US20100234110A1 - Remote Internet Access to Certain Gaming Operations - Google Patents

Remote Internet Access to Certain Gaming Operations Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100234110A1
US20100234110A1 US12/401,488 US40148809A US2010234110A1 US 20100234110 A1 US20100234110 A1 US 20100234110A1 US 40148809 A US40148809 A US 40148809A US 2010234110 A1 US2010234110 A1 US 2010234110A1
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Prior art keywords
game server
participant
remote terminal
authorized
gaming system
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Abandoned
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US12/401,488
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Gavin Clarkson
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Gavin Clarkson
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Publication date
Application filed by Gavin Clarkson filed Critical Gavin Clarkson
Priority to US12/401,488 priority Critical patent/US20100234110A1/en
Publication of US20100234110A1 publication Critical patent/US20100234110A1/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
    • 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
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3223Architectural aspects of a gaming system, e.g. internal configuration, master/slave, wireless communication

Abstract

A gaming system includes a game server located at an authorized location and adapted to be accessed by an interested participant via a remote terminal over the Internet. An identification interface is associated with the remote terminal for providing identification information for assuring that the participant is an authorized player, whereby access to the game server from the remote terminal is blocked until authorization is confirmed. A banking server may be located at the authorized location of the game server, with a banking interface permitting communication between the game server and the banking server, whereby the game server can initiate deposits and withdrawals to authorized accounts.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The subject invention is directed to a system for providing remote access to a gaming system via the Internet.
  • 2. Discussion of the Prior Art
  • Over the years both state and federal governments have adopted legislation regulating gambling. More recently, many of these laws are specifically directed to regulating to online gambling. Some states have advanced legislation to legalized Internet gambling, while other states have either prohibited all online gambling or have rigid regulations which must be met. In yet other states, legal opinions have been issued declaring Internet gambling illegal under existing state laws.
  • The issue is not gambling, per se. Casino gambling is legal in states which have banned Internet gambling, and American Indian tribes retain the sovereign right to operate gaming facilities on tribal property anywhere in the United States under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA), see the United States Code, Title 25, beginning at Section 2701.
  • The primary issue with Internet gambling is not gambling, but one of control. Specifically, it is important the any gambling operate assures that only eligible players participate and that monetary transactions meet all the requirements of the various laws and regulatory agencies. Monetary transactions are covered by the Federal Wire Act, see Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1084, which states:
      • “Whoever being engaged in the business of betting or wagering knowingly uses a wire communication facility for the transmission in interstate or foreign commerce of bets or wagers or information assisting in the placing of bets or wages on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers, or for information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”
  • The Internet has been held to be within the definition of “wire communication facility.”
  • The Johnson Act, Title 15 of the United States Code, Sections 1171-1178, makes it “unlawful to knowingly transport a gambling device to a state where such device is prohibited by law.” This act is largely targeted to devices dedicated to gambling, such as slot machines and the like, and is not specifically directed to broad based terminals such as PC's and the like, even if such devices can be used for gambling purposes.
  • In the context of Indian gaming, IGRA defines three separate classes of gaming activity:
  • Class I—Traditional games used in ceremonial and social settings that are completely outside the scope of any but tribal regulation and control;
  • Class II—The game of chance commonly known as bingo. This can include a computer, electronic device or other technologic aid, but specifically excludes house-banked card games, slots and other electronic facsimiles of any games of chance.
  • Class III—Any other gaming not specifically falling within Class I or Class II. Examples are Vegas-style games such as house-banked card games, roulette, slot machines and the like.
  • Internet gaining has flourished throughout the world and in many countries is legal. Gambling is legal some areas of the United States and has also flourished where it is legal. The issue becomes, then, how to make Internet gaming legal under the current legal system.
  • To date, there have not been any successful methods for permitting legal Internet gaming in the United States. The issues primarily are:
      • 1. The transfer of funds without violating any of the wire laws or banking regulations.
      • 2. The assurance that only qualified participants are using the Internet gaming system.
  • Given the current state of existing law and the regulation of online gaming, several possibilities exist that would authorized gaming operators to legally engage in Internet gaming. For example, if gambling occurred entirely within a state that has not outlawed or otherwise regulated Internet gambling might be permissible.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The subject invention provides a system and method for Internet gaming which stays within the boundaries of the current legal system. While the participant may be remotely located from the game server, the system assures that the participant is of legal age and in a legal jurisdiction. At the same time the system assures that all financial and banking transactions take place only in the jurisdiction where such activity is legal.
  • In accordance with the subject invention, a game server is located in a jurisdiction where gambling is permitted. Specifically, the game apparatus is located at a legal gaming site. This could be, for example, a state or region within the state where gambling is authorized or an Indian reservation operating gaming operations under the IGRA. The participant can access this sever anywhere on the Internet. The terminal the participant is using is not a game machine, but is merely a device for assisting the participant is accessing the legally positioned game machine. However, there must be assurances that no funds exchange hands outside the legal limits of wire and banking laws and regulations, and there must be assurances that participant is in a legally acceptable location when he is using the remote terminal to access the gaming device via the Internet.
  • In one aspect of the subject invention, the remote terminal used by the participant will include a GPS signaling device which will submit a location signal to the game server, assuring that the participant is in an authorized location. The participant then can access the game server via the Internet and participate in games offered by the gaming operator. The participant can access the gaming server via any common terminal, such as, by way of example, a user PC, a PDA, a cell phone, or a game kiosk placed at a remote location by the gaming operator.
  • It is also possible that the gaming operator may place remote terminal kiosks in authorized locations, permanently installed to assure that all participants are within the authorized location.
  • In another aspect of the invention, it is important to assure that the participant is of legal age. In its most basic form, this can be accomplished by having the participant provide specific information assuring that he meets the requirements and then authorizing him a unique password to gain access to the system. A more failsafe mode is to utilize bio-metric screening by placing a bio-metric sensor at the remote terminal, wherein the user passes a biometric scan before he can gain access to the system. The biometric scan may be for initiation, may update on a random basis, or may be required for each action taken by the participant.
  • In yet another aspect of the invention, the remote participant will also have a bank account in a bank system which has a server located in the legal jurisdiction. All financial transactions between the gaming system and the participant will take place via the participant's bank in the location where such transactions are legal. Specifically, the participant would set up a bank account with funds in the same jurisdiction as the game server. He would then authorize the game server to electronically withdraw and deposit funds into this account. The participant would not be involved in any financial transactions with the game server, but would merely be able to check his account and deposit or withdraw funds as he desired, as with any online banking system.
  • In accordance with the present invention, the participant can access the game server via the Internet and participate in games offered by the gaming operator. In practice, the participant will set up a banking account or cash account in the legal jurisdiction. The participant will then be able to access the game server. He will enter in his personal information to provide assurances that he is of legal age. While this may be a question and answer form, it may also include a bio-metric sensor to provide further assurance that the authorized participant is the actual player. This is to assure that an authorized participant does not initiate the game operation and then turn the terminal over to an unauthorized user.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the game server will randomly or routinely check the identity of the player to assure that he is the authorized participant. For example, each time a game play is initiated the participant may have to pass the biometric sensor test before the play is accepted. In another example, the participant may be asked a specific question each time to assure authorization. It is also possible that the game server may randomly and frequently request either biometric or other identification during the course of the game.
  • When a financial transaction is required, the game server simply accesses the participant account held within the legal gaming jurisdiction and transfers funds between that account and the game server operator. For financial transactions, only the authorized bank may be used and no credit or debit transactions are required. In the event insufficient funds are in the bank account, the bank, not the game operator, will inform the user that additional funds are required before any transactions may be processed. The authorized bank may be limited for use to support the gaming activity or may be a full service bank operating in the manner well known, utilizing online banking features and services widely applied today.
  • In those instances where the participant's terminal is mobile a GPS system will be utilized to assure that the participant is within an authorized location. If the GPS signal indicates that the terminal is outside of an authorized region, the game server will not permit any activity. By way of example, if the gaming system is operated by an Indian reservation in Texas and the participant is in Houston, the operation may he authorized. However, if the participant leaves the state of Texas and goes to Louisiana, the GPS system will indicate such movement and deny access to the gaming server.
  • Addition features of the invention will he readily apparent from the accompanying drawings and detailed description.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an overview showing the general principles of the remote gaming system in accordance with the subject invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a network for supporting the remote gaming system in accordance with the subject invention.
  • FIG. 3 is an alternative network for supporting the remote gaming system in accordance with the subject invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the broadest sense, the gaming system of the subject invention consists of a game server located at an authorized location. The game server is accessed by an interested participant via a remote terminal over the Internet. Typically, a database is associated with the game server for storing data for recognizing an authorized participant and an authorized location. An identification interface is associated with the remote terminal for providing identification information to the database for assuring that the participant is an authorized player, whereby access to the game server from the remote terminal is blocked until authorization is confirmed. Where desirable, a banking server is located at the authorized location of the game server, and includes a banking interface permitting communication between the game server and the banking server, whereby the game server can initiate deposits and withdrawals to authorized accounts. Typically the banking server will have Internet connectivity, whereby a participant can access authorized accounts and initiate deposits and withdrawals into said accounts.
  • With reference to FIG. 1, the remote gaming system of the subject invention provides remote access to a legal gaming system. In the example presented, the participant may be located at a distant city, for example Houston, Tex., as indicated at 10, He may be accessing the game using his personal PC 12. The participant will access a game server 14 at a remote location. In the example, the game server 14 may be on an Indian reservation 16, wherein gaming is authorized and legal. The game system will include a database 18 which will include critical information of the participant, assuring that he is authorized to operate the game. For example, the participant will provide critical personal information such as his personal ID 20 and the location of the terminal or, as shown, the user PC 12.
  • The location of the terminal is a critical component of the invention. In most jurisdictions where gaming is legal, it is not legal to cross state lines. So in almost all cases, even where remote access is permitted, the game operator and the participant must be in the same state. Therefore, the game operator must have assurances that the accessing terminal 12 is in the same state as the game server 14.
  • When a terminal is permanently installed, such as in a gaming operator controlled kiosk, the location is known. When a portable device is used, such as a PDA, cell phone, laptop or the like, the position is not know unless a positioning signal is sent to the game server. Turning now to FIG. 2, in those instances where a portable terminal is used, or even where a permanently installed terminal may be routinely moved, the terminal will be required to have a GPS signal generator 24 which can be received by the game server to assure the location of the participant.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the GPS signal generator 24 would he associated with any device which has the capability of being moved to a new location which may be outside the authorized jurisdiction, for example, a PDA 30, a cell phone 32, as well as the user PC 12. The GPS signal generator 24 may not be required in a permanently installed kiosk 34.
  • In use of any of the terminals, the participant accesses the game server 14 via the Internet. The critical m information for the participant is maintained in the database 18. This confirms that the participant is an authorized participant and that he is in an authorized location.
  • In one embodiment of the invention a biometric sensor 26 will be associated with each remote terminal which can be used by the participant to access the game sever 14. This provides even more detailed information assuring authenticity of the participant. Typically, the server 14 will request the biometric information at the outset of a session and for each transaction, or at the minimum, on a random basis. It may be desirable to shut down the terminal for a specified period of time (lock it out from the game server) in the event an unauthorized participant is detected.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, the game operator may have a banking capability at the authorized gaming location. In this case, the bank server 36 would have the capability to transact electronic banking functions with the game server 14 without violating any wire or banking laws and regulations. The participant may have an account at the bank associated with server 36. He will place funds in this account. When he participates in gaming from a remote location, he will have preauthorized the game sever to electronically withdraw or deposit funds into his account via the banking sever 36. The participant is not involved in these transactions. He may access his account via the banking server 36 in normal fashion and may deposit or withdraw funds. However, the participant cannot communicate with the game server 14 about financial transactions. For example, in the event the participant becomes overdrawn, the resolution of that is between him and the bank. The game operator is not involved.
  • While certain aspects and features of the invention have been described in detail herein, it should be understood that the invention includes all modifications and enhancements within the scope and spirit of the following claims.

Claims (18)

1. A gaining system for accessing a remote game sever via the Internet, comprising:
a. a game server located at an authorized location;
b. a remote terminal accessible by a gaming participant and adapted for communication with the game server;
c. an identification interface associated with the remote terminal for assuring that the participant is an authorized player, whereby access to the game server from the remote terminal is blocked until authorization, is confirmed.
2. The gaming system of claim 1, further including a positioning interface for providing a signal to the game server assuring that the remote terminal is in an authorized remote location.
3. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the identification interface is a biometric sensor associated with the remote terminal and adapted for sending biometric identification information to the game server for authentication of the participant before the game server grants access from the remote terminal.
4. The gaming system of claim 2, wherein the positioning interface is a GPS device that provides location information to the remote terminal for transmission to the game server for assuring that the remote terminal is in an authorized location before the game server grants access from the remote terminal.
5. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the remote terminal is a personal PC controlled by the participant.
6. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the remote terminal is a portable device capable of accessing the game server from any location having access to the Internet.
7. The gaming system of claim 6, wherein the remote terminal is a cell phone.
8. The gaming system of claim 6, wherein the remote terminal is a PDA.
9. The gaming system of claim 6, wherein the remote terminal is laptop computer.
10. The gaming system of claim 1, wherein the remote terminal is part of a kiosk or other fixed location.
11. The gaming system of claim 1, further comprising:
a. a banking server located at the authorized location of the game server;
b. a banking interface permitting communication between the game server and the banking server, whereby the game server can initiate deposits and withdrawals to authorized accounts;
c. Internet connectivity for the banking server, whereby a participant can access authorized accounts and initiate deposits and withdrawals into said accounts.
12. The gaming system of claim 1, further including a database associated with the game server for storing data for recognizing an authorized participant and an authorized location.
13. A gaining system for accessing a remote game sever via the Internet, comprising:
a. a game server located at an authorized location;
b. a remote terminal accessible by a gaming participant and adapted for communication with the game server;
c. a database associated with the game server for storing data for recognizing an authorized participant and an authorized location;
d. an identification interface associated with the remote terminal for providing identification information to the database for assuring that the participant is an authorized player, whereby access to the game server from the remote terminal is blocked until authorization is confirmed
14. The gaming system of claim 13, wherein the identification interface is a biometric sensor and the database includes biometric data for identifying a participant.
15. The gaming system of claim 14, wherein the game server randomly requests biometric data confirming the authorization of the participant for the entire time when the remote terminal is accessing the game server.
16. The gaming system of claim 14, wherein the game server requests biometric database confirming the authorization of the participant before each transaction initiated by the participant.
17. A gaming system for accessing a remote game sever via the Internet, comprising:
a. a game server located at an authorized location;
b. a remote terminal accessible by a gaming participant and adapted for communication with the game server;
c. an identification interface associated with the remote terminal for assuring that the participant is an authorized player, whereby access to the game server from the remote terminal is blocked until authorization is confirmed;
d. a banking server located at the authorized location of the game server;
e. a banking interface permitting communication between the game server and the banking server, whereby the game server can initiate deposits and withdrawals to authorized accounts;
f. Internet connectivity for the banking server, whereby a participant can access authorized accounts and initiate deposits and withdrawals into said accounts.
18. The gaming system of claim 17, further including a database associated with the game server for storing data for recognizing an authorized participant and an authorized location.
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