AU2015205880A1 - A gaming system and a gaming peripheral - Google Patents

A gaming system and a gaming peripheral Download PDF

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Publication number
AU2015205880A1
AU2015205880A1 AU2015205880A AU2015205880A AU2015205880A1 AU 2015205880 A1 AU2015205880 A1 AU 2015205880A1 AU 2015205880 A AU2015205880 A AU 2015205880A AU 2015205880 A AU2015205880 A AU 2015205880A AU 2015205880 A1 AU2015205880 A1 AU 2015205880A1
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AU
Australia
Prior art keywords
gaming
port
device
network
gaming system
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
AU2015205880A
Inventor
Abdul Ali
Gareth Phillips
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd
Original Assignee
Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to AU2008905086 priority Critical
Priority to AU2012202935A priority patent/AU2012202935A1/en
Application filed by Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd filed Critical Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd
Priority to AU2015205880A priority patent/AU2015205880A1/en
Publication of AU2015205880A1 publication Critical patent/AU2015205880A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Abstract

Abstract A gaming system comprising: a network component; a network; a gaming device; and a peripheral device co 5 located with the gaming device, the peripheral device comprising a first port arranged in data communication with the network component via the network and a second port arranged in direct data communication with the gaming device. 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15

Description

Title A GAMING SYSTEM AND A GAMING PERIPHERAL 5 Related Application This application is a divisional application of Australian application no. 2012202935, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. 10 Field The invention relates to a gaming system and a gaming peripheral. 15 Background Gaming machines are typically fitted with a number of peripheral devices, the actual peripheral devices may vary 20 depending on machine design and/or the requirements of the venue at which they are installed. Exemplary peripheral devices include bank note acceptors, coin acceptors, video displays, and ticket printers. The peripheral devices are connected to ports of a main board of the gaming machine 25 and are operated under the control of a processor mounted to the main board. Within some gaming venues, gaming machines are connected in a network arrangement. The purposes of connection 30 varies and can include one or more of enabling machines to participate in a jackpot game, allowing players to accrue loyalty points, collecting financial data etc. These functions are carried out by one or more components in the network. 35 There is a need for techniques to enable network components to employ the peripheral devices of gaming 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 -2 machines. Summary of the Invention 5 In a first aspect, the invention provides a gaming system comprising: a network component; a network; a gaming device; and 10 a peripheral device co-located with the gaming device, the peripheral device comprising a first port arranged in data communication with the network component via the network and a second port arranged in direct data communication with the gaming device, wherein the 15 peripheral device is arranged to receive requests from both the network component and the gaming device, to prioritise the received requests, and to perform the request having a highest priority independently of either of the network component and the gaming device. 20 In an embodiment, the second port is arranged in direct data communication with the gaming device by being connected to a main board of the gaming device. 25 In an embodiment, the gaming system comprises an interface board co-located with the gaming device and wherein the second port is arranged in data communication with the network via the interface board so as to be in data communication with the network component. 30 In an embodiment, the peripheral device is arranged to communicate at least one status report on both of the first and second ports. 35 In an embodiment, the peripheral device is arranged to give priority to actions related to one of the first and second ports over actions related to the other of the 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 3 first and second ports. In an embodiment, the peripheral device comprises a buffer for buffering communications of at least one of the first 5 and second ports. In an embodiment, the gaming system comprises a plurality of peripheral devices each comprising a first port arranged in data communication with the network component 10 via the network and a second port arranged in direct data communication with the gaming device. In an embodiment, the peripheral device is adapted to process inserted bank notes. 15 In an embodiment, the peripheral device is adapted to process inserted tickets. In an embodiment, the peripheral device is adapted to 20 print tickets. In an embodiment, the first port is a USB port. In an embodiment, the second port is a serial port. 25 Brief Description of Drawings An exemplary embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in 30 which: Figure 1 is a diagram of a plurality of gaming devices connected in a gaming system by a network; 35 Figure 2 is a perspective view of a stand alone gaming machine; 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 4 Figure 3 is a block diagram of the functional components of a gaming machine; Figure 4 is a schematic diagram of a peripheral connection 5 technique of the embodiment; Figure 5 is a schematic diagram of a peripheral device of an embodiment; and 10 Figure 6 is a flowchart of a retrofitting method. Detailed Description Referring to the Figure 1, there is shown a gaming system 15 1 where a plurality (N) of gaming devices 2A,2B...2N are connected to a plurality (M) of network components 3A,3B,...3M via network 4. In this context, the gaming devices may be connected in the sense that a co-located component for operation with the gaming device is 20 connected to the network (for example, a component mounted within or to the cabinet of the gaming device) For example, in many existing gaming systems, a player tracking module mounted to the cabinet of a standalone gaming machine is connected to the network and, in turn, 25 connected to the gaming machine to report data over the network 4 about play of the gaming machine. The network component may be, for example, a jackpot controller, a player tracking system (which may incorporate a loyalty system) , an accounting system, a promotional system etc. 30 In one advantageous embodiment, at least one network component 3 is an update server adapted to download firmware updates to peripherals of the gaming machines 1. Gaming devices 35 Herein, the term "gaming device" is used to refer to any device which can be deployed to the floor of a venue and 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 5 which has a peripheral devices to which a network component may require access, for example devices used by a player to play a game and can include stand alone gaming machines, interactive video terminals (terminals having 5 the outward appearance of a gaming machine but operating in a client server based environment) and electronic gaming tables. Another exemplary gaming device is a cash redemption terminal which can be used to insert tickets to receive a cash payout; a promotional system could access a 10 printer of such a device to print a promotional voucher. An exemplary gaming device in the form of a stand alone gaming machine 10 is illustrated in Figure 2. The gaming machine 10 includes a console 12 having a display 14 on 15 which are displayed representations of a game 16 that can be played by a player. A mid-trim 20 of the gaming machine 10 houses a bank of buttons 22 for enabling a player to interact with the gaming machine, in particular during game play. The mid-trim 20 also houses a credit 20 input mechanism 24 which in this example includes a coin collector 24A and a bank note acceptor 24B both of which are peripheral devices. In this example, the bank note acceptor is also adapted to read tickets having computer readable indicia (such as bar codes) which can be used to 25 encode value such as amount of credit. The gaming machine also has a ticket printer 25. A player tracking module (not shown) having a reading device may also be provided for the purpose of reading and/or writing to a player tracking device, for example as part of a loyalty program 30 or for cashless transactions. The player tracking device may be in the form of a card, flash drive or any other portable storage medium capable of being read by the reading device. 35 A top box 26 may carry artwork 28, including for example pay tables and details of bonus awards and other information or images relating to the game. Further 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 6 artwork and/or information may be provided on a front panel 29 of the console 12. A coin tray 30 is mounted beneath the front panel 29 for dispensing cash payouts from the gaming machine 10. 5 The display 14 shown in Figure 2 is in the form of a video display unit, particularly a cathode ray tube screen device. Alternatively, the display 14 may be a liquid crystal display, plasma screen, any other suitable video 10 display unit, or the visible portion of an electromechanical device. The top box 26 may also include a display, for example a video display unit, which may be of the same type as the display 14, or of a different type. 15 Figure 3 shows a block diagram of operative components of a typical gaming machine which may be the same as or different to the gaming machine of Figure 2. 20 The gaming machine 100 includes a main board 101 which provides a game controller. The main board 101 has a processor 102. Instructions and data to control operation of the processor 102 are stored in a memory 103, which is in data communication with the processor 102. Typically, 25 the gaming machine 100 will include both volatile and non volatile memory and more than one of each type of memory, with such memories being collectively represented by the memory 103. 30 The gaming machine has hardware meters 104 for purposes including ensuring regulatory compliance and monitoring player credit, an input/output (I/O) interface 105 for communicating with peripheral devices of the gaming machine 100. The I/O interface 105 and/or the peripheral 35 devices may be intelligent devices with their own memory for storing associated instructions and data for use with the I/O interface or the peripheral devices. There may 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 7 also be a plurality of separate I/O interfaces. The I/O interface includes a plurality of ports including a plurality of serial ports. A random number generator module 113 generates random numbers for use by the 5 processor 102. Persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the reference to random numbers includes pseudo random numbers. In the example shown in Figure 3, a player interface 120 10 includes peripheral devices that communicate with the game controller 101 including one or more displays 106, a touch screen and/or buttons 107 (which provide a game play mechanism), a ticket reader 108, a ticket printer 109, a bank note acceptor (which if a dedicated ticket reader 108 15 is not provided may also be configured to read tickets) and/or coin input mechanism 110 and a coin output mechanism 111. Additional hardware may be included as part of the gaming machine 100, or hardware may be omitted as required for the specific implementation. 20 In the embodiment, at least one of the peripherals is a dual port peripheral having one port which communicates with the main board 101 as described above and is adapted to receive command and control signals from the main board 25 100 and another port which is adapted for communication with a network component via a network, for example an Ethernet network. Figure 4 shows an exemplary embodiment of a gaming system 30 400 where there are two dual port peripherals, in the form of a dual port bank note acceptor 420 and a dual port printer 430. Each peripheral has a universal serial bus (USB) port and a serial port. A smart interface board 411 is mounted within the cabinet of the electronic gaming 35 machine 410. Smart interface board 411 is adapted to receive communications over the network 440 via network connection 412 from network components such as the 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 8 promotional system 450 illustrated in Figure 4. The smart interface board 411 is adapted to interpret the commands, determine for which peripheral they are intended and to direct them either via USB cable 431 to dual port printer 5 430 or via USB cable 421 to dual port bank note acceptor 420. In this way, network communications are directed via smart interface board 411 to the dual port peripherals. In this respect, it will be appreciated that the smart interface board 411 converts data in the network protocol 10 format 412 to the USB protocol format for transmission. The serial ports are connected respectively by serial cables 422 and 432 to the main board of the electronic gaming machine 410 This enables the electronic gaming 15 machine 410 to send or receive data directly to/from the dual port peripherals 420, 430. An exemplary block diagram of the generic components of a dual port peripheral device of one exemplary embodiment are illustrated in Figure 5, from which it will be seen that 20 each dual port peripheral device 500 has a USB port 510 and a serial port 520, a USB buffer 515 for buffering communications to and from the USB port as necessary in a serial buffer 525 for buffering communications to and from the serial port 520 as necessary. The device 500 is 25 controlled by controller 530 based on instructions stored in controller memory 535. The actual functions performed by the dual port peripheral 500 are not shown in Figure 5 as these will be specific to the actual peripheral. 30 The dual port peripheral 500 is arranged to prioritise particular requests. For example, dual port printer 430 may be arranged to give higher priority to a printing request from the electronic gaming machine 410 and from the promotional system 450. The controller is arranged to 35 report printing progress only on the requested port. Statuses such as error conditions, jams and paper status are reported as detected on both ports. The gaming system 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 9 is arranged such that during printing of a promotional ticket, the electronic gaming machine 410 functionality is not changed. The buffers 515, 525 described in Figure 5 allow a request which is initiated later in time to be 5 buffered until there is capacity to carry out the requested function. It will be appreciated from the above, that one advantage of an embodiment is that a promotional system can communicate directly with the dual port printer 430 to print a promotional ticket to provide the player 10 with a bonus without interrupting play on the gaming machine or for the gaming machine to be capable of handling such printing requests. During some functions the electronic gaming machine may 15 need to be disabled, for example during an upgrade of the functionality of one of the devices. In an example where the EGM also has a player tracking module, this can be achieved by the player tracking module sending a busy signal to the gaming machine to effectively lock the 20 gaming machine while the function is implemented. In this example, the interface board may communicate with the player tracking module to get it to lock the gaming machine while an upgrade is being performed. In an embodiment, the interface board 411 can communicate with 25 both the peripherals and the gaming machine and hence can act as the arbitrator if both the network and the gaming machine want to access the peripheral. The interface board can further be configured to act as a generic interface to all peripherals of the gaming machine including the 30 display and any touch screen. In another embodiment, the gaming machine may be configured to lock up automatically in response to receipt of a particular status from a peripheral via a USB port. 35 From the above, it will appreciated that one advantage is that the USB port is dedicated for communication over the 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 10 network whereas the serial port is dedicated for communication with the gaming machine 410. An advantageous embodiment involves using the USB connections to perform firmware upgrades of the dual port peripherals 5 420, 430. That is, an update server located on the network 440 can send a request to upgrade the firmware directly to a peripheral. In another embodiment, the firmware may be downloaded to the interface board 411 by the network and the interface board 411 is configured to 10 update the peripheral immediately, at a scheduled time or in response to a trigger from the network. An advantageous benefit of this configuration is that it allows the upgradeability of peripherals to be retrofitted 15 to gaming machines by providing a dual port peripheral and an interface board. Accordingly, an embodiment provides to a method of retrofitting a gaming machine by adding a dual port peripheral and connecting one port of the peripheral to the electronic gaming machine for direct 20 communication and another port to the network 440 to place the peripheral in data communication with a network component. In one advantageous embodiment this allows the retrofitted peripherals to be updated on a regular basis without physically visiting the gaming machines. 25 From the above, it will also be appreciated that an embodiment provides a method 600 as retrofitting a gaming machine as shown in Figure 6 which includes fitting 610 at least one dual port peripheral to a gaming device, 30 connecting 620 a first port of the peripheral to a network via an interface board and connecting a second port to the gaming device. It will be understood to persons skilled in the art of the 35 invention that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, in particular it will be apparent that certain features of 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 11 embodiments of the invention can be employed to form further embodiments. It is to be understood that, if any prior art is referred 5 to herein, such reference does not constitute an admission that the prior art forms a part of the common general knowledge in the art in any country. In the claims which follow and in the preceding 10 description of the invention, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word "comprise" or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising" is used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but 15 not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the invention. 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15

Claims (12)

1. A gaming system comprising: a network component; 5 a network; a gaming device; and a peripheral device co-located with the gaming device, the peripheral device comprising a first port arranged in data communication with the network component 10 via the network and a second port arranged in direct data communication with the gaming device, wherein the peripheral device is arranged to receive requests from both the network component and the gaming device, to prioritise the received requests, and to perform the 15 request having a highest priority independently of either of the network component and the gaming device.
2. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the second port is arranged in direct data communication with 20 the gaming device by being connected to a main board of the gaming device.
3. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, comprising an interface board co-located with the gaming 25 device and wherein the second port is arranged in data communication with the network via the interface board so as to be in data communication with the network component.
4. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 30 3, wherein the peripheral device is arranged to communicate at least one status report on both of the first and second ports.
5. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 35 4, wherein the peripheral device is arranged to give priority to actions related to one of the first and second ports over actions related to the other of the first and 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15 - 13 second ports.
6. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the peripheral device comprises a buffer for 5 buffering communications of at least one of the first and second ports.
7. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, comprising a plurality of peripheral devices each 10 comprising a first port arranged in data communication with the network component via the network and a second port arranged in direct data communication with the gaming device. 15
8. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the peripheral device is adapted to process inserted bank notes.
9. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 20 8, wherein the peripheral device is adapted to process inserted tickets.
10. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the peripheral device is adapted to print 25 tickets.
11. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the first port is a USB port. 30
12. A gaming system as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the second port is a serial port. 67181681 (GHMatters) P79114.AU.3 DEBORAM 21/07/15
AU2015205880A 2008-09-30 2015-07-22 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral Abandoned AU2015205880A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2008905086 2008-09-30
AU2012202935A AU2012202935A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2012-05-18 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral
AU2015205880A AU2015205880A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2015-07-22 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral

Applications Claiming Priority (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2015205880A AU2015205880A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2015-07-22 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral
AU2017202650A AU2017202650B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2017-04-21 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral
AU2019210505A AU2019210505A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2019-07-30 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral

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AU2012202935A Division AU2012202935A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2012-05-18 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral

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AU2017202650A Division AU2017202650B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2017-04-21 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral

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AU2015205880A Abandoned AU2015205880A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2015-07-22 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral
AU2017202650A Active AU2017202650B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2017-04-21 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral
AU2019210505A Pending AU2019210505A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2019-07-30 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral

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AU2017202650A Active AU2017202650B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2017-04-21 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral
AU2019210505A Pending AU2019210505A1 (en) 2008-09-30 2019-07-30 A gaming system and a gaming peripheral

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US6682423B2 (en) * 2001-04-19 2004-01-27 Igt Open architecture communications in a gaming network

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AU2017202650A1 (en) 2017-05-11
AU2019210505A1 (en) 2019-08-15
AU2017202650B2 (en) 2019-05-02

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