WO2003084624A1 - Method and system for placing gift wagers - Google Patents

Method and system for placing gift wagers Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2003084624A1
WO2003084624A1 PCT/US2003/010480 US0310480W WO03084624A1 WO 2003084624 A1 WO2003084624 A1 WO 2003084624A1 US 0310480 W US0310480 W US 0310480W WO 03084624 A1 WO03084624 A1 WO 03084624A1
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WO
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
gift
user
wager
gift wager
method
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2003/010480
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Adam E. Kidron
Steve Mcvickers
Randy Haynes
Soeren Christensen
David Grouse
Peter Cowie
Olof Schybergson
Ney Pimentel
Christopher James
Randolph Hernandez
Original Assignee
Flipem Inc. Bvi
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • 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
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/34Betting or bookmaking, e.g. Internet 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
    • 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
    • G07F17/3225Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users
    • G07F17/3232Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed
    • 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
    • G07F17/3286Type of games
    • 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
    • G07F17/3286Type of games
    • G07F17/3288Betting, e.g. on live events, bookmaking

Abstract

A wager is placed by a first user (27), for a second user, through a wager server. The wager is composed from a selection of events and associated odds. The purchase price of the wager is dynamically and graphically shown. The wager is wrapped (123) and transmitted (125) to the second user. The wager is tracked, accounted for and regulated by the wager server. Once an outcome of the wager is determined, the wager server notifies the second user. If the outcome is positive, the second user is provided the winnings of the wager, while the first user receives no monetary reward from the wager.

Description

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING ELECTRONICALLY PLACED WAGERS FOR ANOTHER

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/369,966 filed April 3, 2002 which is hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth in full herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to electronic wagering systems and methods, and more particularly, to a system and method of creating and placing wagers as a gift by a first user to be sent and received by a second user, the intended recipient of the gift.

The expansion of electronic devices, such as personal computers and cellular phones, into the homes, offices, and thus "day to day" lives of the average consumers has also expanded and opened multiple and diverse avenues in entertainment and business. For instance, with the growing acceptance and maturing of the personal computer and along with it, communication media such as the satellite television and the Internet, electronic shopping has become commonplace and especially convenient for consumers. Hence, finding and ordering a gift has become even easier. However, providing a gift that is different and entertaining is not easily found.

Wagering, risking something, such as a sum of money, on an outcome of an uncertain event, is often entertaining. However, in traditional wagering environments, money is wagered by an individual on an outcome of a particulai- event and based on the wager and the outcome of the particular event, the individual is given or paid a particular amount of money or loses the money wagered. Therefore, the entertainment or enjoyment of the wager is usually isolated to the individual wagerer and any other persons that happen to be around the wagerer at the time. Therefore, even through the use of blossoming communication media providing a worldwide market for both consumers and retailers, the entertainment of the wager is usually shared by one individual, the wagerer.

Providing the individual to share the wagering experience to another individual may well benefit both the individual setting up the wager and the other individual. However, setting up the wager by one individual for the benefit of and to be given to another individual is a challenging proposition. For example, traditional wagering systems may not be equipped to handle the introduction of a third party that receives the benefit of the wager, but does not burden the risk, e.g., supply the money to place the wager. Additionally, generating or creating of a wager for a gift to another individual may require a guide or assistance to maintain interest and understanding of this non-isolated aspect of wagering. Furthermore, traditional wagers are not packaged and transmitted in a manner that promotes a "gift" aspect of a gift wager.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an electronic wagering system in which a user or consumer, a gift giver, is able to create or select a bet or wager as a gift for another person, a gift recipient. The gift recipient is then notified of the gift giver's gift, the wager, and provided any winnings resulting from the wager.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a method that provides a gift wager by a first user to a second user is provided and the method comprises describing a particular event, identifying a potential return of a payoff associated to an outcome of the particular event in relation to a purchase price, composing a gift wager by a first user through a communication media, the gift wager including the particular event and a payoff associated to an outcome of the particular event, transmitting the gift wager to a second user, and providing result data to the second user.

In another aspect of the invention, a method of providing a gift wager by a first user to a second user is provided. The method comprises selecting a purchase price by a first user, displaying potential outcomes associated with a particular event, calculating potential payoffs associated with the potential outcomes based on the selected purchase price, selecting one of the potential outcomes by the first user, composing a gift wager comprising the selected purchase price, a payoff based on the selected potential outcome and payoffs calculated, depicting the gift wager with graphics, transmitting the wrapped gift wager to a second user, and providing winnings to the second user, the winnings based on the payoff of the gift wager composed.

In another aspect of the invention, an electronic wagering system to provide a gift wager by a first user to a second user comprising is provided. The system comprises communication means providing a conduit to receive input from a first user concerning a gift wager for a second user, the gift wager pertaining to a wager, a particular event, and contact data concerning a second user. The system also comprises computer means conveying a description of the particular event, a purchase price, potential outcomes of the particular event, payoff information associated to the potential outcomes in relation to the purchase price and sending result data to the second user prior and in response to an outcome of the particular event.

In yet another aspect of the invention, an electronic wagering system to provide a gift wager by a first user to a second user is provided. The system comprises a first user computer utilized by a first user and coupled to a first communication medium, a second user computer utilized by a second user and coupled to a second communication medium, and a gift wager server coupled to the first communication medium and the second communication medium and configured to indicate a purchase price of a gift wager to the first user, to receive information from the first user computer to compose a gift wager record, to determine an outcome of the predetermined event and to transmit information regarding the gift wager record to the second user computer.

In one other aspect of the invention, a method of providing a gift wager by a first user to a second user is provided. The method comprises selecting a purchase price by a first user, composing a gift wager comprising the selected purchase price, potential outcomes and payoffs based on the potential outcomes and the selected purchase price, depicting the gift wager with graphics, transmitting the wrapped gift wager to a second user, selecting one of the potential outcomes by the second user, and providing winnings to the second user, the winnings based on the payoff of the gift wager composed.

Many of the attendant features of this invention will be more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary user interface utilized in one embodiment of a gift wagering system;

FIG.2 illustrates a flow diagram of a process of creating a gift wager and transmitting the gift wager to a gift recipient;

FIG. 3 illustrates a block and operational diagram of one embodiment of a gift wagering system;

FIG. 4 illustrates exemplary digital packaging of a gift wager set up by a gift giver for a gift recipient;

FIG. 5 illustrates a block diagram of one embodiment of a gift wagering system providing a pricing system; and

FIG. 6 illustrates a flow diagram of a process of pricing a gift wager by one embodiment of the gift wagering syste

DETAILED DESCRIPTION As described in U.S. Patent No. 6,464,583, the disclosure ofwhichis hereby incorporated by reference as if set forth in full herein, a gift bet or gift wager is a bet or wager placed or created by one person, a gift giver, and sent or given to another person or persons, a recipient. The winnings of the gift bet is provided to the recipient once the outcome of the wager is determined. In one embodiment, the gift-bet is attached to a digital message or transmission. Additionally, in one embodiment, the gift-bet is wrapped in a digital mood using, for example, a flash animation to present a graphical expression of the gift wager or a topic related to the gift recipient and/or the gift giver. The gift-bet is distributed via the Internet, E-mail, broadband, wireless including short messaging service (SMS), interactive TV and other similar types of digital transmission media.

As shown in FIG. 1, in one embodiment, the gift bet is presented using a description of an event 11 with an associated visual-media 13 such as a photograph, illustration, video or animation. In one embodiment, the event is selected to be delivered to specific audiences and demographics and are similarly presented with a particular tone and editorial point-of-view. In one embodiment, the event is a novelty-type story or event in a category such as news, celebrities, business, entertainment, sports, bizarre, and others with attributes to distinguish the event from other traditional style sports' related events. A list of potential outcomes 15 for the event is also provided. The outcomes are based on emotional and philosophical relevance to a recipient rather than the likelihood of a particular outcome winning. Also, multiple outcomes are provided, e.g., six outcomes or more, to prevent or reduce clustering of money around any one particular outcome. The life span of a outcome could range from a few hours to a few weeks.

In one embodiment, a stake indicator or entry 17 is provided to couple a gift-bet purchase price or stake with the winnings. The stake entry allows a gift giver or purchaser to input and dynamically adjust the stake or purchase amount for the gift wager. Additionally, the stake entry assists gift-purchaser to identify, in real-time, the potential return to gift-recipient, i.e., the potential winnings 111. In one embodiment, the stake amount is routed to, for example, a back end of an odds/betting or pricing engine for all the potential outcomes. The odds/betting engine simultaneously, in real time, calculates all the potential winnings and is converted, formatted and/or displayed on the front end, e.g., a website. In one embodiment, the potential winnings are determined by multiplying the purchase price by the odds of each of the potential outcomes. As such, the stake entry obviates a gift giver from having to know the exact odds and to perform any calculations to determine the potential winnings. However, the odds of each outcome may be provided. In one embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the stake entry is a calibrated sliding scale or slider. However, the stake entry may be presented in various other types of graphical and textual representations with start and end points and associated increments, such as a dial, and in any combination of colors, sizes and sounds. The larger the stake amount, the larger the graphical representation, e.g., the circle or dot, becomes. Likewise, the smaller the stake amount, the smaller the graphical representation becomes. In other words, in one embodiment, a supplemental graphical representation 19 represents or is associated with the stake amount and further adjusts dynamically as the stake amount changes. Additionally, the gift giver does not have to release control, e.g., select another object or unselect an object, in order for the potential winnings to be calculated and thus the gift giver does not have to re-select the stake entry to adjust the stake amount, if so desired. In another embodiment, graphical and/or textual information is also provided to provide statistical and other related information regarding the stake amount and/or potential winnings.

In one embodiment, the stake entry includes a predetermined range and increments. In other words, the stake entry has defined minimum and maximum amounts and set incremental amounts. For instance, the maximum amount may be 500, the minimum amount being 5 and the increments being 5. In another embodiment, the incremental amount changes at different points or areas in the range. For example, in the minimum to maximum range of 5 to 500, the incremental is 10 for the range 5 to 100 and 100 between the range of 100 to 500. Therefore, the gift giver is able to quickly identify and adjust the purchase amount and determine the potential winnings' amounts. Also, with the stake entry 7, the potential errors associated with the input of the stake entry is limited. For instance, a gift giver is unable to input an amount that is too large or small for a stake amount. The number of different potential ranges, increments and amounts in different currencies is numerous and is described here as an example only.

The maximum limit, in one embodiment, is set to the size of their e-wallet, account limit or a limit previously set by the gift giver. In another embodiment, a gift-wager manager sets a maximum limit for the purchase. This limits exposure of the gift-bet provider or the distributor responsible for paying out the actual winnings to the gift recipients. Also, based on the maximum limit, the distributor is provided a measure to monitor money flow to a particular outcome or group of outcomes and prevent multiple purchases. As such, the distributor and/or the gift-wager manager is able to increase the odds of a particular outcome or outcomes to encourage purchase activities for the particular outcome or outcomes. Likewise, the distributor can decrease the odds of a particular outcome or outcomes to discourage purchase activities for the particular outcome or outcomes or retire the outcome or suspend or cancel the gift-bet. Alternatively or in addition to, the gift-wager manager may re-characterize a gift-bet and/or potential outcomes to encourage/discourage purchase activities for the gift-bet and/or potential outcomes based on input from the distributor. Accordingly, the distributor and/or the gift-wager manager is able to provide dynamic liability management and odds control.

In FIG. 2, the process sets a stake amount in block 21. For example, a gift giver adjusts a stake entry to set a stake amount. In block 23, the process re-calculates the potential winnings for the listed or displayed potential outcomes. In block 25, the process displays the potential winnings. As such, in one embodiment, based on the stake amount provided in block 21, the potential winnings are calculated using predetermined odds. The process determines, in block 27, if the gift wager is set. In one embodiment, the gift giver selects a "set" or "next" button, key or another representation to identify that the current stake entry selected is to be used for the gift wager. The actions or operations of blocks 21-27, are executed in real time.

If the process determines in block 27 that the gift wager is not set, the process repeats returning back to block 21 until the gift wager is set. If the gift wager is set, the process creates an account for the gift giver in block 29. In one embodiment, the gift giver provides contact information and payment information, such as identifying a credit card, checking account, e- wallet, modem, cable or broadband subscription accounts, other types of subscriptions or Internet accounts, using previous winnings in a gift giver's account, and others. Alternatively, the gift giver provides an identifier to a previously created gift giver account. The stake amount, in one embodiment, is placed in a segregated and/or marked account.

In block 121, the process creates a shell account for the gift recipient. For example, the gift giver provides contact information, such as a name and e-mail account information, and/or delivery method for the gift recipient. Alternatively, the gift giver provides an identifier for a previously created gift recipient account or selects the gift recipient from a contact list, etc. The process then wraps the gift wager in block 123. In one embodiment, the process creates a digital message or a digital mood to be provided with the gift wager. Additionally, the process packages the gift wager and/or message and/or mood to conform with the appropriate medium for delivery of the gift wager. In block 125, the process sends the gift wager and returns or exits.

In one embodiment, in block 123, the process provides a digital style that provides a graphical representation, such as an animation with sound, that represents the intangible aspect, e.g., the electronic or digital quality, of the gift wager to a tangible or visible object. The styles are configured to appeal to the gift giver and/or the gift recipient and to convey a message to the gift recipient. Also, the style is able to be configured to provide a product or corporate identity or brand. The style is also configured to convey a mood or climate and is interactive and/or changeable, for example, varying by season. In another embodiment, the digital style is a personification of a gift wager and provides a focal point for the gift giver, gift recipient and others for the gift wager. FIG. 4 illustrates graphical representations of exemplary digital styles.

In FIG. 4, four exemplary gift wager wrappings 61, 63, 65 and 67 for a gift wager are illustrated. Each gift wager wrapping depicts the gift wager with graphics. In one embodiment, each gift wager wrapping provides a object, such as a ball, that provides a focal point for the gift wager. The objects is animated to convey a particular mood or style of the gift giver or the gift recipient rather than a particular occasion. For example, the first gift wager wrap 61 conveys a happy style, the second gift wager wrap 63 conveys a carefree style, the third gift wager 65 conveys a mad style and the fourth gift wager wrap 67 conveys a bold style. In one embodiment, the object is animated to move in a deliberate motion in relation to a background to demonstrate a style or mood. The object may also change or become a part of a corporate or product identity.

Referring back to FIG.2, in one embodiment, upon receipt of the gift wager, the gift giver is automatically notified of the receipt and/or accessing of the gift wager (e.g., the gift recipient clicking on a url provided to the gift recipient). Additionally, a reminder message is also sent to the gift recipient if the gift recipient has not accessed the gift wager within a predetermined amount of time. In one embodiment, a contact database is utilized to identify and associate the gift wager and gift recipient to the gift giver to provide the notification to the gift giver. In one embodiment, the gift recipient is also provided access, e.g., via provide link, to a common area, such as a community or message board. The common area provides a conduit or contact point for the gift recipient with other gift recipients, if any, that are similarly related; for example, they were also provided the same gift wager and/or from the same gift giver. As such, the gift recipients are able to discuss the gift wager with multiple gift recipients at once, each having a common or related tie to the gift wager.

In one embodiment, the gift giver determines the amount of the stake and sets and sends the gift wager as noted above. However, the gift recipient is provided the selection of potential outcomes and selects the potential outcome. In one embodiment, in settling gift wager, the stake amount from the segregated and marked account is released to a revenue account and winnings charged to pay-out account. The gift recipient is further notified and, in one embodiment, registers or supplements the shell account information to provide information as to how the winnings should be distributed to the gift recipient, e.g., via check.

In FIG. 3 , one embodiment of an exemplary system configured to provide the above described operations is illustrated. In one embodiment, a purchaser 31 (gift giver) situated, for example, at a computing device is coupled to a gift wager server or system 33. The purchaser 31 buys a gift wager with assistance from the gift wager system. For example, the gift wager system provides the purchaser access to enter the purchaser's contact information, a gift recipient's contact information, payment details, choice of gift wagers and confirmations of transactions and verifications of credit information.

The gift wager system 33 is also coupled to a gift recipient 35 situated, for example, at another computing device. The gift wager system also determines if a gift wager results in a win or lost to the gift recipient. In one embodiment, if the gift wager results in a win to the gift recipient, the gift recipient's account is credited to be used for purchasing of other gift wagers or withdrawal of money.

If the gift recipient 35 provides instructions to collect the winnings of the gift wager, the gift wager system is configured to provide money transfers or other forms of payment transfers to the gift recipient. As such, in one embodiment, the gift wager system is coupled to a payment gateway 37 that acts as a conduit and/or manager between the transfer of money between the gift giver, purchaser 31 , gift recipient 35 and the gift wager system In other words, a purchase of a gift wager by a purchaser 31 causes the gift wager system to initiate money or funds to be transferred by the payment gateway from a purchaser's bank 39 to the gift wager system's bank 301. Similarly, collection of a winning gift wager by a gift recipient causes the gift wager system to initiate money or funds to be transferred by gift wager system's bank 301 to the gift recipient's bank 305. Reports or records regarding the money transactions including the buying, settling and collecting information provided by the purchaser 31 and the gift recipient 35 and generated by the gift wager system 33 is stored or recorded by account systems 307.

In another embodiment, a pricing system is coupled or integrated with the gift wager system illustrated in FIG. 3. One embodiment of the pricing engine is shown in FIG. 5. The pricing system includes a pricing engine 41, an alert system or server 43 and a management system or server 45. The pricing engine determines the pricing of a gift wager. The pricing includes a purchase price of the gift wager, which includes a minimum and/or maximum price, with incremental prices between the minimum and maximum prices, and/or the potential winnings. In one embodiment, the pricing engine determines the pricing of a gift wager by generating probability distribution curves or using predefined probability distribution formulas, for an event or a theoretical event. Additionally, as gift wagers are purchased, the pricing engine dynamically adjusts the distribution curves or recalculates the distributions using the information provided by gift wagers being purchased. Accordingly, if a specific potential outcome is being selected for a gift wager by a number of gift givers, the pricing engine is able to adjust the pricing of the gift wagers, e.g., the stake entry and/or the potential winnings. The pricing engine is also configured to identify similar and past gift wagers and associated events and distributions. This information is incorporated into or is used by the pricing engine to adjust the current and potential gift wagers, the pricing of current and potential gift wagers, events and distributions. Some or all of the pricing information is stored in a pricing database 47. The pricing database also includes rules or expectations for various pricing for gift wagers, events, and/or distribution. For example, a rule or expectation, in one embodiment, is that the total number of gift wagers purchased for a specific outcome can not or should not exceed 500.

Price monitor 49 allows a gift wager or a group of gift wagers to be inspected and modified. For instance, prices and odds for a gift wager or a group of gift wagers can be inspected and modified by the price monitor. The information for a gift wager or a group of gift wagers is provided by the pricing engine or retrieved from the pricing database and/or the gift wager database 145. Similarly, modifications to a gift wager by the price monitor is stored in the pricing database and/or the gift wager database 145. Additionally, the price monitor is able to generate or calculate theoretical, actual, popular distributions or selections of a gift wager and their related outcomes.

S ome or all of the pricing information is provided via the information bus or network 147 to the management system or management information system. The information bus allows bidirectional communication between all the components of the pricing system. The management information system publishes or provides the pricing information from the pricing engine to a liability manager via a management information monitor 141. The liability manager assess the prices of the gift wagers in comparison with the revenue generated and/or available for resolving or paying out specific outcomes. The liability manager based on the provided information is able to suspend, authorize or otherwise modify a gift wager or gift wagers. The pricing engine also provides other related information regarding the gift wagers to the liability manager to further assess the limitations, obligations or risks of a gift wager.

In one embodiment, the management information system also generates various distributions plots, such initial versus current frequency or theoretical to actual, limits, such as maximum potential losses, minimuin secure profits, expected profits and losses, and other similar types of information related to a gift wager, such as a response or sensitivity of expected profits or losses based on determined probabilities or profit and loss confidence levels. Similarly, the management information system is also able to generate related information for a group of gift wagers and potential or determined interaction between gift wagers, such as a approximate profit or loss confidence interval based on an assumed or observed independence or correlation of the gift wagers. The management information system stores the related information in the pricing database and provides the information to the liability manager and/or the management information monitor 141. The liability manger and/or the management information monitor may be a user and/or a software/hardware monitoring application.

The alert server also receives pricing information and rules or expectation information from the pricing engine. In one embodiment, the alert server generates and records alert messages when an alert condition occurs, such as a rule or expectation is or is about to be violated based on the available pricing information. The alert server also suspends the gift wager or gift wagers that caused the alert condition. The alert server provides messages to an alert monitor 143 that assess the alert messages and the associated information and resolves the alert condition. The alert monitor may be a user and/or a software/hardware monitoring application.

FIG. 6 illustrates one embodiment of a flow diagram of an exemplary operational process of pricing of a gift wager. In block 51 , the process sets initial values, such as prices and related parameters, such as odds and ranges, for a gift wager. In block 53, the process adjusts the prices and related parameters based on input from gift wagers being created and sent. In one embodiment, the prices are updated based on input from a liability manager or predetermined rules or algorithms to adjust the prices based on a condition occurring, such as a threshold number of gift wagers being created. In block 55, the adjusted prices are compared to historical or other related information regarding prices of the gift wager or similar gift wagers and the prices of the gift wager are modified based on the comparisons.

In block 57, rules and/or expectations are applied to the prices. For instance, a rule, such as price is not to exceed a threshold price, such as $500, is compared to the prices. In one embodiment, rules and/or expectations are provided from an external source or retrieved from the pricing database. In block 59, the prices are validated, e.g., does a price violate a rule in block 57. If the prices are valid, then the process publishes or provides the new price for the gift wager in block 151 and the process ends. Otherwise, the process initiates an alert and/or suspends the gift wager in block 153 and the process ends.

In one embodiment, the management information server, alert server, pricing engine, price monitor, alert monitor, management information monitor and other functions of the gift wager server or system comprise programs in the C or C++ programming language or scripts in, for example, the PERL programming language. C and C++ compilers, PERL interpreters and the C, C++ and PERL programming languages, and the uses thereof, are well known and often used by Web and software developers. Furthermore, even though the management information server, alert server, pricing engine, alert monitor, price monitor, management information monitor, pricing database and gift wager database are described as separate items, all the components could be combined as a single program or hardwired in the gift wager server, separately or as one. Also, although a gift giver, gift wager, gift recipient and wager server are described in a singular sense, one skilled in the art would recognize that two or more gift givers, gift wagers, gift recipients, and wager servers and any combination thereof, e.g., a single gift giver, a single gift wager, three gift recipients and two wager servers, could be included in the present invention and likewise each could be provided separately.

Although this invention has been described in certain specific embodiments, many additional modifications and variations would be apparent to those skilled in the ait. It is therefore to be understood that this invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described. Thus, the present embodiments of the invention should be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention to be determined by the appended claims, their equivalents and claims supported by the specification rather than the foregoing description.

Claims

1. A method of providing a gift wager by a first user to a second user, the method comprising: describing a particular event; identifying a potential return of a payoff associated to an outcome of the particular event in relation to a purchase price; composing a gift wager by a first user through a communication media, the gift wager including the particular event and a payoff associated to an outcome of the particular event; transmitting the gift wager to a second user; and providing result data to the second user.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein describing the particular event further comprises: displaying a textual description of the particular event; associating a visual presentation with the particular event; and displaying the visual presentation.
3. The method of claim 2 further comprising determining the textual description and associating the visual presentation based on an intended audience.
4. The method of claim 1 further comprising determining the particular event based on an intended audience.
5. The method of claim 1 further comprising establishing selectable potential outcomes of the particular event based on a relevance to the second user as opposed to a likelihood of a particular outcome occurring.
6. The method of claim 1 further comprising establishing selectable potential outcomes of the particular event to prevent clustering of a selection of a potential outcome.
7. The method of claim 6 further comprising displaying the potential outcomes of the particular event.
8. The method of claim 1 wherein identifying a potential return further comprises visually indicating changes to the purchase price.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein visually indicating changes to the purchase price further comprises displaying an object that changes as the purchase price changes.
10. The method of claim 1 further comprising limiting at least one of a minimum, maximum and incremental amounts of the purchase price.
11. The method of claim 1 further comprising: generating a distribution curve for the potential outcomes of the particular event; monitoring gift wagers composed; adjusting the distribution curve based on the gift wagers composed; adjusting the purchase price of gift wager based on the adjusted distribution curve.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising adjusting the description of the particular event based on the adjusted distribution curve.
13. The method of claim 11 further comprising displaying descriptions of potential outcomes of the particular event and adjusting descriptions of the displayed particular event based on the adjusted distribution curve.
14. The method of claim 1 further comprising establishing purchase rules for the gift wager and identifying a violation of an established purchase rule.
15. The method of claim 14 further comprising suspending a gift wager based on the identification of the violation until the violation is resolved.
16. The method of claim 16 further comprising comparing the purchase price of a gift wager in relation to revenues generated.
17. A method of providing a gift wager by a first user to a second user, the method comprising: selecting a purchase price by a first user; displaying potential outcomes associated with a particular event; calculating potential payoffs associated with the potential outcomes based on the selected purchase price; selecting one of the potential outcomes by the first user; composing a gift wager comprising the selected purchase price, a payoff based on the selected potential outcome and payoffs calculated; depicting the gift wager with graphics; transmitting the wrapped gift wager to a second user; and providing winnings to the second user, the winnings based on the payoff of the gift wager composed.
18. The method of claim 17 wherein depicting the gift wager with graphics further comprises associating one of a product identity and a corporate identity.
19. The method of claim 17 wherein depicting the gift wager with graphics further comprises personifying the gift wager.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein personification of the gift wager changes based on interaction by the second user.
21. The method of claim 17 wherein depicting the gift wager with graphics conveys a mood.
22. The method of claim 17 wherein depicting the gift wager with graphics further comprises displaying an animated graphical object that moves in a deliberate motion in relation to a background to demonstrate a style.
23. An electronic wagering system to provide a gift wager by a first user to a second user, the system comprising: communication means providing a conduit to receive input from a first user concerning a gift wager for a second user, the gift wager pertaining to a wager, a particular event, and contact data concerning a second user; and computer means conveying a description of the particular event, a purchase price, potential outcomes of the particular event, payoff information associated to the potential outcomes in relation to the purchase price and sending result data to the second user prior and in response to an outcome of the particular event.
24. The system of claim 23 wherein the computer means indicates changes to the purchase price.
25. The system of claim 23 wherein the computer means wraps the gift wager prior to sending the result data to the second user.
26. The system of claim 23 wherein the computer means further comprises a pricing means limiting at least one of a minimum, maximum and incremental amounts of the purchase price.
27. The system of claim 26 wherein the pricing means generates distribution curves for the potential outcomes of the particular event, monitors gift wagers composed by other users, and adjusts the distribution curves based on the composed gift wagers monitored.
28. The system of claim 27 further comprising a storage means and wherein the pricing means stores the generated distribution curves, purchase prices and payoff information for various gift wagers in the storage means.
29. The system of claim 23 wherein the computer means further comprises a liability means monitoring gift wagers composed by other users and purchase prices of the gift wagers composed in relation to revenues generated.
30. The system of claim 26 wherein the pricing means establishes purchase rules for the gift wager and identifyies a violation of an established purchase rule.
31. The system of claim 30 wherein the computer means further comprises a management means configured to generate accounting information related to at least one gift wager, an expected return and correlations to other gift wagers.
32. An electronic wagering system to provide a gift wager by a first user to a second user, the system comprising: a first user computer utilized by a first user and coupled to a first communication medium; a second user computer utilized by a second user and coupled to a second communication medium; and a gift wager server coupled to the first communication medium and the second communication medium and configured to indicate a purchase price of a gift wager to the first user, to receive information from the first user computer to compose a gift wager record, to determine an outcome of the predetermined event and to transmit information regarding the gift wager record to the second user computer.
33. The system of claim 32 further comprising a pricing engine configured to generate distribution curves for the potential outcomes of the predetermined event, monitor gift wager records composed by other users, and adjust the distribution curve based on the gift wager records composed.
34. The system of claim 33 further comprising a pricing database storing generated distribution curves, purchase prices and payoff information for various gift wager records.
35. The system of claim 32 further comprising an alert server and wherein the pricing engine is configured to establish purchase rules for gift wagers and identifies a violation of an established purchase rule and the alert server is configured to generate an alert message when a established purchase rule is violated.
36. The system of claim 32 further comprising: a liability manager configured to monitor gift wagers records composed by other users and purchase prices of the gift wager records composed in relation to revenues generated; and a management system configured to generate accounting information related to at least one gift wager record, an expected return and correlations to other gift wager records.
37. A method of providing a gift wager by a first user to a second user, the method comprising: selecting a purchase price by a first user; composing a gift wager comprising the selected purchase price, potential outcomes and payoffs based on the potential outcomes and the selected purchase price; depicting the gift wager with graphics; transmitting the wrapped gift wager to a second user; selecting one of the potential outcomes by the second user; and providing winnings to the second user, the winnings based on the payoff of the gift wager composed.
PCT/US2003/010480 2002-04-03 2003-04-03 Method and system for placing gift wagers WO2003084624A1 (en)

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US60/369,966 2002-04-03

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