if a player has a penchant for games that are correlative of game shows, board games or seasonal sporting or athletic activities, the universe of potential games can be surveyed as a function of the game theme Second, the search inquiry can be organized primarily as a function of surveying the universe of potential awards, tournaments, ancillary contests, promotions, special prizes or other perquisites. Third, the system can be surveyed as a function of the individual's status as an ongoing player whose prior history participating in gaming makes the player eligible for gifts, preferred status and complementary benefits.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and novel information system correlating gaming particulars and player eligibility on a wide area network.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a wide area network which affords a player with an information system directed to specific features of gaming devices and its environment.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a device and method as characterized above which is intuitive to the user and addresses potential questions a player may have to allow the player greater focus when actually embarking upon a gaming adventure at a casino property.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a device and method as characterized above which allows a player to plan a trip to a gaming establishment in advance based on added knowledge with respect to the gaming devices, awards, other benefits and perhaps even the player's eligibility for beneficial treatment due to prior status.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a device and method as characterized above which increases the knowledge of a player to enhance the player's enjoyment.
Viewed from a first vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method for informing prospective and existing patrons of a gaming establishment, the steps including: posting on a wide area network information on a plurality of gaming devices; posting on the wide area network information on potential awards, promotions and/or contests; displaying procedures correlated to gaming device use to attain specific awards, promotions and contests.
Viewed from a second vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method for informing prospective and existing patrons of a gaming establishment, the steps including: posting on the wide area network information on potential awards, promotions and contests; and updating the awards, contests, and promotions as they have been changed or previously awarded.
Viewed from a third vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming system, comprising, in combination: means for displaying awards, contests, and promotions on a wide area network; means for acquiring the awards, contests and promotions; means for replacing the acquired contests, awards and promotions with new ones.
These and other objects will be made manifest when considering the following detailed specification when taken in conjunction with the appended drawing figures.
Considering the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like parts, reference numeral 10 (
Reference numeral 20 (
Reference numeral 30 (
Referring first to
Whether or not the user chooses to identify himself, the wide area network preferably will allow the user to view the universe of amenities associated with the enterprise. For example, a listing of the different types of games, both new and old, which are available for utilization at a casino property can be prompted to appear on the screen at that time or alternatively or concomitantly, a universe of all available awards, prizes and gifts can be displayed on the screen for the player's further perusal.
Assume that the player desires to learn the nuances of a new game. On command, the screen will then advance to the particulars of the new game including the nuances associated with play and other informational background which will enhance the understanding and appreciation of the potential user.
Assume instead that the player views the universe of awards, prizes, gifts, promotions, etc., (i.e., incentives above and beyond the pay table) and then selects one of these awards. The player is then instructed as to which games make that specific award available. For example, assume that a casino property periodically makes available as a prize a certain type vehicle in which the user has a present interest. The screen will then show which games, tournaments or associated instrumentalities need to be played in order to achieve that award, prize or the like. It is to be noted that in certain properties, the availability of a certain prize may only periodically be available. A user having a keen interest in a specific prize can therefore monitor whether or not that specific prize is now available for attainment. The path that a person is required to embark upon in order to achieve the desired award may be accessed as a function of a certain tournament, such as a poker tournament or may be accessed through selecting only certain of the multiplicity of machines on a casino property. Some machines themselves are susceptible to allowing different games to be played and it may occur that only one of several games makes that prize available. By virtue of the present system, a user can obtain the knowledge necessary to plan the next trip to a casino in an attempt to acquire the award or prize. It is also within the scope of the present invention for a prize to be tailored exclusively for a valued patron based on prior profiling. For example, if a player during a recent stay reserved time at a golf course, the prize could be golf related.
Another feature of the wide area network is shown in
Setup for the initial game network includes:
To add a new game to the network:
Live play proceeds as follows:
A prize won is won as follows:
Monitoring live play can proceed as follows:
For example, after the machine has been prompted to view the universe of available awards as suggested in
Should the player win the award that had been sought, the player is prompted to decide whether or not the player wants to play for a new award in which event the selection path to the desired award is reproduced. If the player has decided to retire, an instruction set appears to prompt the player with respect to transferal of the award to the player. Transferal possibilities include the delivery of the award to one's residence, the presentation of the award contemporaneously or the reservation of the award for subsequent retrieval. Thus, in the case of one having won a vehicle, it may be desirable to have the vehicle delivered to one's residence for any of a variety of reasons. If, for example, the award is an article of clothing, the player can reserve the award for subsequent retrieval and continue play or embark upon other activities.
Thus it should be evident to those skilled in the art, having been informed by the present disclosure, that the foregoing can be regarded as a form of research to discern the existence of certain awards as well as the techniques required to attain the awards. A series of awards could be involved such that attainment of all in the series results in a further award. Thus, the player has the added option of playing or not playing towards such a goal or award. The player has the opportunity to play for both wagerable and non-wagerable awards. Non-wagerable awards may take the form of non-wagerable or wagerable credits. Where non-wagerable credits are involved, various prizes can be had based solely on the number of credits and is not necessarily linked to one specific game or playing strategy.
The wide area network lends itself to showing prizes to be earned through gaming or purchased outright. All prizes can be displayed along with attainment criteria such as game outcomes, tournament outcomes, time played, wagers made (per wager and/or aggregations). By establishing an identity in the system, a player can store credits for a specific purpose.
The system allows new games to be displayed and explained to the player. Demo games can be run on the wide area network resulting in rewards negotiable at the casino, by mail, via a voucher printed by the player's computer printer and transmitted by the network host, etc.
A player can also be allowed to not only receive game content on the internet at home, but can also command the game to be played at the casino. The game may only be known from exposure on the internet and can be called up at the casino with the prior internet knowledge.
Preferably, the instant invention contemplates a collection of slot machines where:
Each game is connected to a central computer system.
Each game offers a means for selecting an award from a plurality of choices.
Each award has a game proposition associated with it.
Each game proposition has a bonus prize associated with it.
The games have a means for enabling the player to play for the game proposition.
The games can evaluate each game score and, in addition to awarding for normal prizes, award the bonus for each successfully completed game proposition.
Each game communicates with the central computer to update coins wagered for each game type, notify that a game proposition has been achieved, and verify the current bonus for that proposition.
Moreover, having thus described the invention, it should be apparent that numerous structural modifications and adaptations may be resorted to without departing from the scope and fair meaning of the instant invention as set forth hereinabove and as described hereinbelow by the claims.