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US20100022291A1 - System and Method for Providing Promotional Play of a Wagering Game - Google Patents

System and Method for Providing Promotional Play of a Wagering Game Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100022291A1
US20100022291A1 US12510456 US51045609A US2010022291A1 US 20100022291 A1 US20100022291 A1 US 20100022291A1 US 12510456 US12510456 US 12510456 US 51045609 A US51045609 A US 51045609A US 2010022291 A1 US2010022291 A1 US 2010022291A1
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Prior art keywords
game
play
data
media
gaming
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Abandoned
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US12510456
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Stefano Frank Segreto
Paul Suggs
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Video Gaming Technologies Inc
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Video Gaming Technologies Inc
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • G07F17/3255Incentive, loyalty and/or promotion schemes, e.g. comps, gaming associated with a purchase, gaming funded by advertisements
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • 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
    • G07F17/3248Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes involving non-monetary media of fixed value, e.g. casino chips of fixed value

Abstract

A system and method of promoting play of a wagering game on an electronic gaming machine, such as bingo, which involves providing media, such as paper coupons, operatively associated with game play data for providing a preset amount of play of the wagering game to a prospective player, receiving the game play data in an electronic gaming machine, interpreting the game play data and actuating the wagering game for the preset amount of play, wherein the outcome of each of the preset amount of play of the wagering game is at least partially determined by the game play data.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS FROM WHICH PRIORITY IS CLAIMED
  • [0001]
    The present application claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/369,654, filed Feb. 11, 2009, which in turn claims priority to US Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/027,551, filed Feb. 11, 2008, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention is generally related to electronic gaming systems for providing wagering games, and more particularly, to a system and method which utilizes media that can be redeemed by players for promotional play of a wagering game on an electronic gaming system.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Casinos and other forms of gaming establishments are part of a multi-billion dollar industry. Many different wagering games are provided in gaming establishments, with electronic and microprocessor-based gaming machines becoming increasingly popular. In a typical electronic gaming machine, such as a slot machine, video poker machine, video bingo machine, video keno machine or the like, game play is initiated through a player's wager of money or credit. The gaming machine determines a game outcome, presents the game outcome to the player and then potentially dispenses an award of some type, such as a monetary award, depending upon the game outcome.
  • [0004]
    Electronic gaming machines are continually advancing as new and improved technology become available, resulting in new components, features and programs, such as those involving linked progressive jackpots, player tracking and loyalty points programs, and various forms of promotional and cashless gaming, among other things.
  • [0005]
    These advances have almost certainly created better gaming machines, however, the success of any gaming machine is measured by its relative ability to attract and maintain player participation, rather than its technical improvements over prior machines. Thus, those in the gaming industry spend a great deal of time and expense developing systems and methods to attract player interest. Moreover, in some games, such as traditional Bingo, involvement by a plurality of players is necessary for the operation of the game.
  • [0006]
    One way of generating extra interest and excitement for patrons of a casino is to provide bonuses to those who play wagering games. Such bonuses generally tend to be in addition to any customary payout for a regular outcome of the game. However, players must first risk losing their money in the game and then win or qualify for the bonus, either of which is typically configured to be against the prevailing odds.
  • [0007]
    While existing systems and methods for providing bonuses have generally been adequate in the past, improvements are usually welcomed and encouraged. In light of the foregoing, it is desirable to develop systems and methods that are more attractive to players and potential players. Furthermore, it would be desirable to develop systems and methods that promote game play without first requiring the player to risk losing money.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    Some embodiments are directed to a method of promoting play of a wagering game offered by an electronic gaming machine which, among other things includes: delivering media operatively associated with game play data to a prospective player, wherein the game play data is configured for providing a preset amount of play of the wagering game; receiving the game play data in an electronic gaming machine; interpreting the game play data; and actuating the wagering game for the preset amount of play, wherein the outcome of each of the preset amount of rounds of play of the wagering game is at least partially determined by the game play data. In some embodiments, the preset amount of play consists of promotional play, that is, play of the wagering game which does not first require the player to place any of their own money at risk to participate in the game. Once the promotional play is completed, the player may be invited to continue playing the wagering game by depositing a monetary amount and/or applying all or a portion of the amount won during the promotional play, if any.
  • [0009]
    In some embodiments, an exemplary media employed with the aforementioned method includes indicia printed thereon. The indicia is configured to be interpretable by a media input device in communication with an electronic gaming machine and used to facilitate communication of the game play data. In some embodiments, the media may be a paper coupon.
  • [0010]
    In some embodiments, the aforementioned method further includes transmitting the media to the prospective player using the Internet, wireless communication or e-mail. In some embodiments, the media is provided as a bonus award or complimentary upon satisfaction of certain requirements, such as spending a minimum amount of money at an establishment or upon renting a hotel room.
  • [0011]
    In some embodiments, the present amount of play to be actuated is provided as a number of rounds of game play or period of time.
  • [0012]
    In some embodiments, the wagering game of the aforementioned method is bingo and the game play data includes a bingo card. In other embodiments the wagering game is poker and the game play data includes partial poker hand information.
  • [0013]
    In some embodiments, the aforementioned method further involves assigning an identifier to the media wherein the identifier corresponds with game play data stored remotely. In some embodiments, the identifier comprises data provided by the media and embodied by indicia, such as a number, value, alphanumeric label or bar code, provided by the media.
  • [0014]
    Some embodiments are directed to a system for promoting play of a wagering game on an electronic gaming machine which includes: media configured for providing a preset amount of play of the wagering game to a prospective player, wherein the media is operatively associated with game play data which includes data relating to the amount of play and partial game resolution data; a data input device for receiving data from the media; a data processing device for interpreting the game play data and actuating the wagering game for the preset amount of play, wherein the outcome of the preset amount of play of the wagering game is at least partially determined by the game play data.
  • [0015]
    In some embodiments, the media for use with the aforementioned system is a paper coupon. In other embodiments, the media may be a removable, transportable data storage device or a card including a magnetic stripe disposed thereon.
  • [0016]
    In some embodiments, the data input device includes a media receiving port configured to engage the media therein. The data input device may be configured to receive game play data upon a physical interaction with the media. The aforementioned system may also include a data output device for providing data or a media output device for providing media as described herein to the player for use with the aforementioned system.
  • [0017]
    In some embodiments, the game play data is operatively associated with a bar code printed on the media and the data input device includes a bar code reader.
  • [0018]
    In some embodiments, the game play data further comprises data indicating the preset amount of rounds of play to be actuated.
  • [0019]
    In some embodiments, the data processing device is mounted in an electronic gaming machine.
  • [0020]
    Some embodiments are directed to a method of promoting play of a bingo-type wagering game in an electronic gaming machine, including:providing media redeemable for a round of promotional play of the bingo-type wagering game to a prospective player, wherein the media is operatively associated with game play data including partial game resolution data comprising one or more bingo cards for use with the bingo-type wagering game; receiving the game play data in an electronic gaming machine; interpreting the game play data; and actuating the wagering game for the round of promotional play, wherein the outcome of the promotional play is at least partially resolved by using the one or more bingo cards. In some embodiments, the media is a paper coupon with machine-readable indicia printed thereon.
  • [0021]
    Some embodiments are directed to an electronic gaming machine for providing a wagering game which, among other things, includes: a display; a player interface; data input device configured for engaging media, wherein the media is operatively associated with game play data relating to a preset amount of promotional play of the wagering game and partial game resolution data; and a processor for facilitating the operation of the wagering game on the electronic gaming machine. The processor in this electronic gaming machine may be further configured for interpreting the game play data and game resolution data, actuating the wagering game for the preset amount of promotional play in response to receiving the game play data, and determining the outcome of the preset amount of play of the wagering game using the partial game resolution data, among other things.
  • [0022]
    In some embodiments, the aforementioned electronic gaming machine also includes a data output device configured for providing media to a player which is operatively associated with the substantially same game play data of media engaged by the data input device.
  • [0023]
    Some embodiments are directed to a system and method which utilizes promotional bingo coupons to provide for promotional play of an electronic bingo game. For example, the electronic bingo game may be provided as a Class II game in which a server provides an electronic bingo game to one or more players through electronic gaming machines. The electronic bingo game may be various types, including but not limited to, instant bingo, bonanza bingo or live call bingo. Typically, the player is allowed to place a wager on the electronic bingo game and may be awarded a payout based on the outcome of the electronic bingo machine. The promotional bingo coupons may be used to provide promotional play of the electronic bingo games mentioned above.
  • [0024]
    Some embodiments are directed to a system and method that may provide players with a specific monetary amount, e.g., $1 or $5 worth of promotional bingo coupons which may be redeemed for promotional bingo play. The promotional bingo coupon may be mailed to players, or to specific identified players, or provided by other means. The promotional bingo coupon guaranteed play may be limited to specific machines, e.g., type or manufacturer, or location (such as a specific casino).
  • [0025]
    Some embodiments are directed to a promotional bingo coupon that may be provided as a replacement for certain prizes or awards, optionally, at an improved exchange rate. For example, if a player has won a $10 prize, the player may be offered the $10 or $15 of promotional bingo coupons (actual bingo cards printed on a coupon that they can play at a later date at a $1 denomination).
  • [0026]
    Some embodiments are directed to promotional bingo coupons which may be used to reward valued customers. This can occur either directly (i.e. the player terminal prints the coupons) or via mail.
  • [0027]
    Some embodiments are directed to a method for delivering promotional bingo coupons that may be used as the game-ending award for which a multi-player bingo game is played.
  • [0028]
    In some embodiments, if a ticket representing credits or a monetary amount from another manufacturer is inserted into a gaming machine the electronic gaming machine may alternately dispense a certain number of promotional bingo coupons, rather than crediting the credit meter. The exchange rate could be variable (N+1, 2N, etc).
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0029]
    FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary process for the operation of a system according to some embodiments of the invention;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 2 illustrates another exemplary process for the operation of a system according to some embodiments of the invention;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary electronic gaming machine for use with some embodiments of the invention; and
  • [0032]
    FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary media containing game play data for use with some embodiments of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION
  • [0033]
    The invention is generally directed to systems and methods of promoting play of wagering games by providing promotional play of one or more wagering games. In some embodiments, the invention also involves providing players with promotional play along with partial game resolution information. The partial game resolution information may include any information that facilitates determination of a game outcome, such as all or part of a player's hand in a card game or a bingo card for use in a bingo-type game.
  • [0034]
    Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the systems and methods described herein may include various computer and network related software and hardware, such as programs, operating systems, memory storage devices, input/output devices, processors, servers with links to data communication systems, wireless or otherwise, and data transceiving terminals, for implementing the steps, functions and features described herein. Those skilled in the art will further appreciate that the precise types of software and hardware used are not vital to the full implementation of the invention so long as players and operators of the present invention are provided with appropriate access thereto.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a method for promoting play of a wagering game configured in accordance with some embodiments of the invention and generally designated by the numeral 10. It should be understood that this methods and other embodiments or variations thereof may be carried out by a suitable system, which may include general purpose or special purpose computers.
  • [0036]
    In step 12, media containing game play data has been communicated or delivered to a prospective player of the wagering game. In some embodiments, this step may further include delivery methods such as mailing, e-mailing or other electronic communication, such as communication via Internet, mobile technology or Short Message Service (SMS) technology, via vending machines or otherwise directly given to players, either by itself or in conjunction with other items. It should be readily apparent that provision of the media to players may at least partially depend on the type or configuration of the media involved.
  • [0037]
    In step 14, communication of game play data is initiated for the purpose of providing the player with the opportunity to play a wagering game. In some embodiments, communication of the game play originates or is derived from the media. In other embodiments, the media provides data which triggers the communication of the game play data. For example, the media may include indicia, such as a value or bar code, which is associated with game play data stored on a gaming machine, server or other remote source in communication therewith. A system process 10 may in some embodiments include steps of randomly associating indicia with game play data or the indicia may have been previously assigned to the game play data.
  • [0038]
    Obtaining data from the media may be facilitated by a data input device in communication with the electronic gaming machine. The data input device may also include a media receiving port for engaging the media and facilitating communication of the game play data associated therewith. The media receiving port may further include physical and/or mechanical components, depending on the type of media employed, to assist in forming an operative engagement.
  • [0039]
    In step 16, the game play data is received and processed by an electronic gaming machine to determine the extent of promotional play to be provided by the electronic gaming machine to the player in step 18. In some embodiments, the promotional play consists of a preset amount of rounds of a game, wherein each round results in an outcome being achieved. In some embodiments, the promotional play consists of a preset number of events in a game, wherein the occurrence of the event may or may not result in a final game-end outcome. For example, in bingo, the calling of a number is a game event but not one in which an outcome may result. In other embodiments, the promotional play may comprise a period of time during which there is no charge to play the game.
  • [0040]
    If promotional play is prescribed in the game play data, then in step 22 the game is actuated accordingly. If no promotional play is prescribed or the promotional play prescribed is determined to have been exhausted previously, then the game is not actuated and the process will end in step 20. Should the player still wish to play the game, then money or its equivalent must be inputted to the gaming machine.
  • [0041]
    In some embodiments, the game play data further includes partial game resolution data, which may consist of any information necessary to determine the outcome of the wagering game. In such embodiments, the partial game resolution data will also be received, processed and applied in step 24 to determine the outcome of the promotional play actuated in step 22. The partial game resolution data may be of the type provided to the player during the normal course of the game, and will be substituted for normal game events that would otherwise occur when playing the game on the electronic gaming machine without using the media. For example, the partial game resolution data may consist of a hand of cards (or portion thereof) normally dealt in a poker game or a full bingo card in a bingo game that would have otherwise been randomly provided to the player. If partial game resolution data is not provided in the game play data then the game will proceed according to normal game operation in step 26. If partial game resolution data is provided then the partial game resolution data will be used in step 28 to determine the outcome of the promotional play actuated in step 22.
  • [0042]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a process for promoting play of a wagering game configured in accordance with some embodiments of the invention and generally designated by the numeral 110.
  • [0043]
    System process 110 is similar to the aforementioned process 10 in most aspects. However, system 110 may involve an underlying game in which certain initial game criteria must be satisfied prior to game play. For example, the game may have a minimum number of participating players. In step 130, it is determined whether the game criteria are satisfied. If the initial game criteria are satisfied, then system process 110 proceeds to step 124 to determine whether partial game resolution data is included in the game play data, similar to analogous steps of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Also, if there are no initial game criteria, system process 110 will recognize that there are no initial game criteria to be satisfied and proceed to step 124.
  • [0044]
    If in step 130 it is determined that the initial game criteria is not satisfied, then an offer is made to the player to hold or wait in step 132 for the initial game criteria to be satisfied. If in step 134 the player accepts the offer, then the game play data is held on the gaming machine for subsequent actuation of the promotional play. In some embodiments, this offer will be made in terms of a time period, such as one minute. A timer or countdown will begin upon the player accepts the offer to hold in step 134. Upon expiration of the time period, system process 110 returns to step 122 to actuate the promotional play on the gaming machine and determine whether the initial game criteria is now satisfied. System process 110 will continue to either step 124 or step 132 depending on whether the initial game criteria is satisfied in step 130. In some embodiments, players may have or be offered the opportunity to play an alternative wagering game on the electronic gaming machine during the hold period.
  • [0045]
    If it is determined in step 134 that the player does not accept the offer made pursuant to step 132, then media containing the game play data is provided to the player for later use in step 136 and system process 110 ends at step 120. This output of media may involve an output device in communication with or mounted in the gaming machine. The media may be output in the same or different form with respect to the media initially delivered to the player in step 112. The game play data may be the same or differ from the game play data contained on the media initially communicated to the system in step 114. For example, the partial game resolution data may be unchanged while any expiration date associated with the game play data may be extended.
  • [0046]
    A system 50 may be used to provide methods according to some embodiments of the invention, such as the embodiments described above. As shown in FIG. 3, system 50 includes an electronic gaming machine 52 having a cabinet 54 for supporting and containing various components therein. In some embodiments, cabinet 54 is configured in the size and shape of a typical slot machine, but it should be appreciated that the cabinet 54 may be customized in a variety of designs or for a particular game or gaming theme. Gaming machine 52 may further include an input device 56 for receiving, among other things, monetary value from the player. Input device 56 may include a coin slot, a bill reader, a credit card reader, and/or an electronic transfer mechanism to transfer data or information relating to a monetary value electronically. It should be appreciated that gaming machine 52 may be implemented with one or more data input devices, such as input device 56.
  • [0047]
    Gaming machine 52 further includes a controller 58 having a processor 60 and a memory 62, generally mounted within the confines of cabinet 54. In one embodiment, controller 58 comprises a computer or some other similar device. Memory 62 stores data files therein, including data files for a software program which includes, among other things, operating instructions relating to one or more games to be executed via processor 60.
  • [0048]
    In this embodiment, gaming machine 52 includes at least one display 64 coupled to controller 58 for displaying images visible to the player thereon. However, it should be understood that system 50 may comprise a gaming machine without a display, as a display is not necessary for the full implementation of the embodiments discussed herein and variations thereof. Display 64 is mounted to and supported by cabinet 54. Display 64 may include an LCD touch screen display for displaying images and player interface portion 70 for inputting commands or information. Alternatively, display 64 may include some other similar touch sensitive device for inputting commands into the controller 58. It should be appreciated that the display 64 need not include a touch screen. In some embodiments, display 64 includes multiple display sections, such as a first display section 66 and a second display section 68. For purposes of illustration, in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 3, display 64 includes three simulated reels, such as those displayed in a traditional slot machine. In this depiction, first display section 66 includes one row of icons while second display section 68 includes a grid representing three rows of images of icons, such as those icons displayed on the reels of a traditional slot machine. However it should be appreciated that the display 64 may alternatively depict other information in first display section 66 and/or second display section 68, such as a bingo card or playing cards forming poker or blackjack hands, depending on the games provided by gaming machine 52.
  • [0049]
    Bingo is a popular, easy to play and well-established game which can already be found in almost all gaming establishments. Thus, in some embodiments, gaming machine 52 is configured to act as a player terminal in communication with a central server for providing a bingo game thereon, either solely or in combination with providing other wagering games via the central server, controller 58 or other local source.
  • [0050]
    In some embodiments, the media comprises a ticket or paper coupon with indicia printed thereon, and input device 56 is configured to receive the paper coupon or ticket. Input device 56 is further configured to read the indicia, which may be a bar code, as game play data. The indicia is interpreted by controller 58 for determining the extent of promotional play to be provided on gaming machine 52, while in some embodiments the indicia is also interpreted by controller 58 to include partial game resolution data. In some embodiments, the partial game resolution data is presented or printed as indicia on the media. In some embodiments, input device 56 may be adapted and configured to receive other forms of media such as, for example, data storage or flash memory devices, discs or cards with bar codes or magnetic stripes. In yet other embodiments, the media may be a specially configured device for providing the game play data to gaming machine 52.
  • [0051]
    The following describes an exemplary embodiment which utilizes equipment available from Video Gaming Technologies, Inc. of Smyrna, Tenn. (VGT). However, it should be readily apparent that embodiments of the invention are not limited to any particular equipment. In one embodiment, the system utilizes a VGT Game Server capable of supporting a bingo game, such as bingo games marketed by VGT, a plurality of gaming machines, which may also be VGT gaming machines. Each gaming machine may be equipped with a bill acceptor configured to accept paper money and a paper coupon, such as promotional bingo coupon 100 shown in FIG. 4 and configured according to embodiments disclosed herein. In this exemplary embodiment, coupon 100 has indicia including a bar code 102 and a bingo card representation 104 printed thereon.
  • [0052]
    Each gaming machine may further include, or be in communication with, an output device for providing media to the player if necessary. In some embodiments, the media is provided in the same form as received, while in others the media may be provided in an alternative form. In other embodiments, the same media provided to the input device may be returned. However, the game play data thereon may be changed to indicate that the media had been inserted into the input device, among other things.
  • [0053]
    In this exemplary embodiment, the gaming machine is in communication with a printing device configured for printing paper coupons, such as coupon 100, if utilizing the promotional game play does not occur or is not possible. For example, if the bingo game requires multiple players, then the player may be either allowed to wait until other players join the game or provided with a new coupon for subsequent use. The refunded coupon may be the same or different from the coupon 100, that is, it may have the same or different bar code associated with the same or different game play data. Coupon 100 may also be first provided to players by the output device, or through a variety of methods, such as for example, via mail, delivery as an award or through an e-mail which can be printed by the player using their home computer and printer.
  • [0054]
    In this embodiment, bar code 102 provides data to a gaming machine, such as gaming machine 56. The data corresponds with game play data which is analyzed by the gaming machine controller and/or a server in communication with the gaming machine. If the game play data is valid, in that it is associated with an amount of promotional game play, then this amount of promotional game play will be provided on the gaming machine which received the data. If the game play data indicates that the coupon is expired or invalid for any reason, then the same is communicated by the gaming machine which received the data
  • [0055]
    Likewise, in this embodiment, the game play data includes partial game resolution information, namely, a bingo card for use in the promotional game play of the bingo game. The bingo card is interpreted by the gaming machine controller and/or a server in communication with the gaming machine for provision on the gaming machine which received the data. In some embodiments, the bingo card provided in the game play data matches the bingo card representation 104 on coupon 100.
  • [0056]
    Once the game play data is analyzed to provide promotional game play and the bingo card is translated, then the gaming machine and/or server determines whether the initial game play criteria is satisfied before beginning the game. In this embodiment, this bingo version requires at least two players to be involved, that is, playing at operatively associated gaming machines at the same time. Thus, the game play data may be determined, but the game will not begin until the initial criteria of there being at least two players in the game is satisfied. It should be readily apparent that the initial game criteria may be adjusted to require only one or another amount of players. Furthermore, it should be readily apparent that satisfaction of other initial game criteria may be required before a game is actuated by the gaming machine depending on the particular game involved, that is, for games other than bingo or other bingo versions. The initial game criteria may also differ for players of the game pursuant to the provision of promotional game play as compared with players who play the game without a promotional game play coupon.
  • [0057]
    In this exemplary embodiment, if it is determined by the gaming machine and/or server that coupon 100 is associated with promotional game play and the initial game play criteria is not satisfied, then a new coupon 100 including the same game play data will be provided via the output printing device. If it is determined by the gaming machine and/or server that coupon 100 is associated with promotional game play and the initial game criteria is satisfied, then the promotional game play is provided in accordance with the extent specified. For example, the extent may be based on a number of whole games, rounds of a game, or time.
  • [0058]
    In this embodiment, the bingo card provided by the game play data is “daubed” against a new bingo ball-call in the same way as if the player had not used coupon 100. However, in some embodiments, the game play provided to players using the media described herein may differ from game play without using the media. For example, the odds of winning may be changed, either increased or decreased, on certain wagers, or other bonus opportunities may be presented to the player using the media.
  • [0059]
    The bingo card of this embodiment is daubed and evaluated against each ball-call and any resulting awards are paid to the credit meter. If the bingo card provided by coupon 100 wins the game-end award, the award is paid to the player as normal.
  • [0060]
    In some embodiments, the game play data may include data which is processed using an algorithm to determine the partial game resolution information. In some embodiments, the game play data may include data that can be compared with a list to determine whether the media has been used already or is expired. For example, coupon 100 may include a serial number 106 which is used to generate a bingo card and compared to either an approved or disapproved list maintained by an attached server. The disapproved list may include serial numbers for used or expired coupons. If serial number 106 is on the approved the list, or conversely, not on the disapproved list, then promotional game play will be allowed. An expiration date 108 on the card may also be read by input device 56 so that coupon 100 is rejected if expired.
  • [0061]
    Obviously, many modifications and variations of the 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.
  • [0062]
    While exemplary methods and applications have been described herein, it should also be understood that the foregoing is only illustrative of a few particular embodiments with exemplary and/or preferred features, as well as principles of the invention, and that various modifications can be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, the described embodiments should not be considered as limiting of the invention in any way. Accordingly, the invention embraces alternatives, modifications and variations which fall within the spirit and scope of the present invention as described herein.

Claims (25)

  1. 1. A method of promoting play of a wagering game on an electronic gaming machine, comprising the steps of:
    delivering media operatively associated with game play data configured for providing a preset amount of play of the wagering game to a prospective player;
    receiving the game play data in an electronic gaming machine;
    interpreting the game play data; and
    actuating the wagering game for the preset amount of play, wherein the outcome of each of the preset amount of play of the wagering game is at least partially determined by the game play data.
  2. 2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the media comprises a paper coupon.
  3. 3. A method according to claim 1, wherein the game play data is operatively associated with indicia printed on the media.
  4. 4. A method according to claim 1, wherein the game play data comprises indicia printed on the media and configured to be interpretable by a media input device operatively associated with an electronic gaming machine.
  5. 5. A method according to claim 1, wherein the step of delivering media further comprises transmitting the media to the prospective player using the Internet.
  6. 6. A method according to claim 1, wherein the step of delivering media further comprises transmitting the media to a prospective player using wireless communication.
  7. 7. A method according to claim 1, wherein the game play data further comprises data indicating the preset amount of play to be actuated.
  8. 8. A method according to claim 1, wherein the preset amount of play comprises a number of rounds of the game.
  9. 9. A method according to claim 1, wherein the preset amount of play comprises a period of time.
  10. 10. A method according to claim 1, wherein the wagering game is bingo and the game play data comprises a bingo card.
  11. 11. A method according to claim 1, wherein the wagering game is poker and the game play data comprises partial hand information.
  12. 12. A system for promoting play of a wagering game on an electronic gaming machine, comprising:
    media for providing a preset amount of promotional play of the wagering game, wherein the media is operatively associated with game play data including the preset amount of promotional play of the wagering game and partial game resolution data;
    data input device configured for receiving data from the media;
    data processing device for interpreting the game play data and actuating the wagering game for the preset amount of play in response to receiving the game play data, wherein the outcome of the preset amount of play of the wagering game is at least partially determined by the game play data.
  13. 13. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the media comprises a paper coupon.
  14. 14. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the media comprises a removable data storage device.
  15. 15. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the media comprises a card including a magnetic stripe disposed thereon.
  16. 16. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the game play data is operatively associated with indicia printed on the media.
  17. 17. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the data input device further comprises a media receiving port configured to engage the media therein.
  18. 18. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the data input device is configured to receive the game play data upon a physical interaction with the media.
  19. 19. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the game play data is operatively associated with a bar code printed on the media and the data input device includes a bar code reader therein.
  20. 20. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the game play data further comprises data indicating the preset amount of rounds of play to be actuated.
  21. 21. A system as recited in claim 12, wherein the data processing device is mounted in an electronic gaming machine.
  22. 22. A method of promoting play of a bingo-type wagering game on an electronic gaming machine, comprising the steps of:
    providing media redeemable for at least one round of promotional play of the bingo-type wagering game to a prospective player, wherein the media is operatively associated with game play data including partial game resolution data comprising one or more bingo cards for use with the bingo-type wagering game;
    receiving the game play data in an electronic gaming machine;
    interpreting the game play data; and
    actuating the wagering game for the round of promotional play, wherein the outcome of the promotional play is at least partially resolved by using the one or more bingo cards.
  23. 23. A method according to claim 22, wherein the media comprises a paper coupon with machine-readable indicia printed thereon.
  24. 24. An electronic gaming machine for providing a wagering game, comprising:
    a display;
    a player interface;
    data input device configured for engaging media, wherein the media is operatively associated with game play data relating to a preset amount of promotional play of the wagering game and partial game resolution data; and
    a processor for facilitating the operation of the wagering game on the electronic gaming machine, wherein the processor is further configured for interpreting the game play data and game resolution data, actuating the wagering game for the preset amount of promotional play in response to receiving the game play data, and determining the outcome of the preset amount of play of the wagering game using the partial game resolution data.
  25. 25. The electronic gaming machine of claim 24, further comprising a data output device configured for providing media to a player which is operatively associated with the substantially same game play data of media engaged by the data input device.
US12510456 2008-02-11 2009-07-28 System and Method for Providing Promotional Play of a Wagering Game Abandoned US20100022291A1 (en)

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