US20080076530A1 - Gaming system with player sponsoring - Google Patents

Gaming system with player sponsoring Download PDF

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US20080076530A1
US20080076530A1 US11/530,457 US53045706A US2008076530A1 US 20080076530 A1 US20080076530 A1 US 20080076530A1 US 53045706 A US53045706 A US 53045706A US 2008076530 A1 US2008076530 A1 US 2008076530A1
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sponsor
game
player
variables
system
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Charles John Kulas
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Charles John Kulas
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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

Abstract

Sponsored gaming allows a person to provide benefits to a person playing a game such as a slot machine, video poker, online gambling, etc. A sponsor can make a payment in order to improve the odds of a player winning a jackpot, round, hand or game. A sponsor can make a payment to improve a player's odds or to increase the number of units in a player's bet, or to cause other effects. A method for sponsoring gaming can include accessing a sponsor interface; selecting one or more sponsor variables and transferring value; and altering a game to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the selected one or more sponsor variables. The sponsor variables can include a game or game console, a player, a payout, betting units, and/or a statistical advantage, for example. A host of the game, such as a casino or online betting operator, can receive a portion of the payment or other compensation for allowing the sponsorship.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Embodiments of the present invention relate in general to gaming systems, and more specifically to a system that allows a person or entity to provide sponsorship, payment, subsidizing or other affecting of a player's gaming.
  • In a typical gaming scenario, a player plays a game without involvement from others who are not directly included in the gameplay. The game can have a given set of winning odds, payouts in the event of a win (e.g., a slot machine jackpot), or other game mechanics based on bets made by the player. These game mechanics can be managed manually (e.g. by a human dealer in a card game, croupier at a craps table) or automatically by a machine or system such as a slot machine, video poker machine, online gaming, etc. Inevitably the odds are against the player so that the player will lose money over time for the benefit of the casino or other entity that is hosting the game. The loss of money is typically an undesirable event for the player and can cause the player to stop playing the game, stop coming to a casino/hotel, play less frequently or with smaller bets, or cause other negative revenue effects for the gaming host. Also, the effect of a loss on a player can be detrimental to the player and others who are financially and/or emotionally connected with the player.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An embodiment of the invention allows a person other than a player of a game to contribute payment to an entity hosting the game (e.g., a casino or online gaming company) in order to improve the player's enjoyment of the game and to increase the revenue to the host. The person contributing the payment is referred to as a “sponsor.” A sponsor can make a payment in order to improve the odds of a player in a game; increase the chance, or guarantee, that the player collects a jackpot, increase the effective bet of the player, or to provide other benefits or game effects. The sponsored payment or benefit to the player can take place with or without the player's knowledge. If the sponsor's payment is made without the player's knowledge then the player will benefit from the perceived excitement of a win at gambling. The sponsor will similarly benefit if they are emotionally connected with the player and can share in the player's happiness. The host can benefit by charging a percentage or amount for allowing the sponsored benefit to take place.
  • In one embodiment, the sponsor can purchase a jackpot or payout for a player. The sponsor can designate an amount for the jackpot and the sponsor can be charged an additional amount or percentage to be paid to the host. For example, a sponsor can designate that $100 should go to the player on the player's next play (e.g., slot machine lever arm pull or button press). The sponsor can make the payment by any suitable method, such as by a credit card over a network connection, in-person at a casino cashier, at a specific device or interface for making sponsored payments, etc. The host can charge a surcharge of $10 and will ensure that the desired player is accurately compensated by tracking the player's play by using a “slots” card or other identification scheme that is already in use (or that is developed in the future) for tracking players. Other variations on payout sponsoring are discussed below.
  • In another embodiment, a sponsor can purchase or arrange for improved odds for a player. The sponsor makes the payment to the host which results in improved odds for the desired player. The odds can be improved for a number of turns, per time period, or by different criteria. Many variations on the way to achieve odds improvement or alteration in response to sponsored odds are possible and some are discussed below.
  • In one embodiment, a method for sponsoring gaming can include: accessing a sponsor interface; selecting one or more sponsor variables and transferring value; and altering a game to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the selected one or more sponsor variables. The sponsor variables can include a game or game console, a player, a payout, betting units, and/or a statistical advantage, for example.
  • In another embodiment, sponsoring affects bet size. Bet size, or number of units bet per play, is often already built-in to a game, such as slots, to give improved odds with more units bet. In such cases, a sponsor's payment to the host is used to ensure that an increased or maximum bet and payout is provided to the player on every play.
  • In another embodiment, a system for sponsoring gaming can include: a sponsor interface configured to receive inputs from a sponsor and to provide one or more selected sponsor variables; and a game controller configured to receive the one or more selected sponsor variables and to alter at least one of a plurality of games to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the one or more selected sponsor variables.
  • In one embodiment the invention provides a method for sponsoring gaming, the method comprising: accessing a sponsor interface; selecting one or more sponsor variables and transferring value; and altering a game to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the selected one or more sponsor variables.
  • In another embodiment the invention provides 13. A system for sponsoring gaming, the system comprising: a sponsor interface configured to receive inputs from a sponsor and to provide one or more selected sponsor variables; and a game controller configured to receive the one or more selected sponsor variables and to alter at least one of a plurality of games to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the one or more selected sponsor variables.
  • In another embodiment the invention provides 25. A means for sponsoring gaming, the means comprising: a means for accessing a sponsor interface; a means for selecting one or more sponsor variables and transferring value; and a means for altering a game to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the selected one or more sponsor variables.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 depicts an exemplary sponsored gaming system arrangement in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 depicts an exemplary sponsor interface arrangement in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 depicts a simplified flow diagram showing a method of sponsoring a payout for a player in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 depicts a simplified flow diagram showing a method of controlling sponsored gaming in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • Embodiments of the present invention can provide a gaming environment, such as a slot machine or video poker machine in a casino, online betting, etc., whereby a second participant or “sponsor” is able to provide a benefit to a player. In a preferred embodiment, a host entity such as a casino or online betting operator also receives a benefit by taking payment or other compensation for allowing the sponsorship. The player (i.e., an active participant in a game) can play normally, such as in a single person automated or semi-automated game. The second participant (i.e., a passive participant or sponsor) can designate the nature of their participation as either a sponsor or co-bettor, for example.
  • As a sponsor, this second participant can subsidize the player's game in one aspect of embodiments. The sponsor can buy better odds for the player, or the sponsor may even buy a jackpot or payout for the player. For example, the sponsor can choose to pay money so that the player's odds of winning are improved. Alternatively, or in addition, the sponsor can designate a payout to be paid to the player on a next iteration of the game (e.g., slot machine pull, video poker hand, etc.). The payout may appear as a jackpot to the player. Further, the player can be informed of the sponsor's actions or the actions can be kept secret, as designated by the sponsor.
  • A casino, central game owner, or other entity that is hosting the gaming can retain a percentage of what the sponsor pays for the improved odds or payout, for example. The sponsor can also designate their payment or participation by using electronic devices or sponsor interfaces, such as via a slot card reader, a credit card reader, a web browser, or a computer application running on a network (e.g., the Internet), or in any other suitable manner.
  • In an alternate embodiment, a second participant may be a co-bettor instead of a sponsor. In this case, the second participant's bets can be automatically tied to the player, as where an equal bet that the player makes is charged to the co-bettor's account. When the player wins, then the co-bettor receives an equal win, for example. Further, the amounts, odds, payouts, etc., can be modified as desired by the second participant using a sponsor interface. Such modification may be especially suitable to a casino structure where an entity (e.g., the casino or central game owner) that hosts the gaming is seeking to receive payment for providing the gaming facilities.
  • Referring now to FIG. 1, an exemplary sponsored gaming system arrangement is indicated by the general reference character 100. Sponsor 102 can access sponsor interface 104, which can be coupled to network 106. Sponsor interface 104 can include a “swipe” device, such as used in card readers (e.g., slot cards) or automatic teller machines (ATMs), for example. Sponsor interface 104 may also include a keypad or touchscreen configured to receive letters and/or numbers for identification of a sponsor and/or a player, as well as other “sponsor variables,” for example. Also, sponsor interface 104 can include a cash, credit, and/or debit card receptacle for transferring value from the sponsor for the selection of sponsor variables.
  • Network 106 can be any suitable network arrangement, such as a virtual private network (VPN), or the Internet. Game controller 116 can be coupled to network 106 as well as games or game consoles 108. Further, game controller 116 may be integrated into a central game owner or casino structure. Games 108 can include game 110-0, 110-1, . . . game 110-M, for example. Also, a number of players 112 (e.g., player 114-0, 114-1, . . . 114-N) can also participate in gaming system 100.
  • Game controller 116, or another associated functional block, device, circuit, or suitable detection mechanism, can identify when a given player is “in position” with a given game to receive a sponsored benefit. For example, if sponsor 102 wishes to purchase a payout for player 114-1 when that player plays any of games 108, player 114-1 can be detected as in position for receiving a portion of such purchased payout when player 114-1 plays any of games 108. As another example, if sponsor 102 wishes to purchase a payout for player 114-1, but only when that player plays game 110-1, player 114-1 can be detected as in position for receiving a portion of such purchased payout when player 114-1 plays game 110-1.
  • Similarly, such payouts or other selected sponsor variables can be provided for any of games 108 without specifying a particular player to receive the payout or portion thereof. As an example of this scenario, a sponsor can designate that a purchased payout be provided to anyone playing a particular game (e.g., game 110-M) at either a designated time, or in response to a designated event or set of events (e.g., after five pulls of a slot machine). Further, such sponsored or purchased payouts can appear as typical “jackpots” to the player. In general, any suitable manner of designating one or more players for sponsorship benefits can be used.
  • The sponsor may allow the player to know that a particular jackpot or other game alteration was sponsored, or the sponsor may choose to remain anonymous, in which case the player may simply believe in their own luck for the jackpot. For example, if the sponsor chooses to let the player know of the sponsorship, the jackpot itself may also provide a message to the player (e.g., flashing lights indicating that someone sponsored this jackpot, displaying of sponsor's name, displaying a message, audio message, etc.). Any other suitable means of conveying the sponsorship to the player can also be employed in accordance with embodiments.
  • Host entity 107 (e.g., a person, corporation, partnership, etc.) that provides, manages or operates a game can be paid via any suitable financial transaction mechanism 105. Financial transactions can be carried out via existing systems and networks, or new systems can be designed for such use.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, an exemplary sponsor interface arrangement in accordance with embodiments of the present invention is indicated by the general reference character 200. The sponsor interface can include three main selection mechanisms: sponsorship type selection 202, player selection 206, and game selection 210. Further, the sponsor interface can include any suitable device, such as a web browser.
  • Sponsorship type selection 202 can include, for example, payout 204-0, betting units 204-1, and statistical advantage 204-Y. These selections can represent different types of sponsored benefits to be provided to a player. Player selection 206 can include player identification entry/form 208, which can be a number associated with the player (e.g., a casino player card number), or some other personal identification characteristic. Also, for matching a player to a game to determine if that player is in position to benefit from sponsored gaming, other identification approaches may also be used, such as those utilizing fingerprint sensors or retinal scanners.
  • A sponsor interface can be implemented in any suitable type of device. For example, a web browser on a personal computer can be used. A portable device such as a cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), email device (e.g., Blackberry™, Treo™, etc.), or other device can be used. The interface can be adapted for the specific device and can vary from what is shown in FIG. 2. For example, more or less options and selections can be provided. Audio input can be used (e.g., voice recognition). Any suitable manner of allowing a sponsor to indicate an intended sponsoring can be acceptable.
  • As discussed above, some embodiments can allow for the sponsor to also participate in the winnings of the player. For example, if the sponsor chooses betting units 204-1 as the sponsored benefit type, the sponsor can effectively contribute money to increase the payout and/or odds for the player. If the player then wins a payout, a portion of that payout can be returned to the sponsor. In one embodiment, a portion of the sponsor's original payment can be taken by the casino or central game owner, and payout portions for a winning hand or pull can be distributed to the player, to the sponsor, and/or to the casino.
  • Game selection 210 can include, for example, slots 212-0, video poker 212-1, and any number of other games (e.g., game X 212-X). Once such a general game type is chosen, a particular game console or location may also be chosen. Alternatively, only a general category may be chosen so that the player can benefit from sponsored gaming at any game console location within that game category (e.g., at any slot location within that particular casino). Further, the types of games involved may be electronic or automated, semi-automated, or perhaps even manual (e.g., manual card games). The benefit designated by the sponsor can be to purchase a payout, better odds, increased units, or other benefit. The amount that the sponsor pays can be a certain payment for a certain result (e.g., a fixed amount payment for a fixed jackpot payout, designated new odds, designated increased number of units bet).
  • The amount that the sponsor pays can also be statistical and the benefit purchased for the player can also be statistical. This leads to at least four types of combinations so that the (sponsor's purchase:player's benefit) can be (certain:certain), (certain:statistical), (statistical:certain) and (statistical:statistical). Together with the sponsor:player combinations it is possible for the host/casino to obtain either a certain or statistical benefit. For example, the sponsor may pay $100 to increase the player's jackpot chances to get a $150 jackpot by 10% on the next 5 pulls. The host's incidental benefit in this approach is statistical since the odds of the player receiving $150 are 50% (in this gaming session assuming the player pulls plays 5 more times) so the statistical value of those increased odds is $75. The host should, over time if enough of such sponsorships are paid, receive an average benefit of $25 per sponsorship. Thus, the sponsor's payment is certain, the player's benefit is statistical, and the hosts benefit is statistical. This is a simplified analysis that assumes details that are omitted here for illustration. Many variations are possible. For example, such an approach can also modify the underlying game's odds. However, such modifications may be difficult to implement because of gaming laws and regulations.
  • In another example, the sponsor pays $100 so that the player receives a $90 jackpot on the player's next play, or pull. The host receives $10 assuming that the player performs the next play and is paid the $90 jackpot. The jackpot can be paid in addition to any other jackpot that the game would have normally paid. In this example, the sponsor's payment is certain, the player's benefit is certain and the host's benefit is certain. In cases where the player suddenly stops playing, a malfunction occurs or some other anomalous event interferes with desired operation the host can allow a refund of the sponsor's payment or the host can take other action. Multiple sponsors, hosts and players can be included in any scheme or payment and betting arrangement. It should be apparent that many sponsorship methods and resulting benefit variations are possible and that many different types of statistical odds modifications can be created that are within the scope of the invention.
  • In order to avoid violating some types of gaming regulations it may be necessary to have sponsored payouts, such as jackpots, paid in a separate machine or device. Such a sponsored payout machine can be adjacent to the player's gaming machine. For example, a jackpot's physical coin slot, display interface, or the entire game itself can be adjacent to, but separate from, the player's game. Any payouts associated with sponsorship can be paid via the sponsored payout machine. If it is desired to make the sponsored payouts appear to be coming from the player's game then the two machines can be visually combined in their payouts, such as by having a single chute funnel coins to a common tray. Or by having a sponsored payout display use the same display as the player's machine, or use a display that is immediately adjacent to, or integral with the player's machine. For example, a display screen can be used that shows both the player's game payout and the sponsored payout on the same screen. Even if not mandated by regulations, such steps to separate the sponsored payouts from the gaming payouts may be desirable as, for example, to allow the host, player or sponsor to easily track the various actions. In other applications the sponsored aspects of a game can be integrated more fully, or even completely, with a game machine or with original gameplay.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, a simplified flow diagram showing a method of sponsoring a payout for a player in accordance with embodiments of the present invention is indicated by the general reference character 300. The flow can begin (302) and a sponsor can access a sponsor interface (304). As shown in FIG. 2, the sponsor interface can include a screen view (e.g., a computer screen or another suitable device) for selecting various available sponsorship options.
  • In the particular example flow of FIG. 3, the sponsor can arrange or purchase a payout for a designated player (306). A game controller can then distribute this payout, or a portion of the payout, to the player during the course of a game (308) and the flow can complete (310). The game controller or central game owner (e.g., casino) can also retain a portion of the payment made by the sponsor for providing the sponsorship service.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, a simplified flow diagram showing a method of controlling sponsored gaming in accordance with embodiments of the present invention is indicated by the general reference character 400. The flow can begin (402) and a sponsor can access a sponsor interface (404). If a player and/or game has been sponsored (406), the player and/or game being in position can be detected (410). Detection of the player being in position can be used to determine when sponsored benefits (e.g., a payout, increased odds of winning, or increased betting units) can be disbursed. However, if no player or game has been sponsored (406), the flow can complete (408).
  • Once a player and/or game being in position to receive a sponsored benefit has been detected (410), one or more sponsor variables having been selected can be determined. For example, if a payout has been selected (412), the game controller can distribute the payout, or a portion thereof, to the designated player during the course of the game (414) and the flow can complete (408). Alternatively, or in addition, if betting units has been selected (416), the game controller can increase the betting units for the designated player during the course of the game (418) and the flow can complete (408).
  • Alternatively, or in addition, if a statistical advantage has been selected (420), the game controller can increase the odds of the designated player winning during the course of the game (422) and the flow can complete (408). Further, the sponsor may elect to provide a given sum of money that can be applied in portions to given game events. For example, the sponsor may provide a total of $500 for improved odds for a player at a slot machine, and the sponsor may designate $100 worth of improved odds for each of five pulls until the $500 is exhausted. Alternatively, the odds increases can be tied to a particular period of time for the player being in position at a given game. The game controller or system, via the sponsor interface, can indicate the odds changes available, and at what cost to the sponsor.
  • In this fashion, devices, systems, approaches, and/or methods for sponsoring gaming can be provided. Sponsor variables resulting in benefits to a player can include: a sponsor making a payment in order to improve the odds of a player winning a game; a sponsor purchasing betting units for the player; and/or a sponsor purchasing a payout for the player while the game is being played, to name just a few examples.
  • Although the invention has been described with respect to specific embodiments thereof, these embodiments are merely illustrative, and not restrictive of the invention. Generally, other types of networks, games, arrangements, structures, methods, and/or approaches could be used in accordance with embodiments of the present invention. For example, payout portions or other sponsored benefits could be provided to a player via a mechanism separate from the particular game being played. Further, approaches in accordance with embodiments of the present invention can be used in on-line competitive and/or interactive or suitable multi-player gaming activities.
  • Any suitable programming language can be used to implement the routines of embodiments of the present invention including C, C++, Java, assembly language, etc. Different programming techniques can be employed such as procedural or object oriented. The routines can execute on a single processing device or multiple processors. Although the steps, operations, or computations may be presented in a specific order, this order may be changed in different embodiments. In some embodiments, multiple steps shown as sequential in this specification can be performed at the same time. The sequence of operations described herein can be interrupted, suspended, or otherwise controlled by another process, such as an operating system, kernel, etc. The routines can operate in an operating system environment or as stand-alone routines occupying all, or a substantial part, of the system processing. Functions can be performed in hardware, software, or a combination of both. Unless otherwise stated, functions may also be performed manually, in whole or in part. Note that steps can be added to, taken from or modified from the steps presented in this specification without deviating from the scope of the invention. In general, the descriptions and flowcharts only indicate one possible sequence of basic operations to achieve a function.
  • In the description herein, numerous specific details are provided, such as examples of components and/or methods, to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the present invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that an embodiment of the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other apparatus, systems, assemblies, methods, components, materials, parts, and/or the like. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not specifically shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of embodiments of the present invention.
  • A “computer-readable medium” for purposes of embodiments of the present invention may be any medium that can contain, store, communicate, propagate, or transport the program for use by or in connection with the instruction execution system, apparatus, system or device. The computer readable medium can be, by way of example only but not by limitation, an electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, or semiconductor system, apparatus, system, device, propagation medium, or computer memory.
  • Embodiments of the present invention can be implemented in the form of control logic in software or hardware or a combination of both. The control logic may be stored in an information storage medium, such as a computer-readable medium, as a plurality of instructions adapted to direct an information processing device to perform a set of steps disclosed in embodiments of the present invention. Based on the disclosure and teachings provided herein, a person of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate other ways and/or methods to implement the present invention.
  • A “processor” or “process” includes any human, hardware and/or software system, mechanism or component that processes data, signals or other information. A processor can include a system with a general-purpose central processing unit, multiple processing units, dedicated circuitry for achieving functionality, or other systems. Processing need not be limited to a geographic location, or have temporal limitations. For example, a processor can perform its functions in “real time,” “offline,” in a “batch mode,” etc. Portions of processing can be performed at different times and at different locations, by different (or the same) processing systems.
  • Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, or “a specific embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention and not necessarily in all embodiments. Thus, respective appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment”, “in an embodiment”, or “in a specific embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics of any specific embodiment of the present invention may be combined in any suitable manner with one or more other embodiments. It is to be understood that other variations and modifications of the embodiments of the present invention described and illustrated herein are possible in light of the teachings herein and are to be considered as part of the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • Embodiments of the invention may be implemented by using a programmed general purpose digital computer, by using application specific integrated circuits, programmable logic devices, field programmable gate arrays, optical, chemical, biological, quantum or nanoengineered systems, components and mechanisms may be used. In general, the functions of embodiments of the present invention can be achieved by any means as is known in the art. Further, distributed, or networked systems, components and/or circuits can be used. Also, communication, or transfer, of data may be wired, wireless, or by any other means.
  • It will also be appreciated that one or more of the elements depicted in the drawings/figures can also be implemented in a more separated or integrated manner, or even removed or rendered as inoperable in certain cases, as is useful in accordance with a particular application. It is also within the spirit and scope of the present invention to implement a program or code that can be stored in a machine-readable medium to permit a computer to perform any of the methods described above.
  • Additionally, any signal arrows in the drawings/Figures should be considered only as exemplary, and not limiting, unless otherwise specifically noted. Furthermore, the term “or” as used herein is generally intended to mean “and/or” unless otherwise indicated. Combinations of components or steps will also be considered as being noted, where terminology is foreseen as rendering the ability to separate or combine is unclear.
  • As used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, “a”, “an”, and “the” includes plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Also, as used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, the meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
  • The foregoing description of illustrated embodiments of the present invention, including what is described in the Abstract, is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed herein. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the invention are described herein for illustrative purposes only, various equivalent modifications are possible within the spirit and scope of the present invention, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize and appreciate. As indicated, these modifications may be made to the present invention in light of the foregoing description of illustrated embodiments of the present invention and are to be included within the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • Thus, while the present invention has been described herein with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modification, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosures, and it will be appreciated that in some instances some features of embodiments of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as set forth. Therefore, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the essential scope and spirit of the present invention. It is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular terms used in following claims and/or to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include any and all embodiments and equivalents falling within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (25)

1. A method for sponsoring gaming, the method comprising:
accessing a sponsor interface;
selecting one or more sponsor variables and transferring value; and
altering a game to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the selected one or more sponsor variables.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the accessing the sponsor interface comprises using an access card, a keypad, or a touchscreen.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the transferring value comprises supplying cash or using a credit or a debit card.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more sponsor variables comprises a designation of the player to receive the sponsored benefit.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more sponsor variables comprises a designation of the game to convey the sponsored benefit.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more sponsor variables comprises a designation of a payout as the sponsored benefit.
7. The method of claim 6, wherein the altering the game comprises:
providing a first portion of the payout to the player; and
providing a second portion of the payout to a central game owner.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more sponsor variables comprises a designation of a betting unit as the sponsored benefit.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the altering the game comprises:
adding the betting unit to another betting unit provided by the player; and
providing a payment derived from the transferring value to a central game owner.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the one or more sponsor variables comprises a designation of a statistical advantage as the sponsored benefit.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein the altering the game comprises:
improving a likelihood of the player winning the game; and
providing a payment derived from the transferring value to a central game owner.
12. The method of claim 1, further comprising detecting the player and/or the game being in position for the sponsored benefit by performing a comparison using the one or more sponsor variables.
13. A system for sponsoring gaming, the system comprising:
a sponsor interface configured to receive inputs from a sponsor and to provide one or more selected sponsor variables; and
a game controller configured to receive the one or more selected sponsor variables and to alter at least one of a plurality of games to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the one or more selected sponsor variables.
14. The system of claim 13, wherein the sponsor interface is coupled to the game controller via a network.
15. The system of claim 13, wherein the sponsor interface comprises an access card slot, a keypad, and/or a touchscreen.
16. The system of claim 13, wherein the one or more selected sponsor variables comprises a designation of the player to receive the sponsored benefit.
17. The system of claim 13, wherein the one or more selected sponsor variables comprises a designation of the game to convey the sponsored benefit.
18. The system of claim 13, wherein the one or more selected sponsor variables comprises a designation of a payout as the sponsored benefit.
19. The system of claim 18, wherein the game controller is configured to alter the at least one game using logic configured to:
provide a first portion of the payout to the player; and
provide a second portion of the payout to a central game owner.
20. The system of claim 13, wherein the one or more selected sponsor variables comprises a designation of a betting unit as the sponsored benefit.
21. The system of claim 20, wherein the game controller is configured to alter the at least one game using logic configured to:
add the betting unit to another betting unit that is provided by the player; and
provide a payment from the sponsor to a central game owner.
22. The system of claim 13, wherein the one or more selected sponsor variables comprises a designation of a statistical advantage as the sponsored benefit.
23. The system of claim 22, wherein the game controller is configured to alter the at least one game using logic configured to:
improve a likelihood of the player winning the game; and
provide a payment from the sponsor to a central game owner.
24. The system of claim 13, further comprising a device or circuit configured to detect the player and/or the game in position for the sponsored benefit by performing a comparison using the one or more selected sponsor variables.
25. A means for sponsoring gaming, the means comprising:
a means for accessing a sponsor interface;
a means for selecting one or more sponsor variables and transferring value; and
a means for altering a game to provide a sponsored benefit to a player in response to the selected one or more sponsor variables.
US11/530,457 2006-09-08 2006-09-08 Gaming system with player sponsoring Abandoned US20080076530A1 (en)

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