WO2005059849A1 - An electronic gaming system - Google Patents

An electronic gaming system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2005059849A1
WO2005059849A1 PCT/EP2003/013970 EP0313970W WO2005059849A1 WO 2005059849 A1 WO2005059849 A1 WO 2005059849A1 EP 0313970 W EP0313970 W EP 0313970W WO 2005059849 A1 WO2005059849 A1 WO 2005059849A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
data
gaming
electronic gaming
value
device
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2003/013970
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Franz Lechner
Helmut Steffenini
Original Assignee
Systems In Progress Holding Gmbh
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.)
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Publication date
Application filed by Systems In Progress Holding Gmbh filed Critical Systems In Progress Holding Gmbh
Priority to PCT/EP2003/013970 priority Critical patent/WO2005059849A1/en
Publication of WO2005059849A1 publication Critical patent/WO2005059849A1/en

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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
    • 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
    • G07F17/3258Cumulative reward schemes, e.g. jackpots
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3272Games involving multiple players
    • G07F17/3276Games involving multiple players wherein the players compete, e.g. tournament

Abstract

The present invention provides an electronic gaming system comprising a plurality of interconnected data management devices (l0la­-101n) within a plurality ofelectronic gaming devices (100a-100n), a databus device (201) for connecting the plurality of data management devices (101a-101n) with each other for exchanging gaming data between the electronic gaming devices (100a-100n), and a random value generator for generating a random value (508) within a specified trigger value range (507), wherein one or more of the data management devices (l0la-101n) include a jackpot detection unit for detecting, in a decentralized manner, a current jackpot value ( J(t)) after each gaming sequence, and wherein a hit event detection unit (108) for determining, in a decentralized manner, whether or not the random value (508) generated by means of a random value generator is within a specified hit value range (506).

Description

AN ELECTRONIC GAMING SYSTEM

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an electronic gaming system, and in particular to a system and a method for calculating a random jackpot in an electronic gaming device or in an electronic gaming system comprising a plurality of electronic gaming devices interconnected by means of respective data management devices and a databus.

Specifically the present invention relates to an electronic gaming system comprising a plurality of interconnected data management devices each having a processor unit for processing the gaming data generated in the respective electronic gaming device in response to a gaming sequence being performed using the electronic gaming device, a memory unit for storing gaming data generated in the electronic gaming device, by means of the processor unit, and a communication device for communicating gaming data with at least one other data management device of the electronic gaming system; a databus device connecting the plurality of data management devices with each other by means of the communication devices provided in each of the electronic gaming devices for exchanging gaming data between the data management devices of the electronic gaming system; and a random value generator for generating a random value within a specified trigger value range.

DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

A typical electronic gaming device is preferably electronic in design and operation and has only a few or no electromechanical or mechanical parts for an operation. An electronic gaming device may comprise an electronic token acceptor which is designed to accept designated tokens and reject others. Preferably a computer connected to all electronic gaming devices of an electronic gaming system is provided to control and monitor specific electronic gaming devices connected to the computer and to receive data from the electronic gaming devices.

The electronic gaming devices of the present invention may comprise slot machines, a device interfacing card playing tables, roulette tables, dice tables etc. The electronic gaming system which comprises a plurality of electronic gaming devices interconnected by means of a databus can be a part of a casino system.

A jackpot system used in casinos for allocating the wins from at least one jackpot to players playing at a plurality of gaming positions is disclosed in the US-Patent US 2001 03 6857. The gaming positions are associated with a computer network including the computing engine having a memory for receiving inputs from the gaming positions and at least one output for commun cating information to the players. At least one pay table is stored in that memory or in another memory associated with the computer network. The pay table can be configured by an operator and has a plurality of possible winning entries and wins associated with the winning entries. A selection generator is triggered at least once via the computer network by a trigger input generated in response to the playing of each game of a group of selected games to generate a selection. The selection is compared with the pay table and if the selection corresponds to a winning entry, the associated win is transferred to at least one player associated with the gaming position which triggered the selection, and/or to another jackpot.

Furthermore, the publication WO 0 230 532 discloses a method for operating a gaming device comprising at least one roulette basin having a roulette ball circulating therein, a movement sensor which is used to detect the movement of the roulette ball, e.g. the speed or the duration of a revolution thereof, a simulation means for calculating two characteristic moments of the games from the movement data of the movement sensor, e.g. the moment when the roulette ball falls past a specific place and the moment when the roulette ball comes to rest in a field, a generating means used to determine at least one winning value and/or a joker symbol once a signal is received from the simulation means, a gaming value sensor which is used to detect the play value of the roulette basin, a comparison means for comparing the play value with the winning value and/or joker symbol, and a control means which controls an optic and/or acoustic display in synchronization with the moments calculated by the simulation means and generates a signal corresponding to the result of the means of calculation. The corresponding method and a gaming device for carrying out that method are especially characterized in that the game becomes more attractive by synchronizing the display with the gaming process without forcing the player to change his or her gaming habits.

A further cash accounting and surveillance system for games is disclosed in the US-Patent 9,283,709. This publication describes a cash accounting and surveillance system for games whereby operation of a number of player operated gaming devices may be monitored for purposes of detecting abnormal operation and/or cheating and for providing automatic accounting information for record keeping and pilferage detection purposes. The system utilizes a node concept with each node having a non-volatile data storage capability and a communications capability for communicating with each of a plurality of gaming devices coupled to the node. The exemplary embodiment disclosed operates in conjunction with slot machines having mechanically rotatable reels and a microprocessor control system for randomizing the reel stopping payouts and other machine functions. Commonly used electronic gaming devices are connected by a network, e.g. a computer network. The network connection provides many advantages such as the ability to gather a gaming data for accounting from the individual gaming devices, Date collection systems are commonly known (e.g. described in the US-Patent 4,283,709) and provide an operator of an electronic gaming system with the capability to monitor the usage and payouts, collectively known as audit data. This audit data includes data related to the money (cash and cashless) played, the number of times the device has been played, the amount paid in raises, the number and type of the jackpots paid by the machine, the number of door openings, etc. The operator is able to compile an accounting report based on the audit data from each of the electronic gaming devices.

Another advantage of the connection of electronic gaming devices via a computer network is the usage of the audit data for marketing purposes. Marketing and management of electronic gaming devices is based on the provision of statistical data of specific electronic gaming devices, e.g. slot machines. Thus the data have to be collected in regular periods, have to be stored, processed and optionally displayed. If a network is provided, the operator can easily operate the operation of the specific electronic gaming devices from a remote location.

In order to implement jackpot playing systems the electronic gaming devices have to be interconnected via a computer network to attract the players' interest. A relatively high number of different jackpot and bonus systems implemented requires a data management to handle and operate these systems .

For example, data used for the above mentioned purposes usually are generated in various acceptors and meters (e.g. coin acceptor, bill acceptor, ...) whereas additional data are gathered from door openings, hand payouts, jackpot payouts, display systems etc.

It is necessary that most of the data are gathered, stored, processed and explored. This is why data have to be communicated from the location where they are generated to where they can be processed and have to be provided for the operator. Such a data management and require stable data management systems.

Fig. 5 illustrates a conventional electronic gaming system. A number n of electronic gaming devices 301a-301n are connected via a communication network device 309. Data from particular electronic gaming devices 301a-301n are transferred to and stored in a central database 304 which is usually provided twice, A floor server 401 is provided for connecting the central database 304 with the communication network device 309, e.g. a work station for configuration purpose is connected to the central database 304. The floor server 401 comprises a data concentrator for concentrating data which is usually provided twice and three operating servers 305, 306 and 307 serving, e.g. as an accounting server (305), a clearance server (306) and a journal server (307), respectively, Furthermore, a display controller 311 is connected to the communication network device 309 for displaying a gaming data at a display device 310.

Each of the electronic gaming devices 301a-301n comprises an interface controller 302a-302n for communicating data to and from the communication network device 309. In the conventional electronic gaming system shown in Fig. 3 gaming data are forwarded to a central database 304. The electronic gaming device 301a-301n each communicate with a casino operator via the interface controller 302a-302n, a control processor unit for the electronic gaming device, a data concentrator and a propriety user interface to export the data. It is thus a major disadvantage of a conventional electronic gaming system that at least three independent communication interfaces have to be provided, and that in case of total redundancy each communication interface has to be built up twice for each electronic gaming device, because each communication interface is to be regarded as a source of failure, in case of a breakdown of a singular communication interface device the data management system becomes instable. Thus, each single failure can destroy a secure communication between the operator and a specific electronic gaming device.

Jackpots are widely used in gaming sites to attract players and maintain them enjoying the electronic gaming devices. During a jackpot gaming sequence a gaming sequence at a specific location permits the placement of an extra bet at the time of placing the normal bet for a site game, if the player obtains a predetermined set of events the player hits the jackpot and wins. A jackpot is progressive if it increases in value as players contribute to it by participating with an extra bet from one gaming sequence to the next. The extra bet is determined by a fixed percentage, i.e. an increment percentage. These jackpot gaming systems are designed to be progressive.

It is a major disadvantage of conventional electronic gaming devices featuring a jackpot system which is triggered by the electronic gaming device itself, that the hit values as well as the hit frequencies are less controllable due to predetermined combinations of high scoring arrangements to hit the jackpot, the jackpot hit is based on the gaming history.

Furthermore, it is a disadvantage of conventional electronic gaming systems featuring a jackpot system which is triggered by the electronic gaming system that players at different locations cannot participate in a joint jackpot system by a single gaming sequence being performed in a specific electronic gaming device due to technical limits regarding requirements in communication bandwidths and corresponding computing performance.

Furthermore, it is a disadvantage of conventional electronic gaming systems that a large number of different gaming devices at different sites cannot be connected in order to actually exchange gaming data.

Di sadvantageously electronic gaming devices of conventional electronic gaming systems have to communicate audit data of each gaming sequence to a central location in order to process the data, generate a trigger event in a random manner and compare the trigger event with the hit preconditions. It is a disadvantage that, after processing and comparing of the data, the results have to be communicated back to the specific electronic gaming device. As the whole communication has to be performed in real time which means that the reaction to a stimulus has to be provided within a certain time, i.e. between two gaming sequences at a specific electronic gaming device. This interval usually has to be shorter than 1 or 2 seconds, in order to meet these communication requirements, it is a disadvantage that a broad communication bandwidth and a large computing power are required.

It is a further disadvantage of conventional jackpot systems triggered by the electronic gaming device that a predictability of a hit event can be carried out by the player as the gaming sequence of a first electronic gaming device only depends on the specific electronic gaming device and not on other electronic gaming devices connected to the first electronic gaming device via a communication network.

Especially when electronic gaming devices of different locations (sites) are connected, the requirement of broad communication bandwidth is inexpedient. Disadvantageously a conventional jackpot system cannot be operated at various sites due to

(i) a technological limit given by communication technologies and communication bandwidths since data have to be transferred to one central location in a real time way, have to be processed and have to be transferred back to the respective electronic gaming device; if electronic gaming devices at different sites are connected a fulfilment of these requirements with respect to communication technologies cannot be ensured; and

(ii) a technological limit given by the required computing power, which is determined by a linear increase with increasing communication bandwidth; and

(iii) an insufficient reliability of the system if the communication line between a central site and the connected external site is damaged.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is thus an object of the present invention to provide an improved electronic gaming system and a method for operating the electronic gaming system device in a more reliable manner.

This object is achieved by an electronic gaming system having the features of claim 1.

Furthermore, this object is achieved by a method according to claim 11. Further advantages and embodiments are according to the dependent claims.

An essential idea of the invention is to provide an electronic gaming system consisting of interconnected electronic gaming devices and a jackpot which is triggered by the system. If the jackpot is triggered by the system a specific and defined procedure can be provided for a determination which electronic gaming device is hitting the jackpot. Furthermore, it is an advantage of the present invention that a jackpot hit event can be selected remotely by the data management device in cooperation with two or more data management devices within electronic gaming devices .

Furthermore, the security of the electronic gaming system is enhanced due to the fact that a jackpot hit event is individually generated for each electronic gaming device by a random number. Furthermore, it is an advantage of the invention that the inventive method for determining a jackpot can be performed at a central location or in a decentralized manner at the location of one or more data management devices within the electronic gaming devices of the electronic gaming system. A centralized operation requires additional communication bandwidth due to the high data rates for transferring gaming data.

A specific advantage of the inventive system is the possibility to calculate the jackpot system at decentralized locations .

It is thus essential for the present invention that a jackpot calculation procedure is performed in one or more data management devices within the electronic gaming devices after each game and before the following game, in a decentralized manner. it is preferred that each electronic gaming device connected in the network can participate in modifying the jackpot value.

It is thus a specific advantage of the present invention that the gaming data, e.g. audit data, do not have to be communicated to a central location where they are processed thus requiring that they are communicated back, but that they can be processed and calculated at the location where they are generated resulting in reduced communication and transmission rates. Due to the reduced transmission rates a computing power may be reduced.

Furthermore, it is an advantage of the present invention that the hit values, i.e. the amounts of money of the hits, between a lower value (base value) and a higher value (top value) is equal due to a specific calculation procedure. This means that a total bet per game is advantageously subdivided by the lowest amount of money required for the gaming sequence within the electronic gaming system, i.e. the smallest bet within the electronic gaming system. These subdivisions for the calculation of the jackpot amount lead to balanced amounts of money for the respective jackpot hits.

The inventive electronic gaming system comprises: a) a plurality of interconnected data management devices within a plurality of electronic gaming devices each having al) a processor unit for processing gaming data generated in the respective electronic gaming device in response to a gaming sequence being performed using the electronic gaming device; a2) a memory unit for storing gaming data generated in the gaming device, by means of the processor unit; and a3) a communication device for communicating gaming data with at least one other data management device within the other electronic gaming device of said electronic gaming system;

b) a databus device for connecting the plurality of data management devices with each other by means of the communication devices provided in each of the data management devices for exchanging gaming data between said data management devices of said electronic gaming system; and c) a random value generator for generating a random value within a specified trigger value range;

wherein one or more of said data management devices include d) a Jackpot detection unit for detecting, in a decentralized manner, a current Jackpot value after each gaming sequence; and e) a hit event detection unit for determining, in a decentralized manner, whether or not the random value generated by means of the random value generator is within a specified hit value range.

The method according to the present invention for monitoring a plurality of gaming devices interconnected by the means of data management devices in an electronic gaming system comprises the following steps: a) processing gaming data generated in an electronic gaming device in response to a gaming sequence being performed using the gaming device by means of a processor unit provided in the data management device;

b) storing gaming data generated in the electronic gaming device in a memory unit provided in the data management device, by means of the processor unit;

c) communicating gaming data with at least one other data management device of said electronic gaming system by means of a communication device provided in the data management device;

d) storing said gaming data of said other electronic gaming device in the memory unit of the data management device by means of the processor unit; and

e) processing gaming data stored in said memory unit by the processor unit of the data management device;

f) generating a random value within a specified trigger value range by means of a random value generator provided by the electronic gaming system;

g) detecting a current Jackpot value, in a decentralized manner at one or more of the data management devices, after a gaming sequence has been performed in one ore more of the electronic gaming devices, by means of a Jackpot detection unit of an data management device; and

h) determining, in a decentralized manner at one or more of the data management devices, whether or not the random value generated by means of the random value generator is within a specified hit value range, by means of a hit event detection unit.

Advantegously each gaming sequence performed at one or more of the electronic gaming devices are located in different sites contributes to an increase of the Jackpot value.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the present invention are depicted in the drawings and are explained in more detail in the following description.

In the drawings;

Fig. 1 shows a schematic block diagram of a data management device within an electronic gaming device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2 illustrates an electronic gaming system comprising a plurality of data management devices within electronic gaming devices interconnected by means of a databus, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 3 shows a schematic diagram illustrating the modification of a jackpot value in accordance with gaming sequences performed in one or more electronic gaming devices in dependence of a gaming duration; Fig. 4 shows a flowchart of a method for operating the electronic gaming system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

Fig. 5 exhibits a conventional electronic gaming system.

same reference numerals refer to same or similar elements or steps in the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the present invention are shown .

Fig. 1 shows a schematic block diagram of an electronic gaming device 100 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention The electronic gaming device 100 according to the present invention comprises a data management device

101 as a central processing unit, a processor unit 102 which includes a hit event detection unit 108. The processor unit

102 is connected to a memory unit 103 and optionally a human interface unit 107 comprising a display unit for displaying gaming data, a player identification unit for gathering player related information, an input unit for communication purpose between the player and the electronic gaming system and other peripheral devices.

The processor unit 102 is adapted to store gaming data into the memory unit 103 and to read gaming data from the memory unit 103. Furthermore, the processor unit 102 is connected to a communication device which is designed for communicating gaming data with at least one other data management device connected to an electronic gaming system. The electronic gaming device 100 is one of a network of interconnected electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn (to be described with reference to Fig. 2) of the electronic gaming system.

The communication device 104 essentially consists of an output unit 105 for outputting gaming data to an external device e.g. to another data management device lOla-lOln of the electronic gaming system, and an input unit 106 for inputting control data and external data from the external device (from another data management device lOla-lOln) such that these data can be transferred to and stored in the memory unit 103 by means of the processor unit 102. Furthermore, it is possible to provide serial or parallel interfaces for the connection of the communication device 104 and a databus device 201 (Fig. 2). In a preferred embodiment of the present invention all data management devices lOla-lOln include a communication device 104 such that they are able to communicate via serial connections of some type using a protocol of the some type typical for a brand of an electronic gaming device (e.g. a slot accounting system; SAS protocol), in the preferred embodiment the communication device 104 is located within the data management device (i.e. the slot machine interface board) which basically provides the interface between the electronic gaming device and the operator. Moreover, a hit event detection unit 108 is provided in the processor unit 102 for the detection of hit events in said electronic gaming device 100. Thus each data management device within the electronic gaming device is capable of detecting a hit event independent of another electronic gaming device.

Fig. 2 illustrates a preferred embodiment of an electronic gaming system comprising a plurality of data management devices lOla-lOln within the electronic gaming devices 100a- lOOn interconnected by means of a databus device 201. Furthermore, Fig. 2 shows an operator terminal 202 which is provided for an operator to control and monitor one or more of the electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn. Furthermore, it is possible to provide an interface for the connection of the communication device 104 and a databus device 201 (Fig. 2).

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention all electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn include data management devices lOla-lOln (i.e. the slot machine interface board) including a communication device 104 such that they are able to communicate with each other. In the preferred embodiment a data management device 101 is located within the electronic gaming device and basically provides the interface between the electronic gaming device and the operator. Gaming data relevant to control operate and to monitor the electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn are communicated to the specific communication device 104 of the data management device lOla-lOln. Gaming data from one electronic gaming device 100a thus may be transferred to one or more of the remaining data management device lOlb-lOln within the remaining electronic gaming devices lOOb-lOOn via the communication devices 104. The respective processor unit 102 of a data management device is able to transfer external data from other data management devices lOlb-lOln to the memory unit 103 of the data management device 101a. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention a data management system periodically synchronizes the data stored in the memory units 103 of the data management device 101a- lOln in order to ensure that the data in the respective memory units 103 of the data management devices lOla-lOln have consistent data.

Preferably all the gaming data stored in one electronic gaming device 100a are transferred to all other data management devices lOlb-lOln. The databus device 201 connecting the plurality of data management devices 101a- lOln by means of communication devices 104 may be provided as a one to many communication. Furthermore, it is possible to provide the databus device 201 as a 100 BaseTBus. Furthermore, it is possible to provide the databus device 201 as an Ethernet / or Internet connection. The gaming data exchanged between the data management devices lOla-lOln roughly can be divided into two different groups:

(i) static data; and (ii) dynamic data.

The static data are data that are strictly correlated to the data management devices lOla-lOlnof a respective electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn. The static data cannot be changed and are not suited for data processing in another data management device lOla-lOln. Thus, the static data specifically correspond to one single data management device lOla-lOln.

The static data comprise:

a) position identification data where a position identifier can be equivalent to an IP address of the data management device lOla-lOln. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention the position identifier may be alphanumeric. Furthermore the position identifier can be a function of different groupings as there are e.g. bank, area, site name, game, etc. or a combination of these. Furthermore the position identifier can be the IP Address of the electronic gaming device in the network.

b) parameter data of an electronic gaming device 100a- lOOn; these data are manually input into the data management device lOla-lOln. The electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn does not provide any information about these data via a protocol. Examples for these data are inventory numbers, manufacturer names, model names, cabinett style, etc.;

and c) automatic parameter data for electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn; these data are communicated from the electronic gaming device automatically via a protocol. Examples for these data comprise denomination data defining -the relation between currency units and gaming units, maximum-bet data defining a possible maximum bet during a game sequence, payout percentage data, serial number data, game identification data, pay table identification data, bill country code data, data relating to the number of games implemented, etc.

The above mentioned dynamic data (ii) comprise data which are communicated from one electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn to the data management device 101a-lOln and to the other data management devices lOla-lOln, these data being transferred by each communication device 104.

The dynamic data comprise:

a) site configuration data defining the characteristics of the site and operation characteristics; for example, these data include a site name, a site short name, a day closing period, a clearance period, etc.;

b) jackpot configuration data including all data required to define jackpot systems, e.g, jackpot name data, jackpot type data, jackpot parameter data, etc.; and

c) audit data which are related to a respective gaming sequence performed at the electronic gaming device and which are related to in situ maintenance data. These data are generated by the specific electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn. These data include, for example, the amount of funds (cash and cashless) being wagered, the number of times the electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn has been used, the number and type of the jackpots played by the electronic gaming device, the number of door openings, etc. in the following the procedure for exchanging data between the data management devices lOla-lOln via the databus device 201 will be described.

When an electronic gaming system with its respective data management devices lOla-lOln and its communication devices 104 is set up, the operator initially assigns identification data and configuration data to each each data management device lOla-lOln. These data comprise static data and an initial dynamic data. The operator utilizes a standard web browser to assign all required information to the respective data management devices lOla-lOln by the means of the communication devices 104.

The operator assigns static data comprising the position identification data of a specified data management device lOla-lOln at a specified location. In the electronic gaming system the position number (position identifier) of a data management device lOla-lOln including a communication device 104 can be used as the IP address of the data management device lOla-lOln. Furthermore, the user assigns the parameter data of the electronic gaming device.

The automatic parameter data of the electronic gaming devices are communicated automatically by the electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn to the respective data management device lOla-lOln via the respective communication devices 104. It is possible that different manufacturers of electronic gaming devices utilize different protocols for a communication. Therefore, the data management device 101 comprising the communication device 104 starts an automated scanning procedure with the purpose to identify the protocol of the electronic gaming device. The data management device 101 comprising the communication device 104 is capable of automatically identifying protocols of most of the relevant brands of electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn. For assigning the initial dynamic data the operator connects a specific data management device lOla-lOln to the databus device 201. The identification of the communication device 104 of the data management device lOla-lOln to be connected is performed by entering the IP address and/or the position identification data.

The data management device 101 comprising the communication device 104 being automatically connected obtains a server function for a specific data set. This means that the data management device 101 having the server function transfers required data to any other data management device lOla-lOln if requested unless the server function is switched off due to a failure or due a removal of the specific data management device lOla-lOln or the specific electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn. In this case a specified procedure starts to determine a new data management device 101 of another electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn for getting the server function to correlate the specific dataset.

During an operation of the electronic gaming devices 100a- lOOn comprising the data management devices lOla-lOln connected by the databus device 201 audit data are related to the gaming sequence, i.e. meter readings, gaming data and jackpot data and furthermore are related to the maintenance of the electronic gaming device, e.g. door openings. Those data are communicated from the electronic gaming device to the communication device 104 of the data management device lOla-lOln via a protocol. Each data management device 101a- lOln processes, stores and transfers audit data in regular time intervals.

Furthermore, audit data may be transferred to the operator terminal 202 when requested. As the audit data are transferred to the databus device 201 it is possible to display relevant data at a display system preferably consisting of a data management device comprising a communication device and a display device (not shown). Furthermore, it is to be noted that data may be processed in each data management device lOla-lOln by means of a respective processor unit 102. Thus, the processor unit 102 is designed to handle various jackpot data as defined by the operator.

The electronic gaming system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention comprising a plurality of data management devices lOla-lOln within electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn permits gaming sequences to be performed using a jackpot system.

Fig. 3 exhibits a diagram where a jackpot value 509 is shown as a dependence of the gaming sequence duration 510. A lower limit 501 and/or an upper limit 502 of the jackpot value 504 is defined, for example, by the operator of the electronic gaming system. Each gaming sequence performed at one or more of the electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn contributes to an increase of the jackpot value 504 in increments, as shown by a reference numeral 509 representing an increment value. The current jackpot value J(t) thus is steadily increasing until a winning condition is fulfilled.

In the following the determination of the jackpot value J (t) within a trigger value range 507 and the calculation of the hit value range 506 will be described.

According to the method according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention for determining a winning player the jackpot to be hit is determined independent from the history of gaming sequences of an electronic gaming device. The invention provides a highly secure system of determining a jackpot hit event due to the fact that the jackpot hit event is individually generated by a random number for each electronic gaming device.

A ackpot system used in the embodiment of the present invention is a progressive Jackpot system. Each credit played in an electronic gaming device increases the current jackpot value J (t) , this function being a steady step function.

The current jackpot value J(t) as a function of the gaming sequence duration 510 is determined from the following equation (1):

100n

J(t) = L + IP∑ ∑TI (1)

where L is the lower limit 501 of the jackpot value 504, and IP is an increment percentage which can be adjusted by the operator. The increment percentage is multiplied by a sum defined by a summation over time, i.e. t = 0 to T and the respective electronic gaming devices contributing the jackpot value, i.e. a summation total input fund (TI) from an electronic gaming device 100a to an electronic gaming device lOOn. The function according to equation (2) is limited by the lower limit 501 and the upper limit 502. The jackpot value to be hit is specified to lie in the range between these limits.

The ranges relevant for a determination of a winning condition are as follows:

(i) a trigger value range 507, i.e. a range defined as a difference between the upper limit 502 and the current jackpot value J(t) is according to equation (2): rl = U - J(t) (2)

wherein U represents the upper limit 502 and rl represents the trigger value range 507; and (ii) a hit value range 506 defined by the difference between a reference value 505 and the current jackpot value j(t) is according to equation (3): r2 = R(t) - J(t) (3)

where R(t) is the reference value 505 (see also Fig. 3), and r2 is the hit value range 506.

The time dependent reference value R(t) is defined by the current jackpot value J(t) and the increment percentage IP, multiplied by an amount M which is defined as the lowest amount of money required for the gaming sequence within the electronic gaming system, i.e. the smallest possible bet within the electronic gaming system, see equation (4):

R(t) = J(t) + IP * M (4)

After having performed a specific gaming sequence, a player has contributed a certain amount to the jackpot value J (t) . A random value generator for generating a random value 508 within the specified trigger value range 507 generates a random number within range rl. Here, random numbers are numbered that are occurring in a sequence such that two conditions are met:

(i) the random values are uniformly distributed over a time interval ; and

(ii) it is impossible to predict future values based on past values or present values.

It is to be noted that the methodology and the quality of the random number generator is essential for the distribution of values of the jackpot system. Briefly, the calculation procedure comprises the following steps:

a) determining the current jackpot value J(t);

b) determining the hit value range 507 (r2) ;

c) generating a random value 508 within the trigger value range 507 (rl) (see Fig. 3);

d) determining, whether or not the random value 508 generated by means of the random value generator is within a specified hit value range 506; and

e) monitoring a hit event condition.

It is possible to combine electronic gaming devices 100a- lOOn having different denominations (i.e. different relations between gaming units and currency units). For a jackpot calculation procedure each bet is broken down into the lowest money unit M played in the system.

A number m of calculation procedures is defined by the amount of money played in a specific gaming sequence τl(t) divided by the lowest money unit M. According to the following equation (5): m τi(t) (5) M

The determination of the current jackpot value J(t) in the generation of a random value 508 by means of the random value generator and a comparison of the specific values is carried out m times per gaming sequence performed in an electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn. Thus, the current jackpot value J(t) may be estimated according to equation (6): Jm (t) = J(t) + ∑M IP (6)

Fig. 4 gives a detailed flowchart of the gaming sequence according to the above equations. In a step SI a current jackpot is given and in step S2 a bet amount is read by the electronic gaming system lOOa-lOOn. The process proceeds to step S3 where the number m of procedures to be performed is determined according to equation (5). The process starts with a procedure number m=l in step S4 where a current jackpot value J(t) is calculated. In the next step S5 a random value 508 is generated using the random value generator of the electronic gaming system, Then the process proceeds to step S6 where a hit value range 506 is calculated according to equation (3).

In step S7 it is determined whether or not a jackpot hit event occurs, i.e. whether or not the random value 508 generated by means of the random value generator is within the hit value range 506. if the random value 508 is within the hit value range 506 (YES in step S7) a hit jackpot event is displayed in step S10 and the electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn operated by the winning player is stopped while a jackpot payout procedure may be performed. Then the process ends at step Sll. hen it is determined at step S7, however, that the random value 508 generated by means of the random value generator is not within the hit value 506 (NO in step S7) the process proceeds to step S8 where it is determined, whether or not the number m of procedures calculated by equation (5) (step S3) has been reached.

If it is determined in step S8 that the total number of procedures calculated in equation (5) (step S3) has not been reached (NO in step S8) the process proceeds to step S9 where the procedure number is incremented by one. Then the process returns to the beginning of step S4 and the steps S5 to S7 are repeated.

If it is determined in step sδ, however, that the procedure number defined by equation (5) has been reached (YES in step S8) the process is stopped at step Sll.

If a procedure number larger than one (m>l) is used, the current jackpot value is calculated according to equation (6) :

Jm (t) = J(t) + ∑ ,. - /R (6)

As an example of a gaming sequence according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention it is assumed that an electronic gaming system consists of 100 electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn (n = 100), wherein 20 electronic gaming devices A have a credit unit of 20 Euro, 50 electronic gaming devices B have a credit unit of 1 Euro, 20 electronic gaming devices C have a credit unit of 10 Euro and 10 electronic gaming devices D have a credit unit of 100 Euro.

The lowest money unit M of all electronic gaming devices connected to the electronic gaming system is 1 Euro, thus M = 1 Euro. A reference value R(t) is calculated as a value which is added to the current jackpot value J(t) as a lowest money unit (M = 1 Euro) times an increment percentage IP which is defined by the operator (site operator) of the electronic gaming system.

For example, for a game 1 performed at the time t at the electronic gaming device A with a total amount of money Tl(t) of 2 credits of 20 Euro each, in total 40 Euro, the number of calculation procedures m is 40, because the lowest money unit M is 1 Euro. For the game 2 performed at the time t at the electronic gaming device C with a total amount of money Tl(t) of 1 credit of 1 Euro each, in total 1 Euro the number of calculation procedures m is 1, because the lowest money unit M is 1 Euro.

For a game 3 performed at the time t at the electronic gaming device D with a total amount of money Tl(t) of 3 credits of 100 Euro each, in total 300 Euro, the number of calculation procedures m is 300, because the lowest money unit M is 1 Euro.

The above calculation procedure is performed for each electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn for m times for each gaming sequence being performed.

It is to be noted that the lower limit 501 and the upper limit 502 can be limits of the jackpot value 504 as in the embodiment mentioned above. Furthermore, the lower and upper limits 501 and 502, respectively can be defined as time limits and/or local (site) limits.

It is an essential advantage of the present invention, that the current jackpot value J(t) is calculated after each gaming sequence at the end of the respective gaming sequence. As the data are stored in the memory units 103 of the respective data management device lOla-lOln within the respective electronic gaming device lOOa-lOOn the current jackpot value J (t) can immediately be provided for other data management devices lOla-lOln within the other electronic gaming devices lOOa-lOOn connected in the electronic gaming system via the databus device 201.

Treating the gaming data using decentralized data management devices within the electronic gaming devices permits smaller communication band widths since data are processed at the location where they are generated, resulting in less computing power correlated to the communication bandwidth and in a total redundancy due to a data storage in each data management device within each electronic gaming device.

While preferred embodiments have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.

Furthermore the invention is not limited to the specific application areas mentioned above.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

100, Electronic gaming device

100a lOOn

101, Data management device

101a lOln

102 Processor unit

103 Memory unit

104 Communication device

105 Output unit

106 input unit

107 Human interface unit

108 Hit event detection unit

201 Databus device

202 Database management device

203 Protocol detection unit

501 Lower limit

502 Upper limit

503 Restart range 509 Jackpot value

505 Reference value, R(t)

506 Hit value range

507 Trigger value range

508 Random value

509 Increment value

510 Gaming sequence duration J(t) Current Jackpot value

S Step of inventive procedure

Claims

An electronic gaming system, comprising:
a) a plurality of interconnected data management devices (lOla-lOln) within a plurality of electronic gaming devices (lOOa-lOOn) , each having al) a processor unit (102) for processing gaming data generated in the respective electronic gaming device (100) in response to a gaming sequence being performed using the electronic gaming device (100) ; a2) a memory unit (103) for storing gaming data generated in the gaming device (101), by means of the processor unit (102); and a3) a communication device (104) for communicating gaming data with at least one other data management device within the other electronic gaming device of said electronic gaming system;
b) a databus device (201) for connecting the plurality of data management devices (lOla-lOln) with each other by means of the communication devices (104) provided in each of the data management devices (101a-101n) for exchanging gaming data between said data management devices (lOla-lOln) of said electronic gaming system; and c) a random value generator for generating a random value (508) within a specified trigger value range (507);
cha rac ter ized in tha t one or more of said data management devices (lOla-lOln) include d) a Jackpot detection unit for detecting, in a decentralized manner, a current Jackpot value (J) after each gaming sequence; and e) a hit event detection unit (108) for determining, in a decentralized manner, whether or not the random value (508) generated by means of the random value generator is within a specified hit value range (506).
2. A system according to claim 1, characterized by a hit value range determination unit for determining a hit value range (506) to indicate a gaming sequence winning condition, if the random value (508) generated by means of the random value generator is within the hit value range (506).
3. A system according to claim 1, characterized by a trigger value range determination unit for determining a trigger value range (507) from a difference between an upper limit (502) of the Jackpot value (504) and the current Jackpot value (J).
4. A system according to claim 1, characterized by a reference value setting unit for setting a reference value (R) in dependence of the current Jackpot value (J) and an increment value (509).
5. A system according to claim 4, characterized by a hit value range determination unit for determining a hit value range (507) from a difference between the reference value (R) and the current Jackpot value (J).
6. A system according to claim 1, characterized in that the gaming data comprise static data and/or dynamic data.
7. A system according to claim 6, characterized in that the gaming data comprise static data including one or more of position related data, parameters of the electronic gaming device (100), denomination data, maximum-bet data, payout percentage data, serial numbers, game identification data, paytable identification data, bill country and game number data.
8. A system according to claim 6, characterized in that the gaming data comprise dynamic data including one or more of site configuration data, jackpot configuration data and audit data.
9. A system according to claim 1, characterized in that the memory units (103) of the data management devices (lOla-lOln) are designed to store identical data.
10. A system according to claim 1, characterized in that an operator terminal (202) is provided and connected to the databus device (201) for controlling and monitoring one or more of said electronic gaming devices (lOOa-lOOn) .
11. A method for monitoring a plurality of gaming devices (lOOa-lOOn) interconnected by the means of data management devices (101, lOla-lOln) in an electronic gaming system, comprising the following steps: a) processing gaming data generated in an electronic gaming device (100) in response to a gaming sequence being performed using the gaming device (100) by means of a processor unit (102) provided in the data management device (101); b) storing gaming data generated in the electronic gaming device (100) in a memory unit (103) provided in the data management device (101), by means of the processor unit (102); c) communicating gaming data with at least one other data management device of said electronic gaming system by means of a communication device (104) provided in the data management device (101); d) storing said gaming data of said other electronic gaming device in the memory unit (103) of the data management device (101) by means of the processor unit (102); and e) processing gaming data stored in said memory unit (103) by the processor unit (102) of the data management device (101); f) generating a random value within a specified trigger value range (507) by means of a random value generator provided by the electronic gaming system;
characterized by the further Steps g) detecting a current Jackpot value (J) , in a decentralized manner at one or more of the data management devices (lOla-lOln) , after a gaming sequence has been performed in one ore more of the electronic gaming devices (lOOa-lOOn) , by means of a Jackpot detection unit of an data management device (lOla-lOln) ; and i) determining , in a decentralized manner at one or more of the data management devices (lOla-lOln) , whether or not the random value (508) generated by means of the random value generator is within a specified hit value range (506), by means of a hit event detection unit (108).
12. A method according to claim 11, characterized in that a hit value range (506) is determined by means of a hit value range determination unit to indicate a gaming sequence winning condition, if the random value generated by means of the random value generator is within the hit value range (506).
13. A method according to claim 11, characterized in that a trigger value range (507) is determined from a difference between an upper limit (502) of the Jackpot value (504) and the current Jackpot value (J) by means of a trigger value range determination unit.
14. A method according to claim 11, characterized in that a reference value (R) is set in dependence of the current Jackpot value (J) and an increment value (509) by means of a reference value setting unit.
15. A method according to claim 11, characterized in that each gaming sequence performed at one or more of the electronic gaming devices (100a- lOOn) contributes to an increase of the Jackpot value (504).
16. A method according to claim 11, characterized in that the lower limit (501) and/or the upper limit (502) of the jackpot value (504) is defined by the operator of the electronic gaming system,
17. A method according to Claim 11, characterized in that each gaming sequence performed at one or more of the electronic gaming devices (100a- lOOn) located in different sites contributes to an increase of the Jackpot value (504).
PCT/EP2003/013970 2003-12-09 2003-12-09 An electronic gaming system WO2005059849A1 (en)

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US20020193162A1 (en) * 1996-04-22 2002-12-19 Walker Jay S. System and method for facilitating play of a video game via a web site
US20030054881A1 (en) * 2001-08-03 2003-03-20 Igt Player tracking communication mechanisms in a gaming machine

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9747746B2 (en) 2012-08-09 2017-08-29 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Gaming system and a method of gaming
US10032336B2 (en) 2012-08-09 2018-07-24 Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Limited Gaming system and a method of gaming

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