|Publication number||US20090163271 A1|
|Application number||US 12/395,255|
|Publication date||25 Jun 2009|
|Filing date||27 Feb 2009|
|Priority date||10 Sep 2004|
|Also published as||US20060135253|
|Publication number||12395255, 395255, US 2009/0163271 A1, US 2009/163271 A1, US 20090163271 A1, US 20090163271A1, US 2009163271 A1, US 2009163271A1, US-A1-20090163271, US-A1-2009163271, US2009/0163271A1, US2009/163271A1, US20090163271 A1, US20090163271A1, US2009163271 A1, US2009163271A1|
|Inventors||Jeffrey George, Doug Huber|
|Original Assignee||Jeffrey George, Doug Huber|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (22), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present application claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/276,312 filed Feb. 23, 2006 (pending) which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/656,364, filed Feb. 25, 2005 (expired) and is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 10/938,677, filed Sep. 10, 2004 (pending), which are hereby incorporated by reference.
The present invention relates to a gaming system and method of providing a contest entry to a player using a gaming device.
Connecting a plurality of gaming devices over a network to a host computer is known within the art. Also known within the art is the use of a database maintained within the host computer for tracking a player's play within a casino. The player is issued an identification card by the casino which is inserted into a reader located on the gaming device. These readers may also be installed on kiosks or host workstations located throughout the casino or on handheld remote consoles and carried by casino employees.
The database provides casinos with the ability to monitor a player's play and to compensate the players based on any predetermined event or criteria as established by the casino. This compensation extends to awarding a contest entry to a player. One such example is disclosed in United States Patent Application Publication No. 2005/0059480 (the '480 publication). The '480 publication describes a gaming system and method for entering a contest. The player may be automatically submitted into the contest or a ticket may be printed at the gaming device and manually entered into the contest. However, the system and method of the '480 publication does not account for multiple contests in the casino.
The present invention is aimed at one or more of the problems as set forth above.
The subject invention provides a method of providing a contest entry to a player using a gaming device. The method includes the step of establishing a player identification of the player at the gaming device. A player attribute of the player is retrieved from a player tracking database in response to establishing the player identification. The player attribute is compared to a predetermined entry criteria of a plurality of contests. The method continues with the step of presenting a list of eligible contests that are available for entry by the player based on the comparison of the player attribute to the predetermined entry criteria.
The subject invention also provides a gaming system. The system includes a player tracking database for storing player attributes of a player. A gaming device establishes a player identification of the player. A processor is operatively coupled to the database and the gaming device for comparing the player attributes to predetermined entry criteria of a plurality of contests. A communication mechanism, operatively coupled to the processor, presents a list of eligible contests that are available for entry by the player.
By presenting a list of a plurality of contests available to the player, the player is given the option to choose one (or more) of the contests that appeal specifically to him or her. This will result in a higher level of customer satisfaction and will give the casino distinct promotional advantages over other casinos.
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:
Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the present invention provides a gaming system 10 and a method 100 for providing entry in a contest to a player 14. The contest is typically a drawing where at least one entry is chosen from a plurality of entries to be awarded a prize. The contest, as is common practice, may also be described as a drawing, a raffle, a lottery, a sweepstakes, or a pool. In a first embodiment, the at least one entry, i.e., the winning entry is chosen at random where each entry has an equal chance. However, in other embodiments, some entries may have a higher chance of winning than other entries.
In the first embodiment eight electronic gaming devices 12A-12H are shown in
The gaming devices 12 are connected via a network 16 to one or more computers 18, which are generally located at a remote or central location. The network 16 may utilize wires, i.e., hardwired, or be wireless. For clarity and ease of description, only a single computer 18 is shown in
At least one player tracking account 24 is setup within the player tracking database 22. The player tracking account 24 and the player tracking database 22 store attributes of a player 14. Theses attributes may include, but are not limited to, name, age, sex, location of residence, amount of money wagered in gaming devices 12 and/or at gaming tables, number of points, i.e., comp points earned, amount of time playing gaming devices 12 and/or at gaming tables, length of stay at casino, and date and/or time of game play.
In the first embodiment, a communication mechanism 38 is used as an interface between the gaming device 12 and the player 14 for communication between the player 14 or other operators and the processor 20, and, more specifically, for providing the identity of the player 14 to the processor 20 and the database 22. In the illustrated embodiment, an auxiliary display 36 is included in the communication mechanism 38 to display information to the player 14 and/or other operators of the gaming device 12. The communication mechanism 38 also includes an input apparatus 40 for allowing input by the player 14 and/or other operator(s). The communication mechanism 38 and the input apparatus 40 are operatively coupled to the processor 20 via the network 16. In the first embodiment, the player 14 is identified via an identification card (not shown) and/or an identification number. A card reader 42 is disposed within the communication mechanism 38 to receive the identification card and read the identification number and/or other data from the identification card. In the first embodiment, the identification card includes a magnetic stripe or surface which encodes the identification number. The card reader 42 includes a magnetic head (not shown) for reading the identification number from the magnetic stripe or surface. In other embodiments (not shown), the identification card may have a bar code read by a bar code scanner or an RFID tag read by a RFID scanner.
The communication mechanism 38 may also include at least one pushbutton 44, such as a numeric keypad (not shown), for manually entering the identification number. Furthermore, a touchscreen panel 46 may be disposed over the auxiliary display 36 for allowing the player 14 or other operators to enter information, such as the identification number, or to make other selections. Those skilled in the art realize other suitable implementations for the input device. The communication mechanism 38 may also include a printer 48.
As shown in
After the player 14 is identified, the method 100 continues with a second step 104 of retrieving a player 14 attribute from the player tracking database 22. As mentioned above, the player tracking database 22 may track numerous player 14 attributes. In the first embodiment, the player 14 attribute retrieved from the player tracking database 22 is the amount of points earned. Those skilled in the art realize that casinos typically award points based on the amount wagered in gaming devices 12, length of time playing a table game, or other casino activity. Therefore, when the player 14 is playing a gaming device 12, his or her points will typically increase over time based on the amount wagered and other factors. Points may also be increased by purchases in the casino, casino promotions, or by other techniques.
The method 100 continues with a third step 106 of comparing the player 14 attribute to a predetermined entry criteria of a plurality of contests. In the first embodiment, this comparison is performed by the processor 20. Each of the contests may offer a different prize, and therefore appealing to the likes and interests of different players 14. Therefore, casinos utilizing the present invention are able to better appeal to broader variety of customers. For example, the prize for a first contest may be a round of golf while the prize for a second contest may be dinner for two in a restaurant. Obviously, some patrons of the casino are not golfers and may not be interested in the first contest. Accordingly, the second contest may possibly appeal to those patrons.
Furthermore, various contests may be disparate in their overall value. For example, the prize for a third contest may be a new car. Due this disparity between prize values of the various contests, the number of points required to enter each contest may also be unequal. For example, the first contest may require that the player 14 have earned 100 points for entry, the second contest may require 120 points, and the third contest require 300 points.
The method 100 further includes a fourth step 108 of presenting a list of eligible contests that are available for entry by the player 14. This list is based on the comparison of the player 14 attribute (e.g., points) to the predetermined entry criteria. The method 100 may also include the step presenting a list of ineligible contests that are not available for entry by the player 14 based on the comparison of the player 14 attribute to the predetermined entry criteria. In the first embodiment, this list (or lists) is/are displayed on the auxiliary display 36 of the communication mechanism 38. An example of listings of both eligible and ineligible contests is shown in
Referring again to
In one embodiment, after selecting one of the eligible contests, the player 14 may be automatically, i.e., electronically entered into that particular contest. The computer 18 and processor 20 may keep track of which players 14 are entered into each contest. Alternatively, a separate contest control server (not shown) may be used to track the players 14 entered into each contest. Either way, the computer 18 or contest control server may randomly choose a winning entry from a plurality of entries to each contest. The computer 18 or contest control server may use a random number generator (RNG) to randomly or pseudo-randomly pick the winning entry. The drawing, i.e., picking of the winner, may take place at a prespecified time or at a random or pseudo-random time within an allotted range of time. Furthermore, after the drawing, the entry of each player 14 may be transferred to another related drawing for a different prize, i.e., a second-chance drawing.
In another embodiment, after selecting one of the eligible contests, an entry ticket may be printed for the selected contest. In the first embodiment, the ticket may be printed by the printer 48 of the communication mechanism 38. The player 14 may then take the ticket to a designated place for entry into the contest. Typically, the ticket would be placed inside a drum where tickets for all entries are randomized by rotating or spinning the drum. A winning ticket would then be drawn from the drum. The ticket may contain identifying information, such as, but not limited to, the name of the player 14, the identification number of the player 14, the casino name, the machine code where printed, and/or the time and date of the drawing.
By providing an entry into the selected contest, the player 14 may be required to exchange, i.e., give up, a certain number of points for entry into one of the eligible contests. By exchanging the points, the points would not be able to be used for other contests or to make other casino-related purchases. However, depending on the configuration by the casino, the player 14 may not be required to exchange the points for entry into one of the contests.
The communication mechanism 38 may be implemented outside of the gaming device 12 for allowing the player 14 to enter one of the contests. Referring again to
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described within the scope of the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||463/25, 463/29, 463/43|
|Cooperative Classification||G07F17/3248, G07F17/32, G07F17/3253, G07F17/3239, G07F17/3255|
|European Classification||G07F17/32K4, G07F17/32K8, G07F17/32E6D2, G07F17/32K10, G07F17/32|