US20070238527A1 - System and method for placing orders on gaming devices - Google Patents

System and method for placing orders on gaming devices Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070238527A1
US20070238527A1 US11/398,331 US39833106A US2007238527A1 US 20070238527 A1 US20070238527 A1 US 20070238527A1 US 39833106 A US39833106 A US 39833106A US 2007238527 A1 US2007238527 A1 US 2007238527A1
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Prior art keywords
gaming device
order
screen
system
gaming
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Abandoned
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US11/398,331
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Thomas Zanfardino
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Zanfardino Thomas S
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Priority to US11/398,331 priority Critical patent/US20070238527A1/en
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • G07F17/3255Incentive, loyalty and/or promotion schemes, e.g. comps, gaming associated with a purchase, gaming funded by advertisements
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting

Abstract

A system and method for placing orders on gaming devices wherein the system includes software and a predetermined gaming device (1). The software may be installed on a predetermined gaming device (1) already having a display (2), such as a slot gaming machine (3). The screen is preferably a touch-activated display, although non-touch displays may be used in conjunction with the software. In addition, the system of the present invention may be used in conjunction with a predetermined gaming device not having a display, such as a gaming table (7). Although most gaming tables do not include a screen, one may be installed for use in conjunction with the present invention. The method includes a user searching and/or selecting a drink and/or food from a variety of predetermined options. Various screens are displayed to the user which assist the user in selecting his/her drink and/or food.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to gaming devices, more particularly, a system and method that permits an individual to place an order for a beverage, food or other items on a gaming device.
  • Gaming devices, such as gaming machines, are very popular in casinos as they permit a person to play a game without other individuals, such as a dealer or other players. The wide array of gaming machines allow individuals to play his or her favorite game, such as poker or blackjack, as well other games in which he or she may not be as readily familiar therewith. In addition, the slot machine, which is one of the most popular gaming machines, permits a person to play without any knowledge of the game whatsoever.
  • In addition, another type of gaming device, gaming tables, are popular in casinos as well. The use of gaming tables not only allows for social interaction among players, but also allows for a “real” gaming experience.
  • Typically the casino or resort offering the use of gaming devices have servers that are assigned to predetermined areas of the room housing the gaming devices. The servers take drink and food orders from the players, go to the appropriate bar or kitchen area to relay the order and then return the requested drink and/or food order to the player. The incentive for providing such a service to the player is to prevent the player from walking away from the gaming device, thereby having the player gamble more and more money and thus creating a greater profit for the casino.
  • Although the idea of providing servers in the casino gaming area is good, there are many disadvantages to doing so. For instance, many times a server will not walk through a particular area of gaming devices for a long period of time, thereby making a player walk away from the gaming device to either seek out a server or go the bar and/or kitchen him/herself to place an order. In addition, because many casinos and/or resorts offer free food and/or drinks to the players, individuals who have already placed drink and/or food orders may become frustrated with waiting for the server to deliver the food and/or drink and leave the gaming device altogether, thereby wasting the food and/or drink.
  • Thus, a need exists for a system and method for placing orders on a gaming device.
  • The relevant prior art includes the following references:
    Patent No.
    (U.S. unless
    stated otherwise) Inventor Issue/Publication Date
    2002/0173354 Winans et al. Nov. 21, 2002
    2004/0198485 Loose et al. Oct. 07, 2004
    5,971,271 Wynn et al. Oct. 26, 1999
    6,712,698 Paulsen et al. Mar. 30, 2004
    6,368,216 Hedrick et al. Apr. 09, 2002
    6,926,609 Martin Aug. 09, 2005
    5,770,533 Franchi Jun. 23, 1998
  • The relevant prior art also includes an article entitled IGT Installs Server Based Gaming at Barona and a promotional advertisement entitled Player Communication Redefined with a Personal Kiosk at Every Game!.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The primary object of the present invention is to provide a system and method for placing orders on a gaming device that permits a person to easily order food and/or drinks from a gaming device.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a system and method for placing orders on a gaming device that reduces the amount of food and/or drinks that is wasted due to players ordering the food and/or drink and then leaving the gaming area, thereby increasing the profit for the gaming establishment.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide a system and method for placing orders on a gaming device that increases the profit for the gambling establishment by permitting players to play on or at a device for an extended amount of time.
  • An even further object of the present invention is to provide a system and method for placing orders on a gaming device that improves customer service.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a system and method for placing orders on a gaming device that decreases the amount of service staff needed at the gaming establishment.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide a system and method that tracks the amount of time a player has spent at one particular game in order to provide complimentary items to the player.
  • An even further object of the present invention is to provide a system and method that tracks the amount of foods and/or beverages consumed at a gaming establishment.
  • The present invention fulfills the above and other objects by providing a system and method for placing orders on a gaming device wherein the system includes software and a predetermined gaming device. The software may be installed on a predetermined gaming device already having a display, such as a slot machine, and permits the use of the system and method described herein. The display is preferably a touch-activated display, although non-touch displays may be used in conjunction with the software.
  • In addition, the system of the present invention may be used in conjunction with a predetermined gaming device not having a display, such as a gaming table. Although most gaming tables do not include a display, one may be installed for use in conjunction with the present invention.
  • The method includes a user searching and/or selecting a drink and/or food from a variety of predetermined options. Various screens are displayed to the user which assist the user in selecting his/her drink and/or food.
  • The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become even more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention installed on a gaming machine;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention installed in a gaming table;
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of screens that are displayed when using the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a first embodiment of the method of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is a block diagram of a second embodiment of the method of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a view of a beverage category screen of the present invention;
  • FIG. 7 is a view of a mixed drinks screen of the present invention;
  • FIG. 8 is a view of a first embodiment of an order confirmation screen; and
  • FIG. 9 is a view of a second embodiment of an order confirmation screen.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment, the terminology used in reference to the numbered components in the drawings is as follows:
  • 1. gaming device
  • 2. display
  • 3. gaming machine
  • 4. identification card acceptor
  • 5. money acceptor
  • 6. place order touch-screen button
  • 7. gaming table
  • 8. food touch-screen button
  • 9. beverages touch-screen button
  • 10. beer touch-screen button
  • 11. liquor touch-screen button
  • 12. mixed drinks touch-screen button
  • 13. soft drinks touch-screen button
  • 14. wine touch-screen button
  • 15. list of beer available
  • 16. list of liquor available
  • 17. list of mixed drinks available
  • 18. list of soft drinks available
  • 19. list of wines available
  • 20. select
  • 21. types touch-screen button
  • 22. add a mixer touch-screen button
  • 23. view ingredients touch-screen button
  • 24. list of mixers touch-screen button
  • 25. send touch-screen button
  • 26. place another order touch-screen button
  • 27. return to game touch-screen button
  • 28. insert identification card
  • 29. favorites touch-screen button
  • 30. save to favorites touch-screen button
  • 31. breakfast touch-screen button
  • 32. back touch-screen button
  • 33. exit touch-screen button
  • 34. scroll bar
  • 35. keypad
  • 36. yes touch-screen button
  • 37. no touch-screen button
  • 38. game screen
  • 39. food/beverage screen
  • 40. category screen
  • 41. list screen
  • 42. preferences screen
  • 43. send screen
  • 44. sent confirmation screen
  • 45. order saved confirmation screen
  • 46. identification card
  • 47. lunch touch-screen button
  • 48. dinner touch-screen button
  • 49. beverage category screen
  • 50. mixed drinks list screen
  • 51. identification receiver
  • 52. identification transmitter button
  • With reference to FIG. 1, a perspective view of the present invention installed on a gaming device is shown. The gaming device 1, which is a gaming machine 3 and shown as a slot machine, enables a user to play a game and includes a display 2 and has at least one means for activation, such as an identification card acceptor 4, a money acceptor 5, and/or an identification receiver 51. The identification card acceptor 4 accepts identification cards 46, such as credit cards, room keys, players club cards traditionally used in casinos or any other type of card that is used to charge items thereon. If an identification transmitter 52 is used, the identification receiver 51 is used in conjunction with the identification transmitter 52 and uses radio frequencies to activate the gaming device 1 when the identification transmitter 52 is passed over the identification receiver 51. A place order touch-screen button 6 may be located on the display 2 itself or as a button located on the exterior of the gaming machine 3.
  • In FIG. 2, a perspective view of the software of the present invention installed in an alternate gaming device is shown wherein the alternate gaming device 1 is a gaming table 7. Although conventional gaming tables 7 do not include a plurality of displays 2, the gaming tables 7 maybe modified so as to use the present invention in conjunction with gaming tables 7. In addition, although most gaming tables 7 do not include an identification card acceptor 4 and/or a money acceptor 5, the means for activation for a user to play at a gaming table may be by cash payment to the dealer.
  • FIG. 3 shows a block diagram of the screens displayed to a user while using the present invention. The game screen 38 may be a screen featuring the game display itself with or without a place order touch-screen button 6 located thereon. Once the user selects the place order touch-screen button 6, the next screen that appears is a food/ beverage screen 39. The user selects between food or beverage and is directed to a category screen 40 which features differing categories of food, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, or differing categories of beverages, such as beer, liquor, mixed drinks, soft drinks and wine. If the user is using an identification card 46 or identification transmitter 52, then an additional category called favorites will appear. The favorites category only appears when using an identification card 46 or identification transmitter 52 as the listings of the user's favorite foods and/or beverages is stored on the identification card 46 or identification transmitter 52, the present invention and/or a database. A user may initially select his or her favorite foods and drinks when first applying for the identification card 46 or identification transmitter 52 and may add additional favorite foods and drinks while using the present invention.
  • Once the user has selected the desired category, then a list screen 41 appears which displays all of the types of food or beverage that the gaming establishment offers. In some instances, a preferences screen 42 may be displayed wherein different preferences relating to the food or drink, such as adding condiments, adding a mixer to a drink, viewing types or brands of a drink or viewing food and/or drink ingredients, permit the user to customize the food or drink item or learn more information about the food or drink item. Once the desired food or drink is selected, then a send screen 43 is displayed wherein the user has a choice to send the desired food or drink to the kitchen or bar, return to the previous screen or cancel the order. If the selection is sent, then a sent confirmation screen 44 appears that asks whether the user would like to place another order or return to the game. In the event the user is using an identification card 46 or identification transmitter 52, then the user also has a choice of adding the order to his/her favorites where the food and/or drink is saved for future ordering. If the user chooses to place another order, then the process starts over again.
  • Next, FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of a first embodiment of the present invention. When a user is gambling at a gaming device and the user would like to place an order for a beverage or food item, rather than calling over a server or searching for a server, the user may simply use the present invention to place an order. To begin, the user presses the place order touch-screen button 6 located either on the game screen 38 or on the gaming device 1 itself to initiate an order. Once the place order touch-screen button 6 is depressed, the user selects between a food touch-screen button 8 or a beverages touch-screen button 9 to narrow down the selections that will be afforded to him or her. In FIG. 3, the user has chosen the beverages touch-screen button 9, which provides a plurality of predetermined beverage categories buttons, including a beer touch-screen button 10, liquor touch-screen button 11, mixed drinks touch-screen button 12, soft drinks touch-screen button 13 and wine touch-screen button 14. Once the user selects the category of beverage option he/she would like, then a listing of the available beverages for each option is shown 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, respectively. If the desired beverage is shown among the listing of the available beverages 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, then he/she selects 20 the desired beverage by touching the beverage name and presses the send touch-screen button 25 to place the order. After sending the order 25, the sent confirmation screen 44 appears wherein a place another order touch-screen button 26 and a return to game touch-screen button 27 appear on the screen. If the user desires to place another order, then he/she presses the place another order touch-screen button 26 to be directed to the food/beverage screen 39 again. If no additional order is desired, then the user presses the return to the game touch-screen button 27 to return to the game screen 38.
  • In the case of liquor, as there are many different types of liquor, such as rum, whiskey, vodka, etc., and a user may have a specific type of liquor already in mind, the user may bypass the list of liquor available 16 choice and press the types touch-screen button 21 after choosing the liquor 11 category. Then, the user selects a liquor from the list that he/she desires. Once selected, a user may press the add a mixer touch-screen button 22 to view a listing of mixers 24 available. The user may select a mixer and send the order or send the order without a mixer.
  • In addition, although some individuals may know the ingredients in many mixed drinks, many individuals do not. Therefore, a view ingredients touch-screen button 23 is offered on the preferences screen 42 to permit the user to view the ingredients in a chosen mixed drink.
  • With reference to FIG. 5, a block diagram of a second embodiment of the present invention is shown. In this second embodiment, a user inserts his/her identification card 28 into the gaming device 1 so as to permit the gaming device 1 to recognize the user. The use of the identification card 46 or identification transmitter 52 permits a favorites touch-screen button 29 to be displayed in the category screen 40. The favorites touch-screen button 29 displays a listing of the favorite food and/or drinks previously saved by the user so as to permit the user to quickly and easily order his/her favorite food and/or drink. After the send touch-screen button 25 is pressed, the sent confirmation screen 44 displays a save to favorites touch-screen button 30, the place another order touch-screen button 26 and the return to game touch-screen button 27. If the user presses the save to favorites touch-screen button 30, then the order saved confirmation screen 45 appears indicating that the item was saved to the user's favorites category and the screen returns to the sent confirmation screen 44.
  • Although not shown in great detail, the present invention could also be used to order food items from the gaming establishment. The category screen 40 for a food selection could include a breakfast touch-screen button 31, lunch touch-screen button 47, dinner touch-screen button 48 and a favorites touch-screen button 29.
  • Next, FIG. 6 shows a view of a beverage category screen of the present invention. The beverage category screen 49, as well as other screens, could include a back touch-screen button 32 to permit the user to go back to the previous screen and an exit touch-screen button 33 to permit the user to exit the system altogether and return to the game. Other touch-screen buttons or exteriorly located buttons, such as a cancel order button, return to main menu button, etc. may also be included for ease of use.
  • FIG. 7 shows a view of a mixed drinks screen of the present invention. The mixed drinks list screen 50, as well as other screens, could include a scroll bar 34 that permits a user to scroll through the listing of beverages and foods offered by the establishment. In addition, rather than scrolling through various listings, a user could type in the name of his or her beverage or food using the keyboard 35 that may be located on the screen 2 or on the gaming device 1 itself. Also, when the letters of the beverage or food are typed into the keyboard 35, the present invention could display the listing of the beverage or food beginning with that letter. For example, the mixed drinks list screen 50 is alphabetically listed and would begin with mixed drinks beginning with the letter “A.” If a user were to type in the letter “B” in the mixed drinks list screen 50, then the present invention would automatically list all mixed drinks beginning with the letter “B.”
  • With reference to FIG. 8, a view of a first embodiment of an order confirmation screen is shown. The order confirmation screen 44 may include the place another order touch-screen button 26, the save to favorites touch-screen button 30 and/or the return to game touch-screen button 27.
  • Finally, FIG. 9 shows a view of a second embodiment of an order confirmation screen 44. Rather than having the place another order touch-screen button 26, the save to favorites touch-screen button 30 and/or the return to game touch-screen button 27 located on the confirmation screen 44, the order confirmation screen 44 could ask the user a series of questions that the user may respond by pressing a yes touch-screen button 36 or a no touch-screen button 31, such as the question “Would you like to place another order?”
  • Although only some screens are shown for illustrative purposes, the present invention may utilize a plurality of different screens not listed or described herewith. In addition, the present invention could be used not only in traditional casinos, but also on cruise ships, in hotels, in stores and anywhere gaming devices are located. Furthermore, although general categories and listings were disclosed, the present invention could include a multitude of various beverage/food categories, beverage/food listings and preferences.
  • The gaming devices utilizing the present invention are connected to predetermined areas of a gaming establishment, such as at least one bar and/or at least one kitchen, so as to transmit the order from the gaming device to the bar and/or kitchen. Once transmitted to the bar and/or kitchen, the order is displayed on a display means at the bar and/or kitchen in order to identify the location and/or machine in which the order is to be delivered. The order may be printed at the bar and/or kitchen and may be given to a server for delivery of the order. The transmission may be via hard wires, wireless or any other transmission means. In addition, the gaming establishment may program the gaming devices so as to transmit the orders to at least one predetermined receiving station that may be a bar and/or kitchen so as to provide maximum efficiency when a server delivers the ordered item to the user. For example, gaming devices 1-20 may be programmed so as to transmit the orders to receiving station 1, gaming devices 21-20 may be programmed so as to transmit the orders to receiving station 2, and so on.
  • In addition, the beverage/food categories, beverage/food listings and preferences of the present invention could also be changed by authorized staff of the gaming establishment so as to make available various choices according to food/beverage availability, popularity of food/beverage choices, etc.
  • Although the gaming machine 3 is depicted as a slot machine in FIG. 1, the gaming machine 3 could be any electronic gaming machine 3, such as a video poker gaming machine, a video blackjack gaming machine, etc.
  • Finally, the present invention may be utilized if a user has either inserted an identification card, used an identification transmitter or has inserted money into the gaming device. In this manner, individuals may not walk up to the gaming device and order food and/or beverages without using the gaming device.
  • The use of the present invention will provide a system and method that permits an individual to place an order for a beverage, food or other items in a gaming establishment without waiting for a server to take an order.
  • However, means other than the use of software for placing orders from the gaming devices to receiving stations may be included, such as pre-programmed gaming devices wherein the software is not installed after the gaming device is assembled.
  • It is to be understood that while a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings.

Claims (18)

1. A system for placing at least one order on a gaming device, said system comprising:
at least one gaming device for enabling a user to play a game;
a means for placing at least one order from said at least one gaming device to at least one receiving station;
at least one receiving station for receiving said at least one order; and
a means for transmitting said at least one order from said at least one gaming device to said at least one receiving station.
2. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said at least one gaming device is a gaming machine.
3. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said at least one gaming device is a gaming table.
4. The system of claim 2 wherein:
said gaming machine is a slot machine.
5. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said at least one gaming device has a means for activation.
6. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
at least one display located on said at least one gaming device.
7. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said means for transmitting said at least one order from said at least one gaming device to said at least one receiving station is via wires.
8. The system of claim 1 wherein:
said means for transmitting said at least one order from said at least one gaming device to said at least one receiving station is wireless.
9. The system of claim 1 further comprising:
said means for placing at least one order from said at least one gaming device to at least one receiving station is via software.
10. The system of claim 9 wherein:
said software is installed in said at least one gaming device.
11. A method for placing at least one order on a gaming device comprising at least one gaming device for enabling a user to play a game; a means for placing at least one order from said at least one gaming device to at least one receiving station; at least one receiving station; and a means for transmitting said at least one order from said at least one gaming device to said at least one receiving station, said method comprising the steps of:
a. activating said at least one gaming device;
b. pressing a button to initiate an order;
c. selecting an item to order; and
d. sending said order to said at least one receiving station.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising a step after step b of:
selecting an item from a food/beverage screen.
13. The method of claim 12 further comprising a step after selecting an item from a food or beverage screen of:
selecting an item from a category screen.
14. The method of claim 13 further comprising a step after selecting an item from a category screen of:
selecting an item from a list screen.
15. The method of claim 14 further comprising a step after selecting an item from a list screen of:
selecting an item from a preferences screen.
16. The method of claim 11 further comprising a step after step d of:
receiving a confirmation that said order has been sent.
17. The method of claim 16 further comprising a step after receiving a confirmation that said order has been sent of:
saving said order.
18. A system for placing at least one order on a gaming device, said system comprising:
at least one gaming device for enabling a user to play a game;
said at least one gaming device is a slot machine;
said at least one gaming device has at least one display;
a means for placing at least one order from said at least one gaming device to at least one receiving station wherein said means is via software located within said at least one gaming device;
at least one receiving station for receiving said at least one order; and
a wireless transmittal means for transmitting said at least one order from said at least one gaming device to said at least one receiving station.
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