US20120165101A1 - Remote Gaming Systems - Google Patents

Remote Gaming Systems Download PDF

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US20120165101A1
US20120165101A1 US13/296,925 US201113296925A US2012165101A1 US 20120165101 A1 US20120165101 A1 US 20120165101A1 US 201113296925 A US201113296925 A US 201113296925A US 2012165101 A1 US2012165101 A1 US 2012165101A1
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gaming device
remote
user
gaming
device
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US13/296,925
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Venu Krishnamoorthy
Richard Kundrat
Vishal Sharma
Karl Franz Messerschmidt
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Venu Krishnamoorthy
Richard Kundrat
Vishal Sharma
Karl Franz Messerschmidt
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Priority to US41391210P priority Critical
Application filed by Venu Krishnamoorthy, Richard Kundrat, Vishal Sharma, Karl Franz Messerschmidt filed Critical Venu Krishnamoorthy
Priority to US13/296,925 priority patent/US20120165101A1/en
Publication of US20120165101A1 publication Critical patent/US20120165101A1/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
    • G07F17/3202Hardware 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 remote gaming system, according to various embodiments, comprises: (1) a computer network; (2) a gaming device connected to the computer network; (3) a remote computing device connected to the computer network; and (4) a remote game play server that is adapted to facilitate communication between the gaming device and a remote computing device via the computer network. In particular embodiments, the remote gaming system is adapted to allow a user to play the gaming device via the remote computing device while the remote computing device and gaming device are in different geographical locations. During remote play, the system may lock one or more of the gaming device's controls (e.g., physical levers or buttons attached to the gaming device) to prevent local users from playing, or otherwise controlling, the gaming device using the gaming device's native controls.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/413,912, filed on Nov. 15, 2010, entitled Remote Gaming System, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Slot machines remain extremely popular within the United States and abroad. In the case of REEL slot machines, the user typically inserts money into the machine and then pulls a handle or presses a button on the machine to activate three or more reels on the front of the machine. Each reel includes a series of symbols that are spaced apart around the entire circumference of the reel. When the reels are activated, the reels spin and then ultimately stop so that a particular symbol on each reel aligns with one or more “pay lines” positioned adjacent to the reels. The games are configured to distribute credits or coins to a user when pre-determined combinations of symbols align with the pay line. For example, in a particular three-reel slot machine, if the machine's reels stop so that three “7” symbols align with the pay line, the user is paid 120 credits which may, for example, be worth $0.25 each.
  • As users play such machines (or other types of automated gaming devices), they often develop a belief that a particular machine will soon produce a generous payout. This may happen, for example, if: (1) the user has played the machine for a long period of time without a significant payout; or (2) the user has had particularly good luck playing the particular machine. This may result in a situation where a user wishes to play a particular machine even when the user is unable to be in the same physical location as the machine. There is currently a need for systems and methods to address this problem in regard to slot machines and other automated gaming devices.
  • SUMMARY
  • A remote gaming system, according to various embodiments, comprises: (1) a computer network; (2) a gaming device connected to the computer network; (3) a remote computing device connected to the computer network; and (4) a remote game play server that is adapted to facilitate communication between the gaming device and a remote computing device via the computer network. In particular embodiments, the remote gaming system is adapted to allow a user to play the gaming device via the remote computing device while the remote computing device and gaming device are in different geographical locations. During remote play, the system may lock one or more of the gaming device's native controls (e.g., physical levers or buttons attached to the gaming device) to prevent local users from playing, or otherwise controlling, the gaming device using the native controls.
  • A method, according to particular embodiments, of allowing an individual to play a gaming device comprises: (A) providing, at a particular location, a gaming device that is adapted for being selectively converted between: (i) a standard-play mode, in which the gaming device is adapted to be played by a user that is in the same geographic location as the gaming device; to (ii) a remote-play mode, in which the gaming device is adapted to be played remotely by a user that is not in the same geographic location as the gaming device (e.g., not close enough to the gaming device to touch the gaming device's controls); (B) allowing a user who is in the same geographic location as the gaming device to play the gaming device in the standard-play mode; (C) receiving a request from a user to play the gaming device in the remote-play mode; and (D) in response to receiving the request to play the gaming device in the remote-play mode, (i) locking at least a portion of the gaming device, and (ii) while the gaming device is locked, allowing the user to play the gaming device remotely on a remote computing device.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Having thus described various embodiments in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a Remote Gaming System according to one embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the Remote Game Play Server of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a flowchart that generally illustrates a Remote Game Play Initiation Module according to a particular embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 is a flowchart that generally illustrates a Remote Game Play Module according to a particular embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 is a flowchart that generally illustrates a Remote Game Play Termination Module according to a particular embodiment.
  • FIG. 6 is a slot machine according to a particular embodiment.
  • FIG. 7 is a remote device displaying the user interface of the slot machine of FIG. 6.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS EMBODIMENTS
  • Various embodiments will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which various relevant embodiments are shown. The invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.
  • Overview
  • Computer systems and/or methods according to particular embodiments are adapted for allowing a user to selectively play a physical gaming device (e.g., a slot machine, automated poker machine, or other gaming device) from a remote location. This may be done, for example, by: (1) locking the physical gaming device so that it can't be played using activation mechanisms associated with the gaming device (e.g., the device's handle pull, play button, bill acceptor, coin acceptor, and/or cash-out buttons are disabled); (2) facilitating the display of a replication of the gaming device's user interface on a remote computing device associated with the user (which may be, for example, a desktop computer or a portable computing device such as a laptop computer, cellular phone, or tablet computer); (3) passing command and control of the gaming device to the remote computing device; and (4) allowing the user to play and otherwise control the gaming device through the replicated display of the slot machine's user interface that is displayed on the user's remote computing device.
  • In particular embodiments, the system may be adapted to electronically fund play through an account associated with the user. The system may also be adapted to electronically deposit the user's winnings into the user's account upon request by the user, or when the user has completed a particular gaming session. Various embodiments of such systems are described in greater detail below.
  • Exemplary Technical Platforms
  • As will be appreciated by one skilled in the relevant field in view of this disclosure, the present invention may be embodied as a method, a data processing system, or a computer program product. Accordingly, the present invention may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment, or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects. Furthermore, the present invention may take the form of a computer program product on a computer-readable storage medium having computer-readable program instructions (e.g., software) embodied in the storage medium. More particularly, the present invention may take the form of web-implemented computer software. Any suitable computer-readable storage medium may be utilized including hard disks, DVDs, CD-ROMs, optical storage devices, flash drives, and/or magnetic storage devices.
  • Various embodiments of the system are described below with reference to block diagrams and flowchart illustrations of methods, apparatuses (e.g., systems) and computer program products according to a particular embodiment. It will be understood that each block of the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, respectively, may be implemented by computer program instructions. These computer program instructions may be loaded onto a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or other programmable data processing apparatus to produce a machine, such that the instructions which execute on the computer or other programmable data processing apparatus create a means for implementing the functions specified in the flowchart block or blocks.
  • The computer program instructions may also be stored in a computer-readable memory that may direct a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to function in a particular manner, such that the instructions stored in the computer-readable memory produce an article of manufacture including computer-readable instructions for implementing the function specified in the flowchart block or blocks. The computer program instructions may also be loaded onto a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to cause a series of operational steps to be performed on the computer or other programmable apparatus to produce a computer-implemented process such that the instructions that execute on the computer or other programmable apparatus provide steps for implementing the functions specified in the flowchart block or blocks.
  • Accordingly, blocks of the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations support combinations of means for performing the specified functions, combinations of steps for performing the specified functions and program instruction means for performing the specified functions. It will also be understood that each block of the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and flowchart illustrations, may be implemented by special purpose hardware-based computer systems that perform the specified functions or steps, or combinations of special purpose hardware and computer instructions and other hardware executing appropriate computer instructions.
  • Exemplary System Architecture
  • FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of a Remote Gaming System 10 according to a particular embodiment. As may be understood from this figure, the Remote Gaming System 10 includes one or more computer networks 15, one or more Gaming Devices 20, Gaming Device Control Hardware 25, one or more Bank Servers 30, one or more Databases 40, one or more Remote Game Play Servers 50, and one or more remote computing devices such as a tablet computer 52, a desktop or laptop computer 54, or a handheld computing device 56, such as a cellular phone). In particular embodiments, the Gaming Device 20 is connected directly to the Gaming Device Control Hardware 25, and the one or more computer networks facilitate communication between the Gaming Device Control Hardware 25, Bank Server 30, Database 40, Remote Game Play Server 50, and the one or more remote computing devices 52, 54, 56 via a suitable network. In other embodiments, the Gaming Device 20 and Gaming Device Control Hardware 25 are adapted to communicate via the one or more computer networks 15.
  • The one or more computer networks 15 may include any of a variety of types of wired or wireless computer networks such as the Internet, a private intranet, a public switch telephone network (PSTN), or any other type of network. The communication link between the Gaming Device Control Hardware 25 and the Remote Game Play Server 50 may be, for example, implemented via a Local Area Network (LAN) or via the Internet.
  • In particular embodiments, the Gaming Device Control Hardware 25 is adapted to facilitate allowing a user to control and play the Gaming Device 20 via a remote computing device 52, 54, 56. For example, the Gaming Device Control Hardware 25 may include a wiring harness intercept board, which is adapted to selectively disable controls on the Gaming Device 20. This board may also be used to send game play signals and wager amounts (and other suitable information) to the Gaming Device 20 as a user plays the Gaming Device 20 remotely. In certain embodiments, the Gaming Device Control Hardware 25 is adapted to exchange two-way command and control signals to/from the Gaming Device 20 via the Slot Accounting System (SAS) protocol (or any other suitable protocol, such as ACP or any other suitable protocol) via suitable communications hardware.
  • FIG. 2 shows a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of the Remote Game Play Server 50 of FIG. 1. The Remote Game Play Server 50 includes a processor 60 that communicates with other elements within the Remote Game Play Server 50 via a system interface or bus 61. Also included in the Remote Game Play Server 50 is a display device/input device 64 for receiving and displaying data. This display device/input device 64 may be, for example, a keyboard, voice recognition, or pointing device that is used in combination with a monitor. The Remote Game Play Server 50 further includes memory 66, which preferably includes both read only memory (ROM) 65 and random access memory (RAM) 67. The server's ROM 65 is used to store a basic input/output system 68 (BIOS) that contains the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within the Remote Game Play Server 50.
  • In addition, the Remote Game Play Server 50 includes at least one storage device 63, such as a hard disk drive, a floppy disk drive, a CD Rom drive, or optical disk drive, for storing information on various computer-readable media, such as a hard disk, a removable magnetic disk, or a CD-ROM disk. As will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art, each of these storage devices 63 is connected to the system bus 61 by an appropriate interface. The storage devices 63 and their associated computer-readable media provide nonvolatile storage for the Remote Game Play Server 50. It is important to note that, in various embodiments, the computer-readable media described above could be replaced by any other type of computer-readable media (e.g., magnetic cassettes, flash memory cards, digital video disks, and Bernoulli cartridges).
  • A number of program modules may be stored by the various storage devices and within RAM 67. Such program modules include an operating system 80, a Remote Game Play Initiation Module 100, a Remote Game Play Module 200, and a Remote Game Play Termination Module 300. The Remote Game Play Initiation Module 100, Remote Game Play Module 200, and Remote Game Play Termination Module 300 control certain aspects of the operation of the Remote Game Play Server 50, as is described in more detail below, with the assistance of the processor 60 and an operating system 80.
  • Also located within the Remote Game Play Server 50 is a network interface 74 for interfacing and communicating with other elements of a computer network. It will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art that one or more of the Remote Game Play Server 50 components may be located geographically remotely from other Remote Game Play Server 50 components. Furthermore, one or more of the components may be combined, and additional components performing functions described herein may be included in the Remote Game Play Server 50.
  • Exemplary System Modules
  • As noted above, various aspects of the system's functionality may be executed by certain system modules, including the system's Remote Game Play Initiation Module 100, Remote Game Play Module 200, and Remote Game Play Termination Module 300. These modules are discussed in greater detail below.
  • Remote Game Play Initiation Module
  • In particular embodiments, the system 10 executes the Remote Game Play Initiation Module 100 in response to a user requesting to play the Gaming Device 20 remotely. The user may, for example, make this request via a web site associated with the Gaming Device 20, or via any other suitable communications mechanism.
  • In particular embodiments, the Remote Game Play Initiation Module 100 is adapted to: (1) lock the Gaming Device 20 to prevent locally controlled play (e.g., play using the Gaming Device's own control devices, such as the Gaming Device's handle pull, currency acceptors, and play and cash out buttons); and (2) facilitate control of the Gaming Device 20 by a particular remote computing device 52, 54, 56.
  • FIG. 3 is a flow chart of an exemplary Remote Game Play Initiation Module 100. As may be understood from this figure, in this embodiment, when executing this module, the system begins, at Step 102, by disabling the gaming device's handle pull, bill acceptor, and/or coin adapter. The system then advances to Step 104, where it begins intercepting signals from the gaming device's other controls, such as the “Bet 1 Credit”, “Bet Max”, “Spin Reels”, “Cashout”, and “Get Credits” buttons on the example slot machine shown in FIG. 6. In particular embodiments, after Steps 102 and 104 are complete, users are not able to use the Gaming Device's own controls to control play on the Gaming Device 20.
  • Next, the system advances to Step 106 were it displays a message on the Gaming Device 20 indicating that the Gaming Device 20 is in remote use and not available for play. At Step 108, the system then transmits configuration information to the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56 to prepare the remote computing device 52, 54, 56 for controlling the Gaming Device 20. Next, at Step 110, the system 10 initiates command and control of the Gaming Device 20 by the remote computing device 52, 54, 56. Finally, the system 10 initiates the Remote Game Play Module 200, which is described in detail below.
  • Remote Game Play Module
  • In particular embodiments, the Remote Game Play Module 200 is adapted to facilitate play of the Gaming Device 20 via the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56. As may be understood from FIG. 4, in various embodiments, when executing this module, the system 10 begins at Step 202 where it transfers status information regarding the gaming device's status and user interface to the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56. This information may, for example, allow the remote computing device 52, 54, 56 to display a user interface that is substantially similar to (e.g., at least substantially replicates) the user interface of the Gaming Device 20. As a particular example, FIG. 7 shows a portable device (here, a tablet computer) displaying an exact replication of the user interface of the gaming device shown in FIG. 6.
  • Next, at Step 204, the system 10 facilitates the remote play of the Gaming Device 20 via the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56. In various embodiments, command and control of the Gaming Device 20 is passed from the remote computing device 52, 54, 56 so that the user can play the Gaming Device 20 by interacting with the replicated user interface displayed on the remote computing device 52, 54, 56. For example, in the example shown in FIG. 7, the user may bet one credit by selecting the virtual “Bet 1 Credit” button on the tablet computer's touch screen. The user may then spin the gaming device's reels by selecting the virtual “Spin Reels” button on the tablet computer's touch screen.
  • In particular embodiments, as the user plays the Gaming Device 20 via the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56, the actual Gaming Device 20 responds to the user's commands in at least substantially the same way (e.g., in the same way) as if the user executed those commands via the Gaming Device's native controls. In various embodiments, the user interface on the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56 may also respond to the user's commands in at least substantially the same way (e.g., in the same way) as the Gaming Device 20 would have if the user executed those commands via the Gaming Device's controls.
  • For example, in a particular embodiment, if the user selects the “Bet 1 Credit” button on the touch screen of the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56, a “1” is displayed in the “Bet” window of both the virtual user interface shown in FIG. 7 and in the “Bet” window of the user interface of the physical Gaming Device 20, which is shown in FIG. 6. Similarly, if the user selects the “Spin Reels” button on the touch screen of the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56, the reels spin (e.g., at least substantially in tandem) in both the virtual user interface shown in FIG. 7 and the user interface of the physical Gaming Device 20, which is shown in FIG. 6. In particular embodiments, the movement of the reels on the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56 at least substantially mirrors (e.g., mirrors) the movement of the Gaming Device (e.g., at least substantially in real time). Accordingly, to an individual who is in the presence of the Gaming Device 20, the Gaming Device 20 will appear much like a player piano that is being played by an invisible user.
  • In various embodiments, the system 10 is configured to allow a user to seamlessly move between playing an actual Gaming Device 20 and playing the Gaming Device 20 remotely on the user's remote computing device 52, 54, 56, and vice versa. This may, for example, allow a user to: (1) start playing a particular slot machine, in person, at a particular casino; (2) continue playing the slot machine remotely on the user's cellular phone over dinner at a nearby restaurant; and (3) continue playing the slot machine in person after dinner. This entire process may be done substantially without interrupting the playing of the particular Gaming Device 20 and without allowing other users to play the Gaming Device 20 during this entire, substantially continuous stretch of play.
  • Returning to the description of the Remote Game Display Module in FIG. 4, at Step 206, in response to receiving an indication from the user that they wish to stop playing the Gaming Device 20, the system 10 initiates the Remote Play Termination Module 300, which is discussed in greater detail below. In certain embodiments, the system 10 may also initiate the Remote Play Termination Module 300 if the user does not play the Gaming Device 20 remotely for a pre-determined period of time (e.g., two minutes or other predetermined period of time).
  • Remote Game Play Termination Module
  • In particular embodiments, the Remote Play Termination Module 300 is adapted to end the remote control of the Gaming Device and make the Gaming Device 20 available for play by other players. FIG. 5 is a flow chart of an exemplary Remote Game Play Termination Module 300. As may be understood from this figure, in this embodiment, when executing this module, the system begins, at Step 304, where it stops intercepting signals from the gaming device's other controls, such as the “Bet 1 Credit”, “Bet Max”, “Spin Reels”, “Cashout”, and “Get Credits” buttons on the example slot machine shown in FIG. 6.
  • Next, the system advances to Step 306 where it removes the message on the Gaming Device 20 indicating that the Gaming Device 20 is in remote use and not available for play. At Step 307, the system re-enables the gaming device's handle pull, bill acceptor, and/or coin adapter. This again enables users to use the Gaming Device's native controls to control play on the Gaming Device 20. At Step 308, the system then ceases command and control of the Gaming Device 20 by the remote device. Finally, at Step 310, the system 10 ends execution of the remote play module.
  • In particular embodiments, the Remote Play Termination Module 300 is adapted to automatically transfer any winnings or unused credits that are left on the machine to the user upon termination of remote play. This may be done, for example, by transferring the winnings or credits to a bank account established earlier by the user. In cases where the user does not have such an account, the system may send payment to the user in any other suitable way (e.g., via an online payment service, such as PayPal, or via a paper check that is mailed to the user's home address.) As shown in FIG. 1, transfers to and from the user's bank account may be facilitated via one or more bank servers 30.
  • Use of Remote Game Play System
  • Remote game play systems according to various embodiments may be used in a variety of different contexts. Two examples of the use of such system are provided below.
  • First Example
  • In a first example, a user is playing a particular slot machine on a cruise ship. The user has been on a winning streak for over two hours when his wife calls and reminds him that they have dinner reservations at a restaurant in another part of the ship in five minutes. The user doesn't want to give up control of the slot machine, but also doesn't want to miss his dinner reservation.
  • A system according to one embodiment of the present invention allows the user to enter a web address on his iPhone, which takes him to a page of the cruise ship's web site that facilitates remote play of the cruise ship's gaming devices. After establishing an account on the site (which may involve providing the user's name, contact information, and bank account information), the user logs into the site and selects that machine that he wishes to play remotely. This may be done, for example, by selecting the machine from a visual map of the cruise ship's machines, or by entering a unique gaming device number that is displayed on the front face of the slot machine.
  • After the user selects the appropriate machine, the system: (1) locks the selected slot machine to locally controlled play (e.g., it locks the Gaming Device's own control devices, such as the Gaming Device's handle pull, currency acceptors, and play and cash out buttons); (2) displays a message on the slot machine's display screen indicating that the machine is being played remotely; (3) displays a replicated version of the slot machine's display on the user's iPhone; and (4) facilitates control of the slot machine via the replicated display on the user's iPhone. In particular embodiments, the replicated display includes all (or substantially all) of the game-related information that is displayed on the slot machine's display including, for example, the number of credits that the user has remaining on the machine.
  • After this initial setup process has been completed, the user may walk away from the machine and continue playing the machine on the user's iPhone via the replicated slot machine display. During this time, the machine will appear, to those passing by the machine at the casino, as if it were being played by an invisible operator (much like a player piano). During this time, the display of the slot machine, and the replicated slot machine display on the user's cellular phone, will be at least substantially in synch (e.g., in synch), and will display the same information (e.g., at least substantially in real time).
  • After dinner, if the user wishes to continue playing the slot machine in the cruise ship's casino, the user may return to the machine and select an option on his iPhone indicating that he wishes to end remote play of the machine and resume playing the slot machine in person. At that point, the system: (1) unlocks the selected slot machine to locally controlled play (e.g., it unlocks the Gaming Device's own control devices, such as the Gaming Device's handle pull, currency acceptors, and play and cash out buttons); (2) removes the message on the slot machine's display screen indicating that the machine is being played remotely; (3) removes the replicated version of the slot machine's display from the user's iPhone; and (4) ends control of the slot machine via the replicated display on the user's iPhone. The user may then continue to play the slot machine using the slot machine's native controls.
  • In various embodiments, if the user wishes to stop playing the machine from a remote location (e.g., during dinner at a nearby restaurant), the user may select an option on the user's iPhone indicating that they wish to stop play and cash out. In response, the system terminates remote play as discussed above and transfers the user's credits to the user in any appropriate way (e.g., via an electronic transfer to an account associated with the user, such as the user's onboard or remote gaming account).
  • Second Example
  • In a second example, the same user from the first example is back at home after returning from his cruise. He remembers the lucky slot machine that he played on his way to Aruba, and wishes to play the machine again. To do this, the user uses his desktop computer to log onto the cruise ship's web site and selects the desired machine as discussed above. The user may then play the machine remotely as described above in regard to Example 1.
  • CONCLUSION
  • Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this invention pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended exemplary concepts. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for the purposes of limitation.

Claims (21)

1. A remote gaming system comprising:
a computer network;
a gaming device connected to said computer network; and
a remote game play server that is adapted to facilitate communication between said gaming device and a remote computing device via said computer network, wherein:
said remote gaming system is adapted to allow a user to play said gaming device via said remote computing device while said remote computing device and said gaming device are in different geographical locations.
2. The remote gaming system of claim 1, wherein:
said remote gaming system is adapted to disable one or more controls on said gaming device while said gaming device is being played via said remote computing device.
3. The remote gaming system of claim 1, wherein said remote gaming system is adapted to selectively disable one or more controls on said gaming device so that said gaming device may not be played using said one or more controls while said gaming device is being played via said remote computing device.
4. The remote gaming system of claim 3, wherein:
said gaming device is a slot machine; and
said one or more controls comprises a spin reel activation mechanism associated with said slot machine.
5. The remote gaming system of claim 4, wherein:
said spin reel activation mechanism is a handle pull or a button press associated with said slot machine.
6. The remote gaming system of claim 5, wherein:
said one or more controls comprise a control selected from a group consisting of: (a) a bill acceptor, (b) a coin acceptor, and (c) a cashout button.
7. The remote gaming system of claim 1, wherein said remote gaming system is adapted to allow a user to use said remote device to electronically transfer winnings from said gaming device to an account associated with said user.
8. The remote gaming system of claim 1, wherein said remote gaming system is adapted to allow a user to use said remote device to electronically transfer funds from an account associated with said user to said gaming device for funding play on said gaming device.
9. The remote gaming system of claim 1, wherein said remote gaming system is adapted to allow a user to remotely play said gaming device via a user interface, displayed on said remote computing device, that is at least substantially a replication of a user interface of said gaming device.
10. The remote gaming system of claim 9, wherein said user interface on said remote computing device is adapted to at least substantially mirror, at least substantially in real time, the current movement of one or more reels of said gaming device.
11. A method of allowing an individual to play a gaming device comprising:
(A) providing a gaming device at a particular location, said gaming device being adapted for being selectively converted between:
(i) a standard-play mode, in which said gaming device is adapted to be played by a user that is in the same geographic location as said gaming device; to
(ii) a remote-play mode, in which said gaming device is adapted to be played remotely by a user that is not in the same geographic location as said gaming device;
(B) allowing a gamer who is in the same geographic location as the gaming device to play said gaming device in said standard-play mode;
(C) receiving a request from a user to play said gaming device in said remote-play mode; and
(D) in response to receiving said request to play said gaming device in said remote-play mode,
(i) locking at least a portion of said gaming device, and
(ii) while said gaming device is locked, allowing said user to play said gaming device remotely on a remote computing device.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein said gamer and said user are the same individual.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein:
said method further comprises maintaining, in a disabled state, one or more controls on said gaming device while said gaming device is being played via said remote computing device.
14. The method of claim 11, wherein method further comprises selectively disabling one or more controls on said gaming device so that said gaming device may not be played using said one or more controls while said gaming device is being played via said remote computing device.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein:
said gaming device is a slot machine; and
said one or more controls comprises a spin reel activation mechanism associated with said slot machine.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein:
said spin reel activation mechanism is a handle pull or a button press associated with said slot machine.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein:
said one or more controls comprise a control selected from a group consisting of: (a) a bill acceptor, (b) a coin acceptor, and (c) a cashout button.
18. The method claim 11, wherein said method further comprises allowing a user to use said remote device to electronically transfer winnings from said gaming device to an account associated with said user.
19. The method of claim 11, wherein said method further comprises allowing a user to use said remote device to electronically transfer funds from an account associated with said user to said gaming device for funding play on said gaming device.
20. The method of claim 11, wherein said method further comprises allowing a user to remotely play said gaming device via a user interface, displayed on said remote computing device, that is at least substantially a replication of a user interface of said gaming device.
21. The method of claim 20, wherein said user interface on said remote computing device is adapted to at least substantially mirror, at least substantially in real time, the current movement of one or more reels of said gaming device.
US13/296,925 2010-11-15 2011-11-15 Remote Gaming Systems Abandoned US20120165101A1 (en)

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