US20090209331A1 - Method for Establishing Promotional Progressive Jackpot Pools from First and Second Gaming Machines with Different Theoretical Hold Value - Google Patents

Method for Establishing Promotional Progressive Jackpot Pools from First and Second Gaming Machines with Different Theoretical Hold Value Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090209331A1
US20090209331A1 US12/433,620 US43362009A US2009209331A1 US 20090209331 A1 US20090209331 A1 US 20090209331A1 US 43362009 A US43362009 A US 43362009A US 2009209331 A1 US2009209331 A1 US 2009209331A1
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Prior art keywords
gaming machine
value
progressive jackpot
player
pool
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Abandoned
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US12/433,620
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Thomas E. Soukup
Edward Sepich
Steve Sutherland
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Soukup Thomas E
Edward Sepich
Steve Sutherland
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Priority to US11/066,064 priority Critical patent/US20060052161A1/en
Priority to US86363906P priority
Priority to PCT/US2007/022882 priority patent/WO2008054723A2/en
Priority to US12/235,237 priority patent/US8429229B2/en
Application filed by Soukup Thomas E, Edward Sepich, Steve Sutherland filed Critical Soukup Thomas E
Priority to US12/433,620 priority patent/US20090209331A1/en
Publication of US20090209331A1 publication Critical patent/US20090209331A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • G07F17/3258Cumulative reward schemes, e.g. jackpots
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting

Abstract

A system and method establishes promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools. The system includes first and gaming machines usable by a plurality of players. The first gaming machine has a first theoretical hold value and the second gaming machine has a different second theoretical hold value. The promotional progressive jackpot pool is associated with the first and second gaming machines. A host computer is operatively coupled to the first and second gaming machines for establishing a first incremental value in response to a first player using the first gaming machine and adding the first incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool and for establishing a second incremental value in response to a second player using the second gaming machine and adding the second incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool. Moreover, the method broadens the traditional scope of the progressive jackpot system to incorporate all slot machines and other casino revenue sources to be part of the progressive jackpot.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS FROM WHICH PRIORITY IS CLAIMED
  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/863,639, filed on Oct. 31, 2006, PCT Application Serial No. PCT/US2007/022882, filed Oct. 30, 2007 and U.S. patent application Ser. Nos. 11/066,064 and 12/235,237, filed Feb. 25, 2005 and Sep. 22, 2008, respectively, which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to gaming machines, and more particularly, to a system and method for accumulating one or more progressive and hidden pools and for awarding promotional prizes or promotional progressive jackpots to one or more players from the pool(s).
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The growth and competition in the casino gaming market in recent years and the increasingly sophisticated and complex technology being integrated into the gaming environment, at the individual game, casino management, and auditing levels, presents both challenges and opportunities to game manufacturers, gaming establishment operators, and regulatory agencies. The technological capabilities and requirements of, for example, advanced electronic games, multi-site gaming operations, detailed player tracking, wide area progressive jackpots, and various alternatives to the use of currency and coins by players, all present a potentially huge pool of ever-changing data which can be of great value to casino operators (from a management standpoint) and to regulators from an audit/compliance stand point.
  • One area that has received a lot of attention in recent years has been providing added incentives to players of electronic gaming machines, such as mechanical reel, video slot machines and video poker machines to increase play and casino revenue. In order to attract more players to such gaming machines thereby increasing casino revenue, progressive gaming systems were developed. Progressives add to the excitement of play, the individual gaming machines are linked together to allow players to compete for an additional common awards or “progressive jackpot.” The progressive jackpot award can amount to large cash awards. Progressive gaming systems are also found in casinos throughout the world. In some environments, the progressive jackpot award is an expensive vehicle, such as a motorcycle or sports car.
  • The linking of a plurality of gaming machines to form a progressive system with a progressive jackpot is common in the casino gaming industry. There are various ways in which the progressive jackpot may be determined. One way, for example, is to use a percentage of game play on each of the linked machines in order to accumulate a progressive jackpot. Consequently, the jackpot value progresses until a win transpires at one of the linked gaming machines. When a win occurs, the monetary value of the progressive jackpot is paid to the winning party. After the win, the system resets to a base jackpot value. This course of action then repeats as jackpots are won and game play continues. Traditionally in a progressive gaming system, a programmed controller is provided for linking the machines together. The controller receives the unit bets from the linked machines as well as machine identification information from each machine and supplies to the players, either through displays provided on their respective machines and/or a common overhead display, information as to the common progressive jackpot.
  • A progressive controller links the gaming machines to form the progressive system and provides the means to accomplish, among other things, the course of action delineated above. In addition, electronic translators have been interposed between gaming machines and the progressive controller in order to link machines with different denominations, coin-in, hit frequencies, and other differing play characteristics. The following prior art reflects the state of the art of which applicant is aware and is included herewith to discharge applicant's acknowledged duty to disclose relevant prior art. It is stipulated, however, that none of these references teach singly nor render obvious when considered in any conceivable combination the present invention as disclosed in greater detail hereinafter and as particularly claimed.
  • Prior Art for Progressive Gaming Systems
  • U.S. Pat. No. ISSUE DATE INVENTOR 4,837,728 Jun. 6, 1989 Barrie, et al. 5,116,055 May 26, 1992 Tracy 5,249,800 Oct. 5, 1993 Hilgendorf, et al. 5,344,144 Sep. 6, 1994 Canon 6,110,043 Aug. 29, 2000 Olsen
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,837,728 to Barrie, et al. teaches the use of rapidly incrementing multiple progressive gaming systems. One or more gaming controllers are coupled to a progressive controller. Coin drop and win information at each gaming controller is provided to and accumulated by the progressive controller. Meter amounts generated at the progressive controller are transmitted back to the gaming controllers to provide multiple continually incrementing progressive bonus values. Upon game win, all gaming controllers not in play are reset to an initial starting value. Gaming controllers in play during a win are allowed to complete play at a progressive bonus value as established at beginning of game play. Any additional wins generated during the completion interval are paid at this progressive bonus value. A current progressive value is provided to update the game controller either continually or upon game completion. The game payouts are frozen upon detection of the coin drop so that the player knows the value(s) being played for.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,116,055 to Tracy teaches the use of a progressive gaming system in which the gaming machines are linked to the system have different play characteristics, e.g. different Denominations and Hit Frequencies, and wherein the system is further adapted such that the dollars contributed to the progressive jackpot for a machine per win on that machine is approximately equal for the different machines.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,249,800 to Hilgendorf, et al. teaches the use of a progressive controller and communication unit. The communication unit is used to control the information transmitted between a group of gaming machines and the progressive controller. The communication unit collects coin-in information from each of the gaming machines and transmits this information to the progressive controller in response to periodic signals from the progressive controller.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,344,144 to Canon teaches the use of an accumulator for a multiple jackpot gaming system wherein the accumulator has the facility for date stamping jackpot-wins, recording the identification of devices and changes being made by such devices to its data and/or programming, allocating coins-in to one or more jackpot groups and/or to one or more increment rates assigned to a particular jackpot group, operate its jackpot stack so as to clear stack positions immediately upon clearing a jackpot, and control jackpot handling from its main programming loop.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,110,043 to Olsen teaches a method of operating of controller-based progressive gaming system having a plurality of gaming machines wherein each gaming machine generates unit bet information indicative of a number of unit bets supplied to a machine for playing a game. The method comprises the steps of randomly selecting a bonus mode activation value between a high and low limit, providing a current value, providing a base value, incrementing the current value when the gaming machines are played so that the current value is incremented by a fixed amount of each unit bet received by each gaming machine. A bonus mode time period is entered when the incremented current value is equal to or exceeds the bonus value. Eligible machines are locked-in and random bonus jackpots are made during the bonus time period. Each bonus award decrements the current value by the amount of each award and the bonus mode time period is ended when the current value is less than or equal to the base value.
  • The common thread in the prior art disclosed above is the use “jackpot controllers” to link a plurality of gaming machines together and the method in which the progressive pool is accumulated. Traditionally, the progressive jackpot pool is a constantly accumulating the progressive jackpot based on coin or credit-in, i.e., the tokens played by players, on a plurality of predetermined gaming machines which are physically linked to a “jackpot controller or device”. The progressive jackpot pool normally starts at a predetermined minimal value that continuously increases with player activity until some randomly chosen triggering event occurs. The progressive jackpot award is awarded to the player under some predetermined conditions, usually the prior art includes a randomly established maximum value as the trigger event.
  • As discussed in the prior art above, the progressive jackpot systems utilize fixed add-on progressive controllers which operate independent of the host player tracking system. For example, when a casino wants to set up a progressive jackpot system, the progressive controller-based system is limited to specific gaming machines linked to the progressive controller. A separate progressive controller must either be installed for each gaming machine or the gaming machine physically linked to a shared separate progressive controller which is then in communication with the progressive jackpot system. One of the problems associated with this type of system is that each of the gaming machines, such as a slot machine, must be physically connected to the progressive controller be part of a progressive jackpot. Furthermore, the configuration, i.e., the gaming machines included in the progressive system are fixed and not easily changed. And finally, other casino revenue sources such as tables, bingo, sports book, internet gaming, retail, hotel, services and so once cannot be part of a progressive jackpot.
  • Previously, progressive jackpot systems pay a progressive jackpot award from a pool. Contributions to the pool are made in response to each credit wagers made by the players. The contributions are, typically, deducted from the wagers. Often each gaming machine that is part of the linked progress must be manually configured to apply a percentage of its pay table or independent of its base pay table to one or more progressive jackpots. One problem with such a system deducting a portion of the wagers made to the gaming machine increases the complexity of the casino's accounting and reporting. For example, the coin-in and payout for each gaming machine must be recorded and, generally, reported to a governmental jurisdictional body, to ensure that the gaming machine meets the jurisdiction's specifications. Removing a portion of the wager to place in the pool, and then paying it out in a progressive jackpot award, greatly increases the complexity in meeting these requirements. Additionally, the casino is typically not able to deduct the progressive jackpot awards or any other bonus tied to the progressive jackpot from their gross gaming revenue.
  • The prior art progressive jackpot systems are inflexible, require physical connections to jackpot controllers, require manual configuration at the gaming machine and do not provide the casino operator with the maximum benefit and advantages available from the information and systems now available. The present invention is aimed at providing a promotional progressive jackpot system that accumulates one or more promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pool(s) based on the ever-changing data gathered by the casino operators. Moreover, the present invention broadens the traditional scope of the progressive jackpot system to incorporate all gaming machines as well as, other casino revenue sources by eliminating the need for a physical connection to a physical jackpot controller and manual configuration to be part of the progressive jackpot. Additionally, since in one embodiment of the present invention, the promotional progressive jackpot and other bonus awards can be cashable or non-cashable electronic promotions, where allowed, the casino can deduct the awards from their gross gaming revenue. Furthermore, in one embodiment of the present invention, the associated hidden pool can not only be used to fund (be the initial value of) a subsequent promotional progressive jackpot but be used to fund smaller prizes and bonuses associated with the promotional progressive jackpot.
  • As disclosed in the cross reference to related applications, the player tracking device and system is used in conjunction with the host computer (player tracking database) to accumulate the promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools and award promotional prizes and promotional progressive jackpot. By providing promotional progressive functionally using the casino management system infrastructure, the hardware and staff cost saving and flexibility of this invention to the casino operation is clearly an advantage over traditional external progressive gaming systems.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In a first aspect of the present invention, a method for establishing a promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools is provided. The method includes the steps of providing first and second gaming machines usable by a plurality of players. The first gaming machine has a first theoretical hold value and the second gaming machine has a different theoretical hold vale. The promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools are associated with the first and second gaming machines. The method includes the steps of allowing a first player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a first incremental value as a function of the first theoretical hold value, adding the first incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool, allowing a second player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a second incremental value as a function of the second theoretical hold value, and adding the second incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool. The method further includes the steps of awarding at least a portion of the promotional progressive jackpot pool to a winning one of the players in response to an occurrence of predetermined promotional progressive jackpot conditions.
  • In a second aspect the present invention, a method for establishing promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools is provided. The method includes the step of providing first and second gaming machines usable by a plurality of players. The first gaming machine has a first theoretical hold value and the second gaming machine has different second theoretical hold value. The promotional progressive jackpot pool is associated with the first and second gaming machines. The method also includes the steps of allowing a first player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a first incremental value, adding the first incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool, allowing a second player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a second incremental value, and adding the second incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool.
  • In a third aspect of the present invention, a system and method for establishing a promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools is provided. The system includes first and gaming machines usable by a plurality of players. The first gaming machine has a first theoretical hold value and the second gaming machine has a different second theoretical hold value. The promotional progressive jackpot and the hidden pools are associated with the first and second gaming machines. A host computer is operatively coupled to the first and second gaming machines for establishing a first incremental value in response to a first player using the first gaming machine and adding the first incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool and for establishing a second incremental value in response to a second player using the second gaming machine and adding the second incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a progressive jackpot system, according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 1 a is a block diagram of a multi-site system for providing promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools, according to a second embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a gaming machine of the system;
  • FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of a method for accumulating promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a method for accumulating promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pools according to another embodiment of the present invention; and,
  • FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of a method for accumulating promotional progressive jackpot pools according to another embodiment of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION
  • The present invention is a system 10 and a method for establishing one or more promotional progressive jackpot and hidden pool (s). Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the system is generally shown at 10 in FIG. 1. The system 10 includes one or more gaming machines 12 and a host computer 14 in communication via a network 16 with each gaming machine 12.
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the system 10 is part of a player tracking system. In the player tracking system 10, the player 18, such as a player or other patron, is identified via a player tracking card and/or a player identification number entered into a player tracking device (not shown) at each EGM 12. The player tracking device and system is disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/235,237, filed on Sep. 22, 2008 (Docket No. 060790.00131), which is hereby incorporated by reference in it entirety. Player tracking accounts may be used, generally, to provide bonuses to a player, in addition to the award designated by, in the case of a video slot or poker machine, the EGM's 12 paytable. These bonuses may be awarded to the player 18 based a set of criteria, including, but not limited to, a) the player's play on the machine 12, b) the player's overall play, c) play during a predetermined period of time, and d) the player's birthday or anniversary, or e) any other definable criteria. Additionally, bonuses may be awarded on a random basis, i.e., to a randomly chosen player or randomly chosen game 12. Bonuses may also be awarded in a discretionary manner or based on other criteria, such as, purchases made at a gift shop or other affiliated location. In one aspect, the bonuses may be in the form of bonus points or promotional progressive points which may be exchanged for goods and/or services or downloaded to a gaming machine 12 for use and/or play. Downloaded bonus points may be cashable or non-cashable.
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the promotional progressive and hidden pools are used to fund an promotional progressive jackpot which is awarded to one or more players under a set of predetermined rules. For example, a promotional progressive jackpot may be awarded to a player whose contribution to the promotional progressive pool results in the pool reaching or surpassing a predetermined value. In another example, a promotional progressive jackpot game may be initialized under a set of predetermined rules. A promotional progressive jackpot may be paid from the promotional progressive pool to one or more winners of the promotional progressive jackpot game. Contributions may also be made to one or more hidden pools, which may be used to initial or seed the promotional progressive pool, when the pool is initialized or after a promotional progressive jackpot has been awarded. One system for awarding a promotional progressive jackpot is disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/779,537, filed on Jul. 18, 2007 (Docket No. 060518-00648), which is hereby incorporated by reference in it entirety. In one embodiment of the present invention, it is important to note that contributions to promotional progressive jackpot or hidden pools are not made from the wagers (if a wagering based gaming machine) or transactions (if a non-wagering based gaming machine), but rather will be generally be related or associated with a marketing budget. In one embodiment of the present invention, it is important to note that contributions to promotional progressive jackpot or hidden pools are not made from the wagers (if a wagering based gaming machine) or transactions (if a non-wagering based gaming machine), but rather will be generally be related or associated with a marketing budget.
  • An promotional progressive jackpot may be a number of promotional progressive points (which may be designated as cashable or non-cashable) or may be for a specified good and/or service (which may have a value defined in terms of promotional progressive points).
  • Gaming Machines
  • Gaming machines 12A-12I include, but are not limited to, electronic gaming machines (EGM) (such as video slot, video poker machines, video arcade games or slot machines with mechanical reels), virtual gaming machines, e.g., for online gaming, an interface to a table management system for table games, online bingo, online keno, point of sale terminals, online hotel folios, kiosk devices or any other device connected to the system. In the illustrated embodiments, eight electronic gaming machines 12A-12H are shown in FIG. 1. However, it should be noted that the present invention is not limited to any number or type of gaming machines. In one embodiment, the gaming machines 12 are organized in banks, with each bank containing a plurality of gaming machines. Other types of gaming machines 12 which may be included are indicated with reference number 12I. Other types of machines or other casino revenue sources, such as kiosks, point of sale devices, are designated 12J.
  • Alternatively, the gaming machines 12 could be grouped by various dollar denominations or specific game designs or themes (not shown) as is well known in the art. For example, each gaming machine 12 may be playable using different denominations, e.g., a penny video slot machine game or a nickel video slot machine. In one embodiment, the denomination used or played is selectable by the casino. In another embodiment, the player may be given a choice of denominations.
  • Additionally, a gaming machine 12 may be able to play different games or the same game with different themes, symbols, etc. . . .
  • The gaming machine 12 allows each player 18 to establish a first input on the gaming machine 12C. The first input is related to the player's usage of gaming machines 12. The first input could include the player logging into, playing and/or using the gaming machine 12 for other transactions. The other transactions could include, but are not limited to, playing the game, a table game, use of a point of sale terminal, kiosk transactions with the player's account or purchases. The first input is accomplished via mechanical switches, buttons, a touch screen interface, player input sensing device (not shown), etc. Such gaming machines 12 are well known in the art and are therefore not further discussed. The gaming machine 12C in response to the first input by the player 18 sends a signal to the host computer 14 (player tracking database).
  • The gaming machines 12 are playable by a plurality of players. Each player 18 selects one gaming machine 12C to play and insert cash, credit, coupon, player tracking card, etc. into the gaming machine 12C. Generally, the gaming machines 12 have an associated number of credits or coins required in order to play. In the case of video slot or poker games, the game is played and an award in the form of credits may be awarded to the player based on a pay table associated with the gaming machine. Referring to FIG. 2, a block diagram of a suitable gaming machine 12C is shown. The gaming machine 12C comprises a game controller, or central processing unit 20 (CPU), a coin-bill management device 22, a display processor 24, a RAM 26 (generally provided as a memory device), and a ROM 28 (generally provided as an EPROM), and a player tracking device 30 (described in more detail below). The CPU 20 performs various calculations and motion control necessary for the progress of the game. The coin-bill management device 22 detects the insertion of the coins and/or the bills and performs a necessary process for managing the coins and the bills. The display processor 24 interprets commands issued from the CPU 20 and displays desirable images on a gaming display 32. The RAM 26 temporarily stores programs and data necessary for the progress of the game, and the ROM 28 stores, in advance, programs and data for controlling basic operation of the gaming machine 12C, such as the booting operation thereof, game code, and graphics.
  • Host Computer (Player Tracking Database)
  • The gaming machines 12 are connected via the network 16 to one or more host computers 14. The host computer 14 is generally located at a remote or central location, and is generally shown in FIG. 1. The host computer 14 includes a computer program application 34 which maintains one or more databases 36, which in one embodiment, determines an incremental value as a function of a historical composite value, and accumulates an promotional progressive pool 38, and hidden pool 40. As shown in FIG. 1 a, the promotional progressive gaming system 10 could further include additional host computers 14. The host computers 14 in this embodiment are in communication via the network 16 to determine the promotional progressive pool 38 and hidden pools 40 over multiple sites or casino properties.
  • In one embodiment, the database(s) 36 of the promotional progressive system 10 are Oracle database(s). The computer program application 34 utilizes databases 36 to record, track, and report accounting information regarding the gaming machines 12 and the players. Additionally, the computer program application 34 and the databases 36 are used to maintain information related to the player 18 and the gaming machine 12C in communication with the host computer 14. The host computer 14 could incorporate a player tracking system may be utilized to identify for the host computer 14 the player 18 at each gaming machine 12. The computer program application 34 logs the first inputs of the player 18 and various additional activities on the gaming machine 12 in a database 36 on the host computer 14.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the host computer 14 includes a player tracking database 42 for each player 18 registered with the casino or gaming facility, also known as a carded player or user to those skilled in the art. In addition, the host computer 14 includes a machine financial accounting database 44 for each gaming machine 12 in communication with the host computer 14. The host computer 14 through either communication with the gaming machine 12 and the player tracking database 42 or optionally through the player tracking system identifies the player 18 at the gaming machine 12C. The computer program application 34 stores the identified player's first inputs as data in the player tracking database 42. The player tracking database 42 can further include additional data related to activity by the player 18 on the gaming machine 12. Such additional data may include, but not limited to, the player's usage on the gaming machine 12, the wagers, the amount won, the amount lost, and the purchases by the player 18. The flexibility of the system allows for the casino operator to configure the gathering of additional data and/or additional databases 36 to understand the activity of the player 18 in the gaming facility.
  • The machine financial accounting database 44 includes as data the first inputs for each gaming machine 12 in communication with the host computer 14. The machine financial accounting database 44 may include as data the wagers placed at each gaming machine 12, the amount won or paid out to the player 18, the amount lost by the player 18 at the gaming machine 12, and the purchases placed at the gaming machine 12. The machine financial accounting database 44 can further include as data such information about the player 18 that has established the first input into the gaming machine 12. In addition, the casino operator can configure the storing of additional parameters for determining or tracking the gaming activity at each gaming machine 12A-12I.
  • The computer program application 34 utilizes various parameters programmable or configurable by the casino or gaming facility to determine a contribution to the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 and/or the hidden pool 40.
  • Player Session Ratings
  • In one aspect of the present invention, a contribution to the promotional progressive jackpot pool and/or the hidden pool is made when a session is updated with data and/or at the termination of a session. A session is a period during which a gaming machine 12 is being used by a player and during which information related to the player(s)' use of the gaming machine is recorded, e.g., wager, coin-in, and payout information. The recorded information may be used to determine whether a contribution to the promotional progressive jackpot pool and/or hidden pool is made, and if so, the value thereof.
  • In one aspect of the present invention, a session may be opened:
  • (a) when a player logs (or is logged) onto a gaming machine 12 and begins using the gaming machine 12 through play or use (such as through a purchase on a point of sale device or viewing of information on a kiosk or property management system, or remote or Internet gaming systems associated with the casino),
  • (b) while a player is logged in and after a closing of the previous session (see below),
  • (c) at the start of anonymous use of the gaming machine 12, and/or
  • (d) other predetermined criteria.
  • In another aspect of the present invention, a session may be updated:
  • (a) after a predetermined amount of use (based on time and/or amount wagered during the current session,
  • (b) when the player logs out,
  • (c) when a transaction is completed, e.g., at a point of sale terminal,
  • (d) other predetermined criteria.
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the data session is updated when the data session is closed. In one aspect of the present invention, the data session is closed when the player changes modes, for example:
  • (a) at a gaming machine which offers different games and/or themes, when the player changes games and/or themes, and/or,
  • (b) at a gaming machine which offers the ability to play at different denominations, when the player changes denominations.
  • In another aspect, the data session may be closed:
  • (a) after a predetermined amount of use (e.g., based on time and/or amount wagered during the current session,
  • (b) when the player logs out,
  • (c) when a transaction is completed, e.g., at a point of sale terminal, and/or
  • (d) other predetermined criteria.
  • Typically, a contribution to the promotional progressive jackpot pool and/or hidden pool is made when the session is updated and/or at the close of each session. The value of the contributions, i.e., the first and second incremental values, may be determined as a function of the total amount of wagers or transactions in the session and/or a historical composite value and/or a theoretical win percentage. Typically, one or more of the following may be multiplied by predetermined percentage(s) in determining the value of the contribution and/or other values, such as the total number of wagers or purchases in the session.
  • Theoretical Win or Hold Percentage
  • The contribution to either pool may be determined as function of a predetermined theoretical win or hold percentage. In one aspect of the invention, each gaming machine 12 has a theoretical hold percentage. The theoretical hold percentage may be defined as the casino or establishment's estimated, average revenue percentage. For example, if the gaming machine 12 is a slot machine, the hold percentage is the expect house's estimate, average take or revenue for a particular machine. For a point of sale terminal, such as a cash register, the theoretical hold percentage may be set to an estimated profit percentage for the given cash register.
  • The contribution to either pool may therefore be determined by multiplying the theoretical hold percentage by one or more other values: including, but not limited to:
  • (a) total value of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or
  • (b) total number of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or
  • (c) a predetermined or constant percentage and/or
  • (d) a historical composite value (see below).
  • One system and method for establishing a promotional progressive jackpot pool as a function of a theoretical hold percentage is disclosed in commonly assigned, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/066,064, filed on Feb. 25, 2005 and titled, “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ESTABLISHING A PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT AWARD”, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • Historical Composite Value
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the contribution is determined as a function of a historical composite value to calculate a first incremental value and, optionally, one or more second incremental value(s). The host computer 14 and the computer program application 34 determine the first incremental value and optionally the second incremental value in response to each signal from the plurality of gaming machines 12 in communication with the host computer 14.
  • The parameters to determine the historical composite value could include various data gathered by the promotional progressive gaming system 10 and stored within the databases 36. The historical composite value is then multiplied by a percentage or other function to determine a first incremental value and optionally a second incremental value to be added to the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 and the hidden pool 40 respectively.
  • In one aspect, the historical composite value could be established from a variety of the data stored in the player tracking database 42 and/or the machine financial accounting database 44. The historical composite value could be determined based on the data stored in the player tracking database 42. The computer program application 34 can determine the historical composite value as data averaged over a period of time. The period of time is configurable by the casino operator to have the historical composite value equate to an average wager, an average amount won, and/or an average loss by the player identified at the gaming machine 12. The computer program application 34 uses the historical composite value to determine the first incremental value as a function, usually a percentage, of the historical composite value. The computer program application 34 determines the first incremental value each time the gaming machine 12 sends a signal indicating the first input by the player 18 on the gaming machine 12C.
  • In a second aspect, the historical composite value could be established base on various data stored and gathered within the machine financial accounting database 44 by the promotional progressive gaming system 10. The historical composite value can be data averaged over a period of time such as the wagers, amount won, amount lost or the house take from the gaming machine 12. The period of time is configurable by the casino operator to have the historical composite value equate to an average wager, an average amount won, and/or an average amount lost and/or an average house take from each gaming machine 12. The computer program application 34 uses the historical composite value to determine the first incremental value as a function, usually a percentage, of the historical composite value. The computer program application 34 determines the first incremental value each time the gaming machine 12 sends a signal indicating the first input by the player 18 on the gaming machine 12C.
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the historical composite value does not include, or is not based on, the current (or last) wager or sets of wagers. In another aspect of the present invention, the historical composite value is only based on data from closed data sessions.
  • Alternatively, the historical composite value could be determined by various data stored in either the player or machine financial accounting databases 42, 44. The historical composite value could be determined over a period of time to generally equate to the average take, average coins wagered, or any combination of the data stored in the player tracking database 42 and the machine financial accounting database 44. In addition, the historical composite value could be a configurable parameter in the computer program application 34 sampled over a period of time and include data specific to the player, the player tracking database 42, and/or data specific to the gaming machine 12, the machine financial accounting database 44 and alternatively any combination thereof.
  • The contribution to either pool may therefore be determined by multiplying the historical composite value by one or more other values: including, but not limited to:
  • (a) total value of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or
  • (b) total number of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or
  • (c) a predetermined or constant percentage and/or
  • (d) the theoretical hold percentage (see above).
  • Jackpots
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 is accumulated by the host computer 14. The host computer 14 continuously updates the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 by adding the first incremental value in response to the signal from the gaming machine 12.
  • With reference to FIG. 3, a flow diagram of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is shown. FIG. 3 shows a method for establishing a promotional progressive jackpot pool. In a first step 46, a plurality of gaming machines 12 playable by a plurality of players is provided. In one aspect, each gaming machine 12 may be playable in first and second modes selectable by the player. The promotional progressive jackpot pool may be associated with the plurality of gaming machines 12. In a second step 48, a data session may be opened on the host computer 14 in response to a first input by one of the players on a selected one of the gaming machines. As discussed above, the input may be the act, by the player, of logging onto the selected one of the gaming machines. Or if the player's play is anonymous, by use of the machine by the player.
  • In a third step 50, the player is allowed to select one of the first and second modes and to play the gaming machine 12 in the selected one of the first and second modes. As discussed above, the modes may be related to the player's choice of games on a multi-game gaming machine and/or a choice of denomination on a multi-denomination gaming machine. After the player's choice is made, the player may begin using or playing the gaming machine. In a first decision block 52, if predefined criteria requiring an update of the session are met (see above), then the method proceeds to a fourth step 54. Otherwise the method proceeds to the second decision block 58.
  • In a fourth step 54, information related to the player's play of the game, for example, wagers or wager information, is recorded on the host computer (player tracking database) in the data session. In one aspect, the information recorded may be related to the player's play of the selected one of the gaming machines during the data session (see above).
  • In a fifth step 56, an incremental value may be established as a function of the recorded information in the data session and added to a promotional progressive jackpot pool. In one embodiment, the step of establishing the incremental value as a function of the recorded information in the data session adding the first incremental value to a promotional progressive jackpot pool is performed each time wager information is updated in the data session. In one embodiment, the first incremental amount is established as a function of the updated wager information.
  • In the second decision block 58, if the player changes mode, e.g., by changing the game or denomination being played, then control proceeds to a sixth step 60. Otherwise, the method returns to the first decision block 52.
  • In the sixth step 60, the data session may be closed in response to the player choosing to play the game in the other of the first and second modes and the data session is updated. For example, in a multi-game gaming machine 12, if the player changes games, the data session may be closed. Or if the gaming machine 12 may be played with different denominations, then if the player switches denominations, then the current data session may be closed. In one aspect of the present invention, a new data session may be automatically opened when the previous data session is closed (unless the data session is closed because the player has logged out or otherwise terminated play).
  • In a seventh step 62, an incremental value may be established as a function of the recorded information in the data session and adding the first incremental value to a promotional progressive jackpot pool. In one embodiment, the step of establishing a first incremental value as a function of the recorded information in the data session and adding the first incremental value to an promotional progressive jackpot pool is performed each time wager information is updated in the data session. In one embodiment, the first incremental amount is established as a function of the updated wager information.
  • In one embodiment the first incremental amount is a function of the updated wager information multiplied by a predetermined percentage. In another embodiment, the first incremental amount is a function of the updated wager information multiplied by a theoretical hold percentage associated with the selected one of the gaming machines.
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the theoretical hold percentage is dependent upon the selected one of the first and second modes. For example, in a multi-game game, each game playable on the selected one of the gamine machines 12 may have a different theoretical hold. Thus, the incremental amount may be determined as a function of the theoretical hold of the game in the mode being played.
  • In a seventh step 58, at least a portion of the promotional progressive jackpot pool may be awarded to a progressive winning one of the players in response to an occurrence of predetermined progressive jackpot conditions.
  • Additionally, a current data session may be closed (and a new data session may be opened) in response to:
  • (a) passage of a predetermined amount of time;
  • (b) after the one of the players logs out;
  • (c) after a predetermined number of wagers in the data session; and,
  • (d) after a predetermined value of wagers in the data session and (e) other predetermined criteria.
  • With reference to FIG. 4, in one exemplary embodiment of the present invention, in a first step 66, the promotional progressive jackpot system 10 allows the player 18 to establish a first input into the gaming machine 12C. As previously discussed, the first input may include, but not limited to, the player logging into, playing and/or using the gaming machine for other transactions. In a second step 64, the gaming machine 12C sends the signal in response to the first input by the player 18. The promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 is contributed to by the plurality of gaming machines 12 in communication via the network 16 with the host computer 14. There may be additional restrictions or qualifications that the player 18 must meet to win and/or contribute to the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38, i.e., maximum wager, identified player or some other configurable parameters or restrictions set by the casino operator.
  • In a third step 70, the host computer 14 determines the first incremental value upon each signal received from the plurality of gaming machines 12A-12I indicating the first input by the player 18 on the gaming machine 12C. The first incremental value is determined as a function of the historical composite value. The function in the illustrated embodiment is a percentage of the historical composite value. However, the first incremental value could also be determined the function and configurable by the casino operator. In a fourth step 66, the first incremental value is responsively added into the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38. The promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 is continuously updated by the host computer 14 with each addition of the first incremental value as determined based on signals received from the plurality of gaming machines 12.
  • The computer program application 34 may include parameters to allow for the casino operator to set the function that determines the first incremental value and optionally a second incremental value. The function and second function used can be a percentage of the historical composite value, or any additional function configurable within the computer program application 34 by the casino operator.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the promotional progressive jackpot system 10 may include a hidden pool 40. The hidden pool 40 can be used to initially fund the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 to a minimum value after a triggering event. In addition, the hidden pool 40 could be used to fund secondary prizes. The secondary prizes may include compensation for entertainment ticket, credits at the casino, food and/or rooms comps as just a few examples of the potentially unlimited secondary prizes.
  • The hidden pool 40 is accumulated by the computer program application 34 determining a second incremental value as a second function of a historical composite value. The second function in the illustrated embodiment is usually a percentage and may be the same as the function to determine the first incremental value. However, the second function is configurable by the casino operator to satisfy the funds needed to maintain the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38. The host computer 14 determines the second incremental value upon each signal received from the plurality of gaming machines 12 indicating the first input by the player 18 on the gaming machine 12C. The second incremental value is responsively added into the hidden pool 40. The hidden pool 40 is continuously updated by the host computer 14 with each addition of the second incremental value. The hidden pool 40 can be configured by the casino operator establishing a maximum value for the hidden pool 40. The second incremental value is determined and added to the hidden pool 40 only when the hidden pool 40 is below the maximum value. The hidden pool 40 can be transferred into the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 after the awarding of the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 to establish a minimum value or initial value of the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38.
  • Contributions from Gaming Machines with Different Theoretical Holds
  • As discuss above, the system 10 includes a plurality of gaming machines 12. The gaming machines 12 can include machines or devices upon which players place wagers and play a game, such as video slot machines, machines through which the player can access aspects of the system, make purchases, etc. . . . Each gaming machine 12 has a theoretical hold. For gaming machines 12 upon which a player can make wagers, play a game, and upon which a portion of the wagers may be paid back as payouts, the theoretical hold may be defined as a theoretical percentage of the wagers which are retained by the house or casino. If there are more than one gaming machine 12 of a particular type of gaming machine, each one will generally have the same theoretical hold. Different types of slot machines may, and generally will have different theoretical holds. For non-wagering gaming machines, the theoretical hold may be related to a profit related thereto. For example, if the gaming machine 12 is a point of sale machine, its theoretical hold may be related to the profit for type of point of sale device or the profit for the location or store in which the point of sale device is located.
  • In one aspect of the present invention, the system 10 allows additions to the promotional progressive jackpot pool based on use of gaming machines 12 with different theoretical hold values. Typically, an award from the advanced jackpot incentive can then be won by a player using any one of the same gaming machines 12.
  • With particular reference to FIG. 5, a method for establishing an promotional progressive jackpot pool based on usage of gaming machines with different theoretical hold values, according to an embodiment of the present invention is shown.
  • In a first step 80, a first gaming machine 12 usable by a plurality of players is provided. The first gaming machine has a first theoretical hold value. In a second step 82, a second gaming machine usable by the plurality of players is provided. The second gaming machine has a second theoretical hold value. Generally, the first and second gaming machines 12 will be of different types and thus will have different theoretical hold values. In a third step 84, a first player is allowed to use the first gaming machine and a first incremental value is established. In one embodiment, the first incremental value is established as a function of the first theoretical hold value. It should be noted that the first incremental value may be otherwise determined. For example, it could be established as a function of a wager amount, a historical wager composite value, or any other value or parameter, or combination thereof.
  • In a fourth step 86, the first incremental value is added to the promotional progressive jackpot pool. In a fifth step 88, a second player is allowed to use the first gaming machine 12 and a second incremental value is responsively established. In one embodiment, the second incremental value is established as a function of the second theoretical hold value. It should be noted that the first incremental value may be otherwise determined.
  • In a sixth step 90, the second incremental value may be added to the promotional progressive jackpot pool.
  • In a sixth step 92, at least a portion of the promotional progressive jackpot may be awarded to a winning one of the players in response to an occurrence of predetermined promotional progressive jackpot conditions.
  • Awarding
  • At least a portion of the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 is awarded to the player 18 in response to the occurrence of a trigger event. The host computer 14 determines if the trigger event has occurred. The host computer 14 awards the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 in response to the trigger event to the player 18 that satisfied or caused the trigger event. The trigger event could include a playing of a promotional progressive game and the winning of the promotional progressive game as the trigger event. Such promotional progressive games may include, but not limited to, a game of chance, a lottery, a lotto-type game, a random drawing, and a game of skill and/or strategy.
  • In another embodiment the trigger event could be defined as the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 being greater than or equal to a trigger value. The promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 is awarded to the player 18 that the first incremental value in response to that player's first input when added to the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 became greater than or equal to the trigger value. Typically in this instance the host computer 14 randomly establishes the trigger value and awards the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 when the promotional progressive jackpot pool 38 is greater than or equal to the trigger value.
  • In another embodiment based upon the promotional progressive jackpot triggering event, supplemental prizes, such as cashable or non-cashable electronic promotional credits and other prizes may be awarded to the player 18 from the hidden pools 40 based upon various casino operator criteria configured in the promotional progressive jackpot game. Furthermore, the supplemental prizes may be fixed or variable amount either based upon the casino operator criteria or based upon player activity criteria from the player tracking database 10.
  • The invention has been described in an illustrative manner, and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation. Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings, and the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.
  • Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (22)

1. A method for establishing a promotional progressive jackpot pool, the method including the steps of:
providing a first gaming machine usable by a plurality of players, the first gaming machine having a first theoretical hold value;
providing a second gaming machine usable by the plurality of players, the second gaming machine having a second theoretical hold value, the first and second theoretical hold values being different, the promotional progressive jackpot pool being associated with the first and second gaming machines;
allowing a first player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a first incremental value as a function of the first theoretical hold value;
adding the first incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool;
allowing a second player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a second incremental value as a function of the second theoretical hold value;
adding the second incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool; and,
awarding at least a portion of the promotional progressive jackpot pool to a winning one of the players in response to an occurrence of predetermined promotional progressive jackpot conditions.
2. A method for establishing a promotional progressive jackpot pool, the method including the steps of:
providing a first gaming machine usable by a plurality of players, the first gaming machine having a first theoretical hold value;
providing a second gaming machine usable by the plurality of players, the second gaming machine having a second theoretical hold value, the first and second theoretical hold values being different, the promotional progressive jackpot pool being associated with the first and second gaming machines;
allowing a first player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a first incremental value;
adding the first incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool;
allowing a second player to use the first gaming machine and responsively establishing a second incremental value; and,
adding the second incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool.
3. A method, as set forth in claim 2, including the step of establishing a historical composite value as a function of at least one of wagers, amount won, amount lost and purchases over a period of time.
4. A method, as set forth in claim 3, at least one of the first and second incremental values being a function of the historical composite value.
5. A method, as set forth in claim 2, the first incremental value being a function of the first theoretical hold value and the second incremental value being a function of the second theoretical hold value.
6. A method, as set forth in claim 2, the first incremental value further being a function of a current wager or historical wager information.
7. A method, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the first gaming machine is playable by a player and allows the player to make wagers on a game played via the first gaming machine, the first theoretical hold value being related to a theoretical percentage of the wagers held by the first gaming machine.
8. A method, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the first gaming machine is one of a video slot, video poker machines, video arcade games or slot machines with mechanical reels, virtual gaming machines for online gaming, an interface to a table management system for table games, online bingo, online keno, or other wagering device.
9. A method, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the second gaming machine is a point of sale terminal, online hotel folios, kiosk devices or any other device connected to the system which is related to a non-wagering revenue generating service or product, the second theoretical hold value being related to a profit of the second gaming machine.
10. A method, as set forth in claim 2, including the step of contributing to the promotional progressive jackpot pool by a plurality of gaming machines.
11. A method, as set forth in claim 2, including the step of awarding at least a portion of the promotional progressive jackpot pool to one of the players when predetermined conditions are met.
12. A method, as set forth in claim 11, including the steps of:
determining a third incremental value and adding the third incremental value to a hidden pool;
establishing a maximum value for the hidden pool and accumulating the third incremental value until the hidden pool reaches the maximum value; and,
transferring the hidden pool into the progressive jackpot pool after the awarding of the promotional progressive jackpot pool.
13. A system for establishing an promotional progressive jackpot pool, comprising:
a first gaming machine usable by a plurality of players, the first gaming machine having a first theoretical hold value;
a second gaming machine usable by the plurality of players, the second gaming machine having a second theoretical hold value, the first and second theoretical hold values being different, the promotional progressive jackpot pool being associated with the first and second gaming machines;
a host computer operatively coupled to the first and second gaming machines for establishing a first incremental value in response to a first player using the first gaming machine and adding the first incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool and for establishing a second incremental value in response to a second player using the second gaming machine and adding the second incremental value to the promotional progressive jackpot pool.
14. A system, as set forth in claim 13, the host computer for establishing a historical composite value as a function of at least one of wagers, amount won, amount lost and purchases over a period of time.
15. A system, as set forth in claim 14, wherein at least one of the first and second incremental values being a function of the historical composite value.
16. A system, as set forth in claim 13, the first incremental value being a function of the first theoretical hold value and the second incremental value being a function of the second theoretical hold value.
17. A system, as set forth in claim 13, the first incremental value further being a function of a current wager or historical wager information.
18. A system, as set forth in claim 13, wherein the first gaming machine is playable by a player and allows the player to make wagers on a game played via the first gaming machine, the first theoretical hold value being related to a theoretical percentage of the wagers held by the first gaming machine.
19. A system, as set forth in claim 14, wherein the first gaming machine is one of a video slot, video poker machines, video arcade games or slot machines with mechanical reels, virtual gaming machines for online gaming, an interface to a table management system for table games, online bingo, online keno, or other wagering device.
20. A system, as set forth in claim 13, wherein the second gaming machine is a point of sale terminal, online hotel folios, kiosk devices or any other device connected to the system which is related to a non-wagering revenue generating service or product, the second theoretical hold value being related to a profit of the second gaming machine.
21. A system, as set forth in claim 13, wherein the host computer awards at least a portion of the promotional progressive jackpot pool to one of the players when predetermined conditions are met.
22. A system, as set forth in claim 21, the host computer for determining a third incremental value and adding the third incremental value to a hidden pool,
establishing a maximum value for the hidden pool and accumulating the third incremental value until the hidden pool reaches the maximum value, and for transferring the hidden pool into the progressive jackpot pool after the awarding of the promotional progressive jackpot pool.
US12/433,620 2004-09-09 2009-04-30 Method for Establishing Promotional Progressive Jackpot Pools from First and Second Gaming Machines with Different Theoretical Hold Value Abandoned US20090209331A1 (en)

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US11/066,064 US20060052161A1 (en) 2004-09-09 2005-02-25 System and method for establishing a progressive jackpot award
US86363906P true 2006-10-31 2006-10-31
PCT/US2007/022882 WO2008054723A2 (en) 2006-10-31 2007-10-30 Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool from first and second gaming machines with different theoretical hold values
US12/235,237 US8429229B2 (en) 2007-09-20 2008-09-22 Multipurpose EGM/player tracking device and system
US12/433,620 US20090209331A1 (en) 2005-02-25 2009-04-30 Method for Establishing Promotional Progressive Jackpot Pools from First and Second Gaming Machines with Different Theoretical Hold Value

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