US20090005173A1 - Method of Providing Gaming Addiction Control Solutions in a Gaming Establishment - Google Patents

Method of Providing Gaming Addiction Control Solutions in a Gaming Establishment Download PDF

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US20090005173A1
US20090005173A1 US12/135,820 US13582008A US2009005173A1 US 20090005173 A1 US20090005173 A1 US 20090005173A1 US 13582008 A US13582008 A US 13582008A US 2009005173 A1 US2009005173 A1 US 2009005173A1
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player
behaviour
gaming
remedy
data
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US12/135,820
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Denis Bisson
Andre Lapalme
Eric LeClerc
Yvan Paradis
Daniel Tougas
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Labtronix Concept Inc
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Labtronix Concept Inc
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Priority to US12/135,820 priority patent/US20090005173A1/en
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Assigned to THIRD EYE CAPITAL CORPORATION reassignment THIRD EYE CAPITAL CORPORATION SECURITY INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: LABTRONIX CONCEPT INC.
Assigned to LABTRONIX CONCEPT INC. reassignment LABTRONIX CONCEPT INC. RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: THIRD EYE CAPITAL CORPORATION
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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
    • 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

Embodiments of the present invention provide systems and methods for performing monitoring of gaming behaviour and applying remedies when the gaming behaviour is evaluated as being outside acceptable settings. A system is described wherein gaming machines are networked with a server housing databases and programs adapted to store player identifications, to store transactions, to determine when behaviour is outside acceptable settings and to signal a system component used by the identified player to apply a remedy. Also described are methods applied by the server and gaming system components are described in order to perform gaming behaviour monitoring and apply remedies when appropriate. Finally, there is described means and programs for players to provide acceptable gaming settings and remedies to be applied.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority under 35USC§119(e) of U.S. provisional patent application 60/929,045, filed Jun. 8, 2007, the specification of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The invention relates to methods and systems for monitoring gaming behaviour and for performing gaming remedies when said gaming behaviour gets outside acceptable limits, configurations and settings.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The play of casino-style games has become a very popular form of entertainment. An increased number of people are playing on gaming machines, or practice other gaming activities over the world. They are spending different amounts according to their budget and other factors. In some case, which at the beginning was entertainment became a gaming problem.
  • It is believed that many people lack self-control over their gaming behaviour. To curtain problem or compulsive gaming, many casino operators are offering players to place themselves on “self-exclusion” lists; lists of players who voluntarily wish to be “banned” from casino premises. However, an ongoing need exists for additional, and more efficient, tools that enable these players and other players, presenting or not what can be perceived as problematic gaming behaviour, to control they gaming behaviour.
  • Methods to monitor gaming behaviour and to provide remedies in case of deficient gaming behaviour are therefore needed. Systems implementing such methods are also needed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to an aspect of the embodiments there is provided herein a solution to identify problematic gaming behaviour and to provide remedies to problematic gaming actions.
  • Within the present document, embodiments fulfilling this aspect are provided in relation with different gambling environments.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention, there is provided a behaviour monitoring network system at least comprising a plurality of system components, comprising: a server comprising: storing means for storing a plurality of databases and data, comprising: player identification database used for storing data used in identifying a plurality of players; transaction database used for storing data regarding monetary transactions performed by said plurality of players; behaviour settings used for evaluating of gaming behaviours; and remedy data used for determining a remedy; controlling means for controlling server processes performed on said server, said server processes comprising: player identifying program for identifying players using one of said system component according to said player identification database; transaction monitoring program for monitoring monetary transactions performed by said players on said system component and storing transaction information in said transaction database; behaviour evaluation program for evaluating gaming behaviour of said identified players against behaviour settings based on monitored transactions stored in said transaction database; and remedy determination program for determining and communicating a remedy to apply from said remedy data when said behaviour evaluation program evaluates that gaming behaviour of said identified player is outside acceptable behaviour settings; identifying means communicatively linked to said server, said identifying means being for identifying one of said players using at least one of said system components and for communicating player and system-component identification data to said server; accepting means communicatively linked to said server for accepting monetary values from said identified player and transferring said monetary value from outside said accepting means into a format usable to place wagers in a wagering game, and for communicating transaction data regarding said monetary value transfer to said server; two or more gaming machines communicatively linked to said server, each of said gaming machines comprising: controlling means for controlling gaming-machine processes performed on said gaming machine, said gaming-machine processes at least comprising: gaming program for providing to said player, in exchange of a wager, a play of a wagering game and either or not a prize based on an outcome resulting from said play of said wagering game; one of more additional gaming peripherals involved in said process of providing said gaming program, wherein a remedy application program controlled by a controlling means of one of said system components controls a remedy application process performed by a remedy peripheral on said system component when said system component receives a remedy signal from said server, said remedy being communicated to said identified player through said remedy peripheral.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention, there is provided a behaviour monitoring system comprising at least a plurality of system components, comprising: two or more gaming machines communicatively linked to said server, each of said gaming machines comprising: controlling means for controlling gaming-machine processes performed on said gaming machine, said gaming-machine processes at least comprising: gaming program for providing to said player, in exchange of a wager, a play of a wagering game and either or not a prize based on an outcome resulting from said play of said wagering game; one of more additional gaming peripherals involved in said process of providing said gaming program, and—a transaction module comprising: identifying means for identifying one of said players when using at least one of said system components, said identifying means being adapted for retrieving player identification and behaviour-related data from one updatable player-data storing means when said player-data storing means is read by said identifying means and for updating behaviour-related data on said player-data storing means; accepting means for accepting monetary values from said identified player and transferring said monetary value from outside said accepting means into a format allowing to place wagers in a wagering game, controlling means for controlling processes comprising: transaction monitoring program for monitoring transactions consisting in said monetary value transfer and for updating said behaviour-related data on said player-data storing means; behaviour evaluation program for evaluating gaming behaviour data of said identified player against behaviour settings based on monitored transactions and retrieved transaction data against behaviour settings retrieved from said player-data storing means; and remedy determination program for determining and communicating a remedy to apply according to remedy data retrieved from said player-controlled device when said behaviour evaluation program evaluates that gaming behaviour of said identified player is outside acceptable behaviour settings; and remedy application program for applying a remedy process performed by a remedy peripheral on a system component through which said identified player is communicated said remedy.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one or more players and for applying remedies on a network of system components at least comprising a server and two or more player-operable system components including two or more gaming machines, the method comprising the steps of: identifying one said players using one of said player-operable system components; identifying monetary transactions performed by said identified player on said player-operable system component, each of said monetary transactions consisting in transferring monetary value from outside said player-operable system components into said player-operable system components, wherein said transferred monetary value is in a format allowable to be used to place a wager in a wagering game to be played on one of said gaming machines; and communicating player identification data and transaction data to a server; receiving remedy data from said server when a gaming behaviour out of acceptable behaviour settings is identified by said server; and applying a remedy through at least one of peripherals available on said player-operable system components used by said identified player.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention, there is provided a method for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one of more players and for applying remedies on a network comprising a server and two or more player-operable system components comprising at least two or more gaming machines, the method comprising the steps of: receiving player identifications of players using one of said player-operable system components; receiving monetary transaction data from said player-operable system components used by said player, said monetary transaction data referring to monetary transactions performed by one or more of said identified players on said one or more player-operable system components, said monetary transactions being a transfer of monetary value from outside said gaming machines a format allowable to be used to place a wager in a wagering game to be played on one of said at least two gaming machines; evaluating transaction data associated with each of said identified players against acceptable gaming behaviour settings, thereby establishing if unacceptable gaming behaviour is performed by said identified player; when unacceptable gaming behaviour is established in association with one identified player, determining a remedy to communicate to said identified player; and communicating said remedy to said player-operable system component used by said identified player for said remedy to be communicated to said identified player on said player-operable system component.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Further features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in combination with the appended drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram that illustrates a perspective view of gaming machine suitable for an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram that schematically illustrates the components of the gaming machine of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a flow chart that illustrates the steps performed in a typical game process according to an embodiment, said steps being performed on the gaming machine of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of a gaming network according to an embodiment, wherein components of the server are schematically provided through a block diagram;
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of the gaming network of an embodiment of the invention, with a variant gaming machine and a player behaviour server schematically illustrated through block diagrams;
  • FIG. 6 is a sequence diagram that illustrates the process of card recognition according to embodiment similar to the one of FIG. 5;
  • FIG. 7 is a sequence diagram that illustrates the monetary value acceptation process;
  • FIG. 8 is a sequence diagram that illustrates the processes performed beginning with a cash-out command;
  • FIG. 9 is a sequence diagram that illustrates the processes involved in associating behaviour settings with a player;
  • FIG. 10 is a sequence diagram that illustrates problematic-gaming-behaviour identification process and remedy process; and
  • FIG. 11 is a block diagram that schematically illustrates the different components of another embodiment in relation with a multi-player game;
  • FIG. 12 is a block diagram describing a method for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one or more players and for applying remedies on a network of system components according to an embodiment of the invention; and
  • FIG. 13 is a block diagram describing a method for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one or more players and for applying remedies on a network of system components according to another embodiment of the invention.
  • It will be noted that throughout the appended drawings, like features are identified by like reference numerals.
  • Lexicography
  • In this specification, the terms “gambling”, “gambling activities”, “gaming activities”, “wagering”, etc. are meant to refer to any process through which a player places a wager, and according to an outcome generation and evaluation process, a prize value is established and awarded to a player.
  • The terms “player” and “patron” mean a person engaged or potentially engaged in a gambling activity.
  • The terms “gaming machine”, “gaming terminal”, “gaming device, “gaming table”, “player station” etc. are meant to refer to any device adapted to perform gambling services, such that a player may be engaged in a gambling activity through that device.
  • The term “game” in relation with gambling activities refers to the presentation of the gambling activity to a player. The games may be instant game that may be resolved instantly, multi-player games wherein more than one player are involved in the game, and wherein the actions of a player may influence the outcome of another player, or any other game fulfilling the above gambling definition.
  • The terms “monetary value” mean any value exchangeable for goods and services.
  • The terms “medium” and “media”, in relation with monetary value, are meant to encompass any physical or electronic support for monetary values.
  • Problematic Gambling Behaviour Principles
  • Gaming machines feature games having a payout of usually between eighty-eight (88) and ninety-four (4) percent. That payout is comprises a combination of different prize values each associated with their own outcome and probabilities. However, this payout is calculated over an infinite number of plays, and therefore does not reflect what really happens within a play session.
  • Over a relatively small number of plays, players experience losses and wins of small or medium values and sometimes of substantial values. However, most of the plays result in losses and small wins that often do not cover the total wager placed to play the game. Consequently, the credit values associated to a player in a gaming machine is constantly varying. The variations in the credit values are not believed to be the best indicator of a problematic gaming behaviour. Rather, a high frequency of transfers of money in and out of gaming machines is believed to be a better indicator. Each time a player inserts new monetary values in a gaming machine, may be a sign that a losing player is ready to increase his losses. Also, short periods between cash-out and cash-in commands (and vice-versa) may reveal compulsive gaming behaviour. Other behaviours involving monetary value movements may also be analysable signs.
  • Accordingly, embodiments of the invention provide methods and systems featuring functionalities for monitoring monetary value transfers, for an identified player, and discriminating these transfers from normal credit values variations. These embodiments feature functionalities for monitoring signs of problematic gaming behaviour, analyse these signs, and to provide remedies when such problematic gaming behaviour is detected.
  • EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION Gaming Machine Embodiments
  • An embodiment of the present invention can be carried out on a gaming machine. An example of such a gaming machine is illustrated on FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. Gaming machine 10 comprises:
  • (a) Controlling means 21, such a computer, computer codes, or a hardware controller. It as to be understood that controlling means 21 encompasses general-purpose computers, and computing hardware and software embodied as much in a general-use device as in a specific-use device when said device as an only purpose of performing gaming functions or in used in relation with a gaming activity as defined in the above Lexicography. Therefore, it must be understood that controlling means 21 may be composed of any one or a combination of a generic or specialized electronic circuit board (e.g. a personal-computer type board), one or more processors, memory media (such as RAM, ROM, EPROM, EEPROM, hard-drives, and removable data storable media such as flash memory and CD-ROMs), and communication interfaces. Controlling means 21 may comprise specific circuitry and/or program codes adapted to perform non-gaming functions. For example, these functions may include security evaluation functions, event evaluation functions, communication with other components of the gaming machine 10, communication with other components outside the gaming machine 10, processing of signals and information, and storage of information.
  • (b) Displaying means 22, such as a video screen, a LCD screen, mechanical reels, one or more illumination devices, etc. Therefore, displaying means 22 is meant to encompass any component that as the object of providing information to the players who use the gaming machine 10.
  • (c) Accepting means 23, such as a card reader or a coin and/or bill acceptor. Accepting means 23 is meant to encompass any device adapted to receive monetary values from a player for said monetary value to be credited to the player in the gaming machine 10. Once credited to the player, the monetary values are used to wager in the game, or in other words to play said game.
  • (d) Inputting means 24, comprising mechanical controls such as buttons and levers, and electronic controls such as touch screen and vocal-command recognition controls. Inputting means 24 is meant to encompass any available means to receive commands from a player. Example of commands includes the fixing of a wager level to play a game, play initiation commands, and key commands through an alpha-numeric physical or virtual keyboard.
  • (e) Crediting means 25 comprising a ticket printer, a card reader, a hopper, and/or any other components and program codes responsible for the transfer of monetary values from the storing means (credit registers not specifically shown) of the gaming machine 10 to an external media such as a voucher or a player-account server database. Therefore, crediting means 25 is responsible of the transfer of monetary values owned by the player from the gaming machine 10 to another media for the monetary values to be used by the player for another purpose than wagering said monetary value through the play of a game on said gaming machine 10.
  • (f) Storing means 26 comprising RAM, ROM, EPROM, EEPROM, hard drives and removable memory media such as flash memory and CD-ROMs. Thus, storing means 26 encompass any media suitable to store information, sound, images, program codes, and signals.
  • (g) Identifying means 27, sometimes present on gaming machines, comprising all devices and codes participating in the process of performing player identification on or in relation with the gaming machine 10. Example of identifying means 27 comprises, alone or in combination, smart cards, smart card readers, vouchers, voucher readers, RFID reading devices, etc.
  • As illustrated on FIG. 2, typical embodiment of the gaming machine 10 comprises a gaming logic 29 assembling in a single combination the micro-processor, the I/O circuitry, and part of the storing means including the RAM, gaming program codes, and some registers. For simplicity purpose, throughout the present specification, “logic” refers to such a combination of elements in relation with the identified functions.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, gaming machine 10 is adapted to provide gaming activities. The essential part of these activities is to play a wagering game. That process is therefore described through the present flow chart.
  • At step 30, the gaming machine 10 receives monetary values from a player either in a physical format (banknotes, coins) or in an electronic format (player account accessible on or through a smart card). In case of an electronic-format value, said step 30 comprises the transfer of the monetary value from its original media onto credit registers (not shown) of the gaming logic 29. In case of a physical-format value, said step 30 comprises the storing of said value onto credit registers in exchange of the control of said physical-format monetary value. Practically, the gaming machine 10, for example, reads a manually fed banknote, evaluates the validity of said banknote, and transfers the banknote in a secure cash box (not shown) inside the gaming machine 10 when crediting the monetary value of the banknote in the credit registers.
  • At step 31, the gaming machine 10 receives game commands from the player. Said commands comprise fixing the level of wager used to play the game. Another one consists in initiating the play. Following these two commands, the credit registers defined in relation with step 30 is modified to reflect the amount engaged in the play of the game.
  • At step 32, the gaming machine 10 randomly generates a game outcome. Depending on embodiments, said step 32 may be absent from the steps performed by the gaming machine 10. Said step 32 may be replaced by the reception of a signal from an outcome generation device such as a game server (not shown on FIGS. 1 and 2). If the gaming machine 10 is adapted to perform step 32, a random or pseudo-random generation process takes place through which usually indicia are generated or a drawing is performed among a number of available outcomes therefore determining the outcome to be provided.
  • At step 33, the gaming machine 10 displays said game outcome. Said step 33 may comprises, depending on embodiments, the decoding of a received outcome signal into a treatable outcome and the association of indicia with this outcome. It may comprise to establish symbols to form a visually significant outcome, and to provide said visually significant outcome to the player though the use of said displaying means 22.
  • At step 34, the gaming machine 10 evaluates said game outcome according to game rules, meaning translates the game outcome into a prize value. Such a translation process may include the comparison of the outcome value or values to the wager level set hereinabove, the comparison of game indicia against a pay schedule according to spatial relationship between the indicia. An example of such outcome comprises line games featuring multiple pay lines. According to each one of the pay lines, different indicia are evaluated.
  • Finally, at step 35, the gaming machine 10 awards a prize to the player for a winning game outcome. Said step 35 is embodied in a modification of the credit registers and continuously displayed to the player. Thereby, a player sees the value maintained by the credit registers decreasing and increasing along the insertion of monetary values (at step 30), the placement of wagers to play the game (at step 31) and the winning of prizes at the end of plays of the game (at step 35).
  • Even though FIG. 3 illustrates steps in a non-conditional format, one skilled in the art would understand that steps not illustrated on FIG. 3 also comprises conditional steps and evaluation steps. For example, playing on the gaming machine involves the validation of the manually-fed or electronically-transferred monetary values before crediting said monetary values in gaming machine 10. It also comprises, in relation with each commands provided by the player in relation with setting a wager level and initiating play of the game, evaluating the values available in the credit registers to determine if these gaming-machine credited values allows the play of the game or the setting of this wager level. In case the credited values does not permit the play to be performed, to prevent the acceptation of the command and/or initiate a specific function informing the player of that situation. It also comprises to monitor at all time if the player inputs a cash-out command, and to transfer, following the reception of the cash out command and the end of the current play, the values credited in gaming machine 10 onto a different media through said crediting means 25. It has to be noted that these steps reflects supporting functions essential to the play of a wagering game on the gaming machine 10.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an environment in casinos and other gaming facilities; it consists in the gaming machines 10 networked with a server 41 through communication means 42. Communication means 42 may be embodied in many forms according to physical and security constraints. For example, a wireless network may be yield with one or more wireless access points (not shown), a physical cable-based network may also be installed in order to provide such a network, with one or more routers (not shown) and controllers (not shown). The communication protocol used to exchange information between the network components may be a TCP/IP based protocol, a SAS protocol, etc. Since these technologies are well known to a person skilled in the art, and the different variants to provide a communication network wherein communication and security are provided at a suitable level, the present specification will not recite all variants but will states that any variant currently available or to be developed in the future that would be suitable to provide such a network environment are intended to be encompassed within the present definition.
  • Server 41 typically consists in a general-use server comprising controlling means 44, storing means 45, displaying means 46 and inputting means 47. Storing means 45 typically comprises RAM, memory media suitable to store program codes and databases, and removable memory media. Server 41 is adapted to store different monitored information and different services to be provided to gaming machines. Examples of such services may include Local Area Progressive Management, Wide Area Progressive management, program downloading services, etc. These services are well known from persons skilled in the art and are therefore not an object of discussion in the present document.
  • Embodiments of the present invention provide to monitor transactions between a player and a gaming establishment or gaming machines, transactions in which a monetary value is transferred into a wagerable value. The monetary value that is exchanged may be actual currency (such as banknotes, coins, or even gift certificates) that may be received by the gaming establishment through gaming machine bill or coin acceptors, transaction devices or wireless transaction devices where players may purchase player cards or chips, at game tables or by opening a player account at a player club counter. This transaction results in the player obtaining wagerable values such as credits held on a player card, or chips.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, illustrated on FIG. 5, a network comprises one or more modified gaming machines 51 in communication with the server 41 through a gaming network. Said modified gaming machine 51, illustrated as a block diagram, additionally comprises a Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52 disposed between the gaming logic 29 and the monetary related devices (accepting means 23 and crediting means 25). Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52 comprises controlling means 53, storing means 54, combined in a Behaviour-Monitoring-Interface logic (a.k.a. BMI logic) 59. The BMI logic 59 is in communication with identifying means 27 (a card reader) either specific to the Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52 or shared with the gaming logic 29. Finally, Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52 is networked with a Behaviour Monitoring Server 55, illustrated as a block diagram, over a Behaviour Monitoring network distinct from the gaming network. It has to be noted that even though the gaming and behaviour networks are distinct in the present embodiment, one skill in the art could use a common network in relation with both services, the services related to gaming and the ones related to behaviour monitoring being insured by the same server or a combination of distinct servers.
  • In the present embodiment of the invention, the Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52 is further either in communication with identifying means 27 common with the controlling means 21 (as illustrated) or one specifically dedicated for operations in relation with behaviour monitoring Interface 52 (not shown). The BMI logic 29 is illustrated interrupting the communication path between the gaming logic 29 and the accepting means 25 and crediting means 27 because the BMI logic 59 is adapted to process, relay and interrupt communication signals between the gaming logic 29 and the peripherals 23 and 25. The Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52 also comprises a set of displaying means 57 and inputting means 58 specifically dedicated to the Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52. The object of these means 57 and 58 is to provide information to and receive commands from players specifically in relation with the behaviour monitoring services.
  • Aside that, the Player Behaviour Server 55 comprises similar component as the gaming server 41 (which are not shown). Storing means of the Player Behaviour Server 55 comprises databases with purposes that are specific to the present invention. These databases comprise a player database, a behaviour database, a setting database and a remedy database. The player Behaviour Server 55 further insures services comprising player identification services, monetary transfer tracking services, and remedy application services. In other embodiments (not shown), the player behaviour server 55 may feature also cashless transaction capabilities embodied in player account databases, transaction databases, account identification services, account validation services, transaction services, etc. These functionalities are complementary to the present invention and well known to persons skilled in the art. They are therefore not described in details.
  • In relation with the present embodiment, the Behaviour Monitoring Interface is adapted to identify players through the reading of a card inserted by the player in the card reader, to exchange information regarding player identification and player behaviour with the behaviour monitoring server 55, to perform services related to behaviour monitoring, and perform these functions through i) communication with the behaviour monitoring server 55. The BMI logic 59 further comprises programs adapted to perform processes resulting in communication signals being transmitted to peripherals and the gaming logic 29.
  • According to another embodiment of the present invention, the card used to identify the player may also store all the information necessary to realize the present invention. Accordingly, all the information necessary to identify the player and to monitor their behaviour (such as all the necessary transaction information, remedy information, and setting information) is stored in the player's card. Also, the Behaviour Monitoring Server functions may be accomplished by controlling means and programs housed in a module inserted in the machine or the game table such that a stand-alone machine or table may apply the present invention without having to be linked to a central server. Consequently, the present embodiment may be applied in a gaming establishment having only a few machines without requiring the purchase of a central server.
  • To illustrate an embodiment of the invention, a series of steps are illustrates on the sequence diagrams of FIG. 6 and followings. In relation with said diagrams, the gaming machine 51 is adapted with a bill acceptor embodying an accepting means 23, and a card reader, embodying an identifying means 27. The Behaviour Monitoring Interface 52 is further embodied as separated embedded device within the gaming machine 51. It comprises, as illustrated on FIG. 5, specific displaying means 57 and inputting means 58. There are disposed on said device as a 5-inches wide LCD screen, and an associated keypad.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, a player begins a play session on a gaming machine. In other words, this is the first process taking place when a player presents himself/herself on a gaming machine, including the identification of the player.
  • The first action performed by the player is inserting his/her player identification card in the card reader of the gaming machine 51 (at step 101). The card reader reads the card (at step 102), and communicates the card data to the BMI logic 59 (at step 103). The BMI logic 59 verifies the nature of the signal received from the card reader 27 (at step 104); namely the validity of the signal, the information contained in the signal, etc. The BMI logic 59 initiates a player identification process (at step 105) comprising displaying on the Interface displaying means 57 a message (a specific Graphic User Interface on the LCD screen) informing the player that his/her card has been read and the system currently searches identification of the player. The BMI logic 59 transmits a player identification request signal to the behaviour monitoring server 55 on the behaviour monitoring network (at step 106). The behaviour monitoring server 55 processes the requests (at step 107) and communicates the player identification and any other useful player information (e.g. identification of player's personal settings, identification related to behaviour monitoring processes, etc.) to the BMI logic 59 (at step 108). The BMI logic 59 therefore, based on the received signal from the behaviour monitoring server 55, updates the player identification information in its registers maintained in the BMI logic 59 (at step 109), and welcomes the player to play on the gaming machine on the LCD screen.
  • Referring to FIGS. 7A and 7B, a monetary value insertion process is described, wherein physical monetary values are used to increase credit registers and consequently to place wagers to play in the gaming machine 51.
  • First, the player manually inserts a value note into the bill acceptor (at step 111). Practically, that value note takes the form a valid banknote, a voucher bearing value information in a transaction database (which is commonly known as a Ticket-In/Ticket-out technology for a person skilled in the art), a coin, etc. The bill acceptor (accepting means 23) verifies the validity of the value note (at step 112), and accept the value note (step 113). It signals the reception of the value note to the BMI logic 59 (at step 114); the signals, in practice, being signalled for the gaming logic 29 and intercepted by the BMI logic 59. The BMI logic 59 identifies the signal (at step 115) and processes the signal based on player data (at step 116). According to the current example, the signal process is followed with communicating a cash-in transaction from the player to the behaviour monitoring server 55 (at step 117); the behaviour monitoring server 55 processing the signal (at step 118), updating the player history (at step 119), and based on the player history presenting no problem, communicating an acceptance signal to the BMI logic 59 (at step 120). In response to that signal, the BMI logic 59 relays the original signal of the bill acceptor 23 to the gaming logic 29 (at step 121), which accrues the credit registers use to place wagers in the game (at step 122), updates other game monitoring registers (at step 123) of the gaming logic 29, and updates the current game display (at step 124) to illustrate to the player that his/her value note has been accepted.
  • Referring to FIG. 8A, FIG. 8B and FIG. 8C, a cash-out process is described. That cash-out process takes place whenever the player initiates a cash-out command to request the transfer of the values credited in the gaming machine 51 on another media, such as a voucher or player card, using the crediting means 25, for example a ticket printer. This process marks the end of the play session of the player on said gaming machine 51.
  • Upon reception of a cash-out command, the gaming logic 29 initiates a cash-out process (at step 142), which comprises updating the credit registers and other registers (at step 143) and signalling a request to the ticket printer to print a voucher bearing the value held by the credit registers (at step 144). The BMI logic 59 intercepts the signal, evaluates it (at step 145) and initiates a cash-out process (at step 146). The BMI logic 59 requests player identification verification to the card reader 27 (at step 147). The latter verifies the card in the card reader 27 (at step 148) and signals the player identification or the absence of a player identification card to the BMI logic 59 (at step 149). Upon reception, the BMI logic 59 evaluates the nature of the signal intercepted (at step 150) and signals cash-out transaction data and player data to the behaviour monitoring server 55 (at step 151) which updates the player history (at step 152). After signalling the behaviour monitoring server 55, the BMI logic 59 relays the voucher printing signal to the ticket printer 25 (at step 153), which prints the voucher (at step 154) and acknowledges the command to be completed to the BMI logic 59 (at step 155). The BMI logic 59 evaluates the received signal (at step 156), and relays the ticket printer signal to the gaming logic 29 (at step 157). The BMI logic 59 also signals a card ejection command to the card reader 27 (at step 158) following confirmation of the cash out process being correctly performed. The card reader 27 ejects the card (at step 159) and acknowledges the command (at step 160). The BMI logic 59 commands its LCD screen to provide a GUI featuring information regarding the availability of his/her card (at step 161), For its part, the gaming logic 29, according to its original program, may invite the player to take his/her voucher (at step 162) according to the displayed message being or not configured in the gaming machine software. Afterwards, the gaming logic 29 updates the state of the game displayed to the player, for example entering in an attract mode (at step 163). Whenever the player desires to end his/her session, the player takes the card and the voucher (at step 164).
  • Even though the behaviour mainly monitored by the system is the transaction in which the player introduces “new” money into the system to play, embodiments of the present invention also provide a system adapted to monitor the gaming history of players, entries in this history being captured through the BMI logic 59. For example, the system is adapted to monitor the amounts inserted in any gaming machine (as illustrated through FIGS. 7A and 7B) by an identified player (as illustrated through FIG. 6) and cashed out (as illustrated through FIGS. 8A, 8B and 8C) by the identified player. Accordingly, the behaviour monitoring server 55 is adapted to maintain databases of gaming histories and behaviour setting databases associated with players. The behaviour monitoring server 55 is also adapted to maintain a remedy database. The nature of these remedies may vary from the initiation of GUI to appear on the interface LCD screen, the initiation of other actions according to available peripherals, to the interception of a bill acceptor signal and signalling the bill acceptor to reject the banknote if the banknote was not valid. Accordingly, in these embodiments of the invention, the player may require the system to monitor his gaming machine “surfing” behaviour, meaning the system may apply a remedy (for example signalling to the player that the monitored behaviour has reached the limits set by the player) when the player has changed machines a predetermined number of times in an hour for example. The behaviour may also be that the player has played a predetermined number of plays, or for a certain length of time, etc. The monitored behaviour may also be linked to his winning or losing patterns.
  • For the purpose of illustrating processes related to remedies, sequence diagrams of FIGS. 9 and 10 are provided. FIG. 9 illustrates the setting of behaviour monitoring configurations specific to a player. FIG. 10 illustrates the detection of problematic gaming behaviour and the initiation of a remedy process.
  • Referring to FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B, it is illustrated the initiation of a play session in reference to behaviour settings. It begins with steps 101 to 104 (not illustrated) similar to FIG. 6. After receiving the card reading from the card reader, the BMI logic 59 initiates a player identification process (at step 181), which begins with the communication of a player identification request to the behaviour monitoring server 55 (at step 182). The latter verifies in the databases if the card is associated with a known player, valid behaviour monitoring settings are registered in the database, etc. (at step 183). Following, a data validation process takes place (at step 184). This is performed to identify when the player is unknown and the card is valid (e.g. a new player) or the setting are out-of-date (e.g. the setting becomes ineffective if a player does not play for a period of one month or more) as examples. When such a case is identified, the behaviour monitoring server 55 requires setting to be received from the player (at step 185). The BMI logic 59 processes the requests (at step 186) and generates the appropriate GUI to be displayed on the interface LCD screen (at step 187), which invites the player to enter behaviour settings. Examples of settings include a budget, a maximum continuous time to play, etc. The player provides his/her personal setting through the interface keypad (at step 188), which are automatically communicated to the BMI logic 59 (at step 189). The latter communicates these settings to the behaviour monitoring server 55 (at step 190) and changes the GUI to inform the player that a validation process is being performed (at step 191). The behaviour monitoring server 55 validates the provided settings, and updates the player's behaviour settings (at step 192). When validated, the behaviour monitoring server 55 acknowledges these settings to the BMI logic 59 (at step 193), which replaces the GUI on the LCD screen to invite the player to begin playing.
  • Referring to FIG. 10, it is illustrated a problematic gaming behaviour being identified and a remedy process being performed. It begins in the present example with the player desiring to increase the amounts available to play in the gaming machine 51, thus the credit registers value. The player manually feeds a banknote into the bill acceptor (at step 201). The bill acceptor signals that new monetary value transfer to gaming logic 29, which signal is intercepted by the BMI logic 59 (at step 202). In response to that signal, the BMI logic 59 initiates a verification of the gaming behaviour of the player. In the illustrated process, the BMI logic 59 signals that monetary value transaction to the behaviour monitoring server (at step 204). This latter analyzes stored behaviour data in regard of the new signalled transaction (at step 205). It has to be noted that, in another embodiment, the BMI logic 59 could perform the verification process autonomously. This alternative embodiment requires behaviour settings and remedies to be transmitted to the BMI logic 59 by the behaviour monitoring server 55 when the player identification process has been performed. If the behaviour monitoring server 55 identifies a problematic gaming behaviour, it determines a remedy to perform (at step 206). These remedies, as set before, vary from the display of information to, as in the present example, the refusal of the banknote of the player. Once identified, the remedy is communicated to the BMI logic 59 (at step 207). The BMI logic processes the remedy, therefore identifies the peripheral to be signalled and the nature of the signal (at step 208). In the present case, the remedy consists a refusal of the transaction, therefore, the BMI logic signals the bill acceptor (that was in a waiting mode since it did not receive signal acknowledgement) to reject the banknote (at step 209), generates a remedy messages (at step 210) and signals the interface LCD screen to display the message (at step 212). This example is one in which a strong remedy is applied. Is has to be noted that depending on the result on the behaviour analysis, some weaker remedies may be more suitable in some cases.
  • According to another embodiment of the invention (not shown), the services performed by the gaming logic and the services performed by the behaviour monitoring interface are integrated into a single logic. For illustration purpose, a gaming machine featuring two micro-processors is used to illustrate that embodiment; these two micro-processors in combination with their respective storing means and program codes constituting the single gaming machine logic. It has to be noted that the choice of featuring a bi-processor embodiment is for simplicity purpose. Different controlling-means architectures could also be selected, e.g. a single processor architecture, with that architecture being able to perform the same processes as the present embodiment.
  • The first off the two micro-processors is dedicated to gaming services, namely, maintaining credits values, registering wager levels, generating outcomes, evaluating outcomes, paying prizes, etc. Accordingly, said first micro-processor, in combination with suitable storing means and program codes constitutes the gaming logic of the gaming machine. It is responsible to perform the gaming services.
  • The second of the two micro-processors performs a supporting function. That micro-processor, in combination with suitable storing means and program codes, performs other functions necessary for the gaming machine to work properly and securely. This is the supporting logic. Among the number of services performed by the supporting logic is the behaviour monitoring service that “virtually” encapsulates the gaming logic. The behaviour monitoring service allows any communication between the gaming logic and the gaming machine peripherals as long as no problematic gaming behaviour is detected. Each time the gaming logic communicates with a peripheral, the behaviour monitoring service monitors the process performed to identify if data regarding that process, e.g. monetary transaction processes, may enter in the analysis of problematic gaming behaviour. If the response is positive, the behaviour monitoring service communicates that information to the behaviour monitoring server to be added to the information associated with the player identified to be currently playing on the gaming machine. When a remedy process has to be performed, according to that remedy process, the behaviour monitoring service simply communicates with one or more peripherals of the gaming machine for them to perform the remedy process in priority over any other process that could be requested by the gaming logic. The behaviour monitoring service may even temporarily interrupt the communication between the gaming logic and one or more peripherals. Therefore, the behaviour monitoring service provides solutions to control problematic gaming behaviours without having to be embodied in two physically distinct logics as illustrated on FIG. 5.
  • Electronic Tables and Cashless Gaming Machines
  • According to another embodiment of the invention, problematic gaming behaviour is available to be monitored when players are playing at a cashless gaming machine, a multi-players live game such as poker games or when the game is played on an electronic table. Examples of such tables are provided by Shuffle Master and Pokertek (US Publication 2006/0068864A1 and US Publication 2006/0058088A1 to give examples). When problematic gaming behaviour is detected in these embodiments, remedies are performed according to these specific embodiments.
  • In one of these embodiments, players are provided with electronic playing stations to participate in these multi-players games. These electronic player terminals allow them to maintain a number of credits to be used in the game, to place wagers, to place side wagers, and to receive prizes when they win. According to embodiments, the gaming elements used to generate outcomes may be physical (cards) or virtual (e.g. images of cards on station displays and sometimes a common display). According to the present embodiment, each of these player stations is equipped with a behaviour monitoring interface as illustrates on FIG. 11. The BMI logic 59 is in communication with the gaming logic 29 of the player station 230 instead of the one of a gaming device. The BMI logic 59 is in communication with a behaviour monitoring server 55. The gaming logic 29 of the player stations 230 are interconnected through a table logic 235 managing the whole play of the game, monitoring the different wagers, the stations 230 that participate in the play and the ones that do not participate, the prize distribution, etc. The table logic 235 is connected to an auditing server 240 in the gaming facility to report all gaming activities. Accordingly, a structure allowing a behaviour monitoring process similar to the one on the gaming machines is provided.
  • In some embodiments, the player stations are equipped with bill acceptors (the accepting means 23). When it is the case, the BMI logic 59 is placed between the peripheral and the gaming logic 29.
  • In another embodiment, when the stations are not equipped with a bill acceptor or with cashless gaming machines not providing coin or bill acceptors, players are obliged to request a casino attendant to perform a media transfer transaction, namely to transfer monetary values into wagerable values (such as electronic funds or chips). According to this embodiment, the attendant reads the player's card at a point of service using a transaction device 244 or, if the attendant is equipped with a wireless transaction device 246, anywhere in the gaming facility such as at the current location of the player, still installed at his/her station 230. In order to perform these transactions, the devices 244 and 246 are in communication with a transaction server 242 also accessible by the table logic 235 and the behaviour monitoring server 55. The table logic 235 allows validating the placement of wagers in the game using the electronic account. The behaviour monitoring server 55, for its part, monitors all transactions performed and performs behaviour monitoring services in relation with the player associated with the electronic account.
  • Practically, the transactions are involving either the use of an identification device, such as a smart card, that can be identified by the devices 244 and 246. It has to be noted that this embodiment is not the only solutions available, and a person skilled in the art would recognize other suitable solutions that involves fund at the same time transfer capability and player identification capability.
  • The behaviour monitoring server 55, monitoring transactions and performing behaviour monitoring services, is capable of detecting problematic gaming behaviours. When occurring, it may request the attendant servicing the player to provide specific information to the player, may request the attendant to refuse the transaction, or another remedy may take place. When the player enters his/her card in a player station, a remedy process may also be initiated.
  • In another embodiment, chips or tokens may be used to wager in these multi-player games. When it is the case, one of many available token monitoring techniques may be used to follow the trace of the tokens in and out of control of the players. In this case also, systems and methods are available to follow the transactions performed by the players, and particularly monitoring when the player “purchase” tokens and “sell” tokens. The servicing-attendant device or the self-service device providing the tokens to the player may be adapted to initiate a remedy process when a problematic gaming behaviour is detected.
  • In relation of the above embodiments, solutions in the same field as the ones described in relation with gaming machines are available to perform player identification. Further solutions differing from the card reading solution that is mostly applied throughout the specification are available. It includes the use of identification techniques, such as RFID-based techniques, camera combined with recognition programs, biometric identification techniques (US Publication 2008/0113785A1, US Publication 2008/0113786A1 and US Publication 2008/0113787A1). Depending on the alternative, the identifying means may be connected directly to the behaviour monitoring server instead of the “local” logic. Nevertheless, these solutions allow associating identified player with transactions, and therefore to perform the present behaviour monitoring processes and services.
  • In reference to their locations, identifying means may be composed of peripherals disposed in the gaming machines or in the vicinity of a gaming machine and associated with a single gaming machine. They may also be more “environmental” components not specifically associated with gaming machines, but being able to generate a player/gaming-machine combination based on player identification reading.
  • Accordingly, the physical embodiments that may be used to perform similar functions are numerous and the herein methods of perform behaviour monitoring services should not be limited to one or another of these physical embodiments herein described when one embodiment performs substantially the same function as another embodiment.
  • Turning to FIG. 12 which illustrates a method 1200 for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one or more players and for applying remedies on a network of system components at least comprising a server and two or more player-operable system components including two or more gaming machines, the method 1200 comprising the steps of: identifying one said players using one of said player-operable system components (step 1202); identifying monetary transactions performed by said identified player on said player-operable system component, each of said monetary transactions consisting in transferring monetary value from outside said player-operable system components into said player-operable system components, wherein said transferred monetary value is in a format allowable to be used to place a wager in a wagering game to be played on one of said gaming machines (step 1204); and communicating player identification data and transaction data to a server (step 1206); receiving remedy data from said server when a gaming behaviour out of acceptable behaviour settings is identified by said server (step 1208); and applying a remedy through at least one of peripherals available on said player-operable system components used by said identified player (step 1210).
  • Turning to FIG. 13 which illustrates a method 1300 for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one of more players and for applying remedies on a network comprising a server and two or more player-operable system components comprising at least two or more gaming machines, the method 1300 comprising the steps of: receiving player identifications of players using one of said player-operable system components (step 1302); receiving monetary transaction data from said player-operable system components used by said player, said monetary transaction data referring to monetary transactions performed by one or more of said identified players on said one or more player-operable system components, said monetary transactions being a transfer of monetary value from outside said gaming machines a format allowable to be used to place a wager in a wagering game to be played on one of said at least two gaming machines (step 1304); evaluating transaction data associated with each of said identified players against acceptable gaming behaviour settings, thereby establishing if unacceptable gaming behaviour is performed by said identified player (step 1306); when unacceptable gaming behaviour is established in association with one identified player, determining a remedy to communicate to said identified player (step 1308); and communicating said remedy to said player-operable system component used by said identified player for said remedy to be communicated to said identified player on said player-operable system component (step 1310).
  • In conclusion, those skilled in the art may be able to recognize other embodiments and/or methods to provide the functionalities hereinabove described. It will be noted that the described embodiments illustrate different characteristics the invention may present. Those skilled in the art will recognize that, even if the instant embodiments describe these characteristics as part of different devices, one could differently use or combine some of the characteristics without departing from the scope of the invention as intended to be set. Furthermore, non-described embodiments may also present other characteristics and/or variations, with such characteristics falling within the scope of the invention, as set forth in the appended claims.
  • Thus, it is the intent through the instant document to efficiently teach the invention through embodiments, while defining the scope of the invention solely through the appended claims.

Claims (20)

1. A behaviour monitoring network system at least comprising a plurality of system components, comprising:
a server comprising:
storing means for storing a plurality of databases and data, comprising:
player identification database used for storing data used in identifying a plurality of players;
transaction database used for storing data regarding monetary transactions performed by said plurality of players;
behaviour settings used for evaluating of gaming behaviours; and
remedy data used for determining a remedy;
controlling means for controlling server processes performed on said server, said server processes comprising:
player identifying program for identifying players using one of said system component according to said player identification database;
transaction monitoring program for monitoring monetary transactions performed by said players on said system component and storing transaction information in said transaction database;
behaviour evaluation program for evaluating gaming behaviour of said identified players against behaviour settings based on monitored transactions stored in said transaction database; and
remedy determination program for determining and communicating a remedy to apply from said remedy data when said behaviour evaluation program evaluates that gaming behaviour of said identified player is outside acceptable behaviour settings;
identifying means communicatively linked to said server, said identifying means being for identifying one of said players using at least one of said system components and for communicating player and system-component identification data to said server;
accepting means communicatively linked to said server for accepting monetary values from said identified player and transferring said monetary value from outside said accepting means into a format usable to place wagers in a wagering game, and for communicating transaction data regarding said monetary value transfer to said server;
two or more gaming machines communicatively linked to said server, each of said gaming machines comprising:
controlling means for controlling gaming-machine processes performed on said gaming machine, said gaming-machine processes at least comprising:
gaming program for providing to said player, in exchange of a wager, a play of a wagering game and either or not a prize based on an outcome resulting from said play of said wagering game;
one of more additional gaming peripherals involved in said process of providing said gaming program,
wherein a remedy application program controlled by a controlling means of one of said system components controls a remedy application process performed by a remedy peripheral on said system component when said system component receives a remedy signal from said server, said remedy being communicated to said identified player through said remedy peripheral.
2. The behaviour monitoring network system of claim 1, wherein at least one of said accepting means and said identifying means are located inside said gaming machine.
3. The behaviour monitoring network system of claim 1, wherein said behaviour settings are stored in a behaviour setting database.
4. The behaviour monitoring network system of claim 3, wherein at least one of said system components further comprises:
displaying means for displaying information; and
inputting means for receiving player inputs,
wherein controlling means of said system component is for controlling a process performed on said system component, said process being a behaviour setting program for displaying a Graphic User Interface on said displaying means requesting said player to input behaviour settings, for receiving said player's inputs, and for communicating said behaviour settings to said server, and
wherein said controlling means of said server is further for controlling a further process of storing said behaviour settings in said behaviour setting database.
5. The behaviour monitoring network system of claim 1, wherein said remedy data are stored in a remedy database.
6. The behaviour monitoring network system of claim 5, wherein at least one of said system components further comprises:
displaying means for displaying information; and
inputting means for receiving player inputs,
wherein controlling means of said system component is for controlling a process performed on said system component, said process being a remedy setting program for displaying a Graphic User Interface on said displaying means requesting said player to input remedy settings, for receiving said player's inputs, and for communicating said remedy settings to said server, and
wherein said controlling means of said server is further for controlling a further process of storing said remedy settings in said remedy database.
7. The behaviour monitoring network system of claim 1, wherein said controlling means of said server is further for processing a setting initiation service for identifying when at least one of behaviour settings and remedy settings are required in associated with an identified player and for requesting the initiation of a process on said system component used by said identified player through which at least one of said behaviour settings and remedy data will be required to be provided by said identified player.
8. The behaviour monitoring network system of claim 1, wherein said monetary transaction results in a change between a first supporting media and a second supporting media of said monetary value.
9. The behaviour monitoring network of claim 8, wherein said first second supporting media is one of i) a banknote, ii) a gift certificate, and iii) chips or tokens, and said second supporting media is said storing means of said gaming machine.
10. The behaviour monitoring network of claim 1, wherein said accepting means and said identifying means are embodied within a behaviour monitoring module, one of said module being associated with each one of said gaming machines.
11. The behaviour monitoring network of claim 10, wherein said behaviour monitoring module takes control of one of said gaming peripherals when said remedy application process is performed.
12. The behaviour monitoring network of claim 1, further comprising:
crediting means for crediting said players with monetary values and transferring said monetary values from inside one of said gaming machines to outside said gaming machines wherein said monetary value becomes unavailable to place a wager in a wagering game on said gaming machine,
wherein said data regarding monetary values processed by said crediting means is communicated to said server wherein said data is processes as one said transaction.
13. A behaviour monitoring system comprising at least a plurality of system components, comprising:
two or more gaming machines communicatively linked to said server, each of said gaming machines comprising:
controlling means for controlling gaming-machine processes performed on said gaming machine, said gaming-machine processes at least comprising:
gaming program for providing to said player, in exchange of a wager, a play of a wagering game and either or not a prize based on an outcome resulting from said play of said wagering game;
one of more additional gaming peripherals involved in said process of providing said gaming program,
and
a transaction module comprising:
identifying means for identifying one of said players when using at least one of said system components, said identifying means being adapted for retrieving player identification and behaviour-related data from one updatable player-data storing means when said player-data storing means is read by said identifying means and for updating behaviour-related data on said player-data storing means;
accepting means for accepting monetary values from said identified player and transferring said monetary value from outside said accepting means into a format allowing to place wagers in a wagering game,
controlling means for controlling processes comprising:
transaction monitoring program for monitoring transactions consisting in said monetary value transfer and for updating said behaviour-related data on said player-data storing means;
behaviour evaluation program for evaluating gaming behaviour data of said identified player against behaviour settings based on monitored transactions and retrieved transaction data against behaviour settings retrieved from said player-data storing means; and
remedy determination program for determining and communicating a remedy to apply according to remedy data retrieved from said player-controlled device when said behaviour evaluation program evaluates that gaming behaviour of said identified player is outside acceptable behaviour settings; and
remedy application program for applying a remedy process performed by a remedy peripheral on a system component through which said identified player is communicated said remedy.
14. A method for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one or more players and for applying remedies on a network of system components at least comprising a server and two or more player-operable system components including two or more gaming machines, the method comprising the steps of:
identifying one said players using one of said player-operable system components;
identifying monetary transactions performed by said identified player on said player-operable system component, each of said monetary transactions consisting in transferring monetary value from outside said player-operable system components into said player-operable system components, wherein said transferred monetary value is in a format allowable to be used to place a wager in a wagering game to be played on one of said gaming machines; and
communicating player identification data and transaction data to a server;
receiving remedy data from said server when a gaming behaviour out of acceptable behaviour settings is identified by said server; and
applying a remedy through at least one of peripherals available on said player-operable system components used by said identified player.
15. The method of claim 14, further comprising:
providing a Graphic User Interface to said identified player requesting setting data from said player, said setting data being at least one of a) behaviour settings and b) remedy settings;
receiving inputs from said player corresponding to said setting data; and
communicating said setting data to said server.
16. The method of claim 14, wherein said step of applying a remedy comprises preventing completion of said monetary transaction on said player-operable system component.
17. The method of claim 14, wherein said step of applying a remedy comprises:
taking control of at least one peripheral of said player-operable system component; and
communicating said remedy to said player using said peripheral of said player-operable system component.
18. The method of claim 14, wherein said monetary transactions further comprises processes through which monetary values are transferred from inside said gaming machine to outside side gaming machine wherein said monetary value becomes unavailable to place a wager in a wagering game on said gaming machine.
19. A method for performing gaming behaviour monitoring of one of more players and for applying remedies on a network comprising a server and two or more player-operable system components comprising at least two or more gaming machines, the method comprising the steps of:
receiving player identifications of players using one of said player-operable system components;
receiving monetary transaction data from said player-operable system components used by said player, said monetary transaction data referring to monetary transactions performed by one or more of said identified players on said one or more player-operable system components, said monetary transactions being a transfer of monetary value from outside said gaming machines a format allowable to be used to place a wager in a wagering game to be played on one of said at least two gaming machines;
evaluating transaction data associated with each of said identified players against acceptable gaming behaviour settings, thereby establishing if unacceptable gaming behaviour is performed by said identified player;
when unacceptable gaming behaviour is established in association with one identified player, determining a remedy to communicate to said identified player; and
communicating said remedy to said player-operable system component used by said identified player for said remedy to be communicated to said identified player on said player-operable system component.
20. The method of claim 19, further comprising:
evaluating if unusable setting data is associated with a received one of said player identifications;
when unusable setting data is identified, communicating to said player-operable system component used by said identified player to initiate a data setting input process;
receiving setting data from said player-operable system component identifying setting provided by said player regarding at least one of a-1) acceptable gaming behaviour setting and b-1) remedy setting;
storing said setting data for said setting data to be used for at least one of a-2) the evaluation of unacceptable gaming behaviour and b-2) the determination of a remedy.
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