WO2008054681A2 - Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool as a function of a historical composite value - Google Patents

Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool as a function of a historical composite value Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008054681A2
WO2008054681A2 PCT/US2007/022734 US2007022734W WO2008054681A2 WO 2008054681 A2 WO2008054681 A2 WO 2008054681A2 US 2007022734 W US2007022734 W US 2007022734W WO 2008054681 A2 WO2008054681 A2 WO 2008054681A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
user
gaming machine
set forth
pool
value
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Application number
PCT/US2007/022734
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French (fr)
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WO2008054681A3 (en
Inventor
Jeffrey George
Edward Sepich
Thomas E. Soukup
Stephen Sutherland
Original Assignee
Konami Gaming, Inc.
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
Priority to US86363906P priority Critical
Priority to US60/863,639 priority
Application filed by Konami Gaming, Inc. filed Critical Konami Gaming, Inc.
Publication of WO2008054681A2 publication Critical patent/WO2008054681A2/en
Publication of WO2008054681A3 publication Critical patent/WO2008054681A3/en
Priority claimed from US12/433,612 external-priority patent/US20090209329A1/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
    • 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

Abstract

A method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool associated with a plurality of gaming machines playable by a plurality of users. The gaming machine may be playable in first and second modes selectable by the user. The method includes opening a data session on the host computer in response to a first input by one of the users on a selected gaming machine, allowing the user to select one of the first and second modes and to play the gaming machine in the selected one of the first and second modes, and recording information in the data session on the host computer. The method further includes the steps of closing the data session in response to the user choosing to play the game in the other of the first and second modes, establishing a first incremental value as a function of the recorded information in the data session.

Description

METHOD FOR ESTABLISHING AN ADVANCED INCENTIVE JACKPOT POOL AS A FUNCTION OF A HISTORICAL COMPOSITE VALUE

[0001] CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS FROM WHICH

PRIORITY IS CLAIMED

[0002] This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/863,639, filed on October 31, 2006 (Attorney Docket No. 060518.00640), which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[0003] FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention relates generally to gaming machines, and more particularly, to a system and method for accumulating one or more progressive incentive pools and for awarding prizes or jackpots to one or more users from the pool(s).

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The growth and competition in the casino gaming market in recent years and the increasingly sophisticated and complex technology being integrated into the gaming environment, at the individual game, casino management, and auditing levels, presents both challenges and opportunities to game manufacturers, gaming establishment operators, and regulatory agencies. The technological capabilities and requirements of, for example, advanced electronic games, multi-site gaming operations, detailed player tracking, wide area progressive jackpots, and various alternatives to the use of currency and coins by players, all present a potentially huge pool of ever-changing data which can be of great value to casino operators (from a management standpoint) and to regulators from an audit/compliance stand point.

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 1 [0006] One area that has received a lot of attention in recent years has been providing added incentives to players of electronic gaming machines, such as mechanical reel, video slot machines and video poker machines. One type of incentive is given through a progressive jackpot pool. The progressive jackpot pool is a constantly accumulating award based on coin or credit-in, i.e., the tokens played by players, on a plurality of predetermined gaming machines. The progressive jackpot pool typically starts at a predetermined minimal value that continuously increases with user activity until some randomly chosen triggering event occurs. The progressive jackpot award is awarded to the player under some predetermined conditions, usually the prior art include a randomly established maximum value as the trigger event. One such system which provides a progressive jackpot gaming system is disclosed in US Patent 6,110,043 which issued on August 29, 2000 and is assigned to Mikohn Gaming Corporation. [0007) Typically, progressive jackpot systems utilize fixed add-on controllers which operate independent of the host player tracking system. For example, when a casino wants to set up a progressive jackpot system, the progressive controller-based system is limited to a specific game, specific type of game or logical bank of games. A separate progressive controller must be installed for each game to be connected to the progressive jackpot system. One of the problems associated with this type of system is that each of the games, such as a slot machine, must be physically connected to the progressive controller be part of a progressive jackpot. Furthermore, the configuration, i.e., the gaming machines included in the progressive system are fixed and not easily changed. And finally, other casino revenue sources such as tables, bingo, sports book, internet gaming, retail, hotel, services and so once cannot be part of a progressive jackpot.

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 2 [0008] Previously, progressive jackpot systems pay a progressive jackpot award from a pool. Contributions to the pool are made in response to each credit wagers made by the players. The contributions are, typically, deducted from the wagers. One problem with such a system deducting a portion of the wagers made to the gaming machine increases the complexity of the casino's accounting and reporting. For example, the coin-in and payout for each machine must be recorded and, generally, reported to a governmental jurisdictional body, to ensure that the gaming machine meets the jurisdiction's specifications. Removing a portion of the wager to place in the pool, and then paying it out in a progressive jackpot award, greatly increases the complexity in meeting these requirements.

[0009] However, the prior art progressive jackpot systems are inflexible and do not provide the casino operator with the maximum benefit and advantages available from the information and systems now available. The present invention is aimed at providing an advanced incentive progressive jackpot system that accumulates one or more jackpot or incentive pool(s) based on the ever-changing data gathered by the casino operators. Moreover, the present invention broadens the traditional scope of the progressive jackpot system to incorporate all slot machines and other casino revenue sources by eliminating the need for a physical connection to a physical jackpot controller to be part of the progressive jackpot.

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] In a first aspect of the present invention, a method for establishing a progressive jackpot pool associated with a plurality of gaming machines playable by a plurality of users. Each gaming machine is playable in first and second modes selectable by the user. The method includes the steps of opening a data session on the host computer in response to a first input by one of the users on a selected one of the gaming machines, allowing the user to select one of the first and second modes and to play the gaming machine in the selected one of the first and second modes, and recording information in the data session on the host computer related to the user's play of the selected one of the gaming machines during the data session. The method also includes the steps of closing the data session in response to the user choosing to play the game in the other of the first and second modes, establishing a historical composite value as a function of the recorded information in the data session, and opening a new data session on the host computer in response to a second input by one of the users on another selected one of the gaming machines. The method further includes the steps of allowing the user to play a game on the another selected one of the gaming machines during the new data session, establishing a first incremental value as a function of the historical composite value play of the game by the user in the new data session and adding the first incremental value to a progressive jackpot pool, and awarding at least a portion of the progressive jackpot pool to a progressive winning one of the users in response to an occurrence of predetermined progressive jackpot conditions.

[0011] In a second aspect the present invention, a method that establishes a progressive jackpot pool associated with a gaming machine usable by a plurality of users. The

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 4 gaming machine is operatively connected to a computer. The method includes the steps of allowing a first user to establish a first input into the gaming machine for logging into and/or playing and/or using the gaming machine and sending a signal in response to the first input. The method further includes determining an incremental value as a function of a historical composite value in response to receiving the signal and responsively adding the incremental value to the progressive jackpot pool.

[0012] In a third aspect of the present invention, a system for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool is provided. The system includes a host computer and at least one gaming machine. The at least one gaming machine is usable by a plurality of users and is operatively connected to the host computer. The at least one gaming machine allows a first user to establish a first input into the gaming machine for logging into and/or playing and/or using the gaming machine and sending a signal in response to the first input. The host computer receives the signal and responsively determines a first incremental value as a function of a historical composite value in response to receiving the signal from the gaming machine and responsively adding the first incremental value to the advanced incentive jackpot pool.

[0013] In a fourth aspect of the present invention, a system for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool is provided. The system includes a host computer, gaming machines and other casino revenue sources such as, bingo, sports book, retail, hotel and associated services, and so on. The host computer receives a signal logging into and/or playing and/or using the associated casino services. The host computer receives the signal and responsively determines a first incremental value as a function of a historical composite value in response to receiving the signal from the gaming machine

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 5 and responsively adding the first incremental value to the advanced incentive jackpot pool.

[0014] BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein: [0016] Figure 1 is a block diagram of a progressive jackpot system, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0017] Figure Ia is a block diagram of a multi-site system for providing a progressive jackpot pool, according to a second embodiment of the present invention; [0018] Figure 2 is a block diagram of a gaming machine of the system; [0019] Figure 3 is a flow diagram of a method for accumulating a progressive jackpot pool according to an embodiment of the present invention; and, [0020] Figure 4 is a flow diagram of a method for accumulating a progressive jackpot pool according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

[0021] The present invention is a system 10 and a method for establishing one or more advanced incentive or bonus pool (s). Referring to the Figures, wherein like numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the system is generally shown at 10 in Figure 1. The system 10 includes one or more gaming machines 12 and a host computer 14 in communication via a network 16 with each gaming machine 12.

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 6 [0022] In one aspect of the present invention, the system 10 is part of a player tracking system. In the player tracking system 10, the user 18, such as a player or other patron, is identified via a player tracking card and/or a player identification number entered into a player tracking device (not shown) at each EGM 12. Player tracking accounts may be used, generally, to provide bonuses to a user, in addition to the award designated by, in the case of a video slot or poker machine, the EGM 's 12 paytable. These bonuses may be awarded to the user 18 based a set of criteria, including, but not limited to, a) the user's play on the machine 12, b) the user's overall play, c) play during a predetermined period of time, and d) the user's birthday or anniversary, or e) any other definable criteria. Additionally, bonuses may be awarded on a random basis, i.e., to a randomly chosen user or randomly chosen game 12. Bonuses may also be awarded in a discretionary manner or based on other criteria, such as, purchases made at a gift shop or other affiliated location. In one aspect, the bonuses may be in the form of bonus points or advanced incentive points which may be exchanged for goods and/or services or downloaded to a gaming machine 12 for use and/or play. Downloaded bonus points may be cashable or non- cashable.

[0023] In one aspect of the present invention, the advanced incentive pool is used to fund an advanced incentive jackpot which is awarded to one or more users under a set of predetermined rules. For example, an advanced incentive jackpot may be awarded to a user whose contribution to the advanced incentive pool results in the pool reaching or surpassing a predetermined value. In another example, an advanced incentive jackpot game may be initialized under a set of predetermined rules. An

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 7 advanced incentive jackpot may be paid from the advanced incentive pool to one or more winners of the advanced incentive jackpot game. Contributions may also be made to one or more hidden pools, which may be used to initial or seed the advanced incentive pool, when the advanced incentive is begun or after a advanced incentive jackpot has been awarded. One system for awarding a advanced incentive jackpot is disclosed in commonly assigned US Patent Application Serial No. 11/779,537, filed on July 18, 2007 (Docket No. 060518-00648), which is hereby incorporated by reference in it entirety.

[0024] An advanced incentive jackpot may be a number of advanced incentive points (which may be designated as cashable or non-cashable) or may be for a specified good and/or service (which may have a value defined in terms of advanced incentive points).

[0025] Gaming Machines

[0026] Gaming machines 12A- 121 include, but are not limited to, electronic gaming machines (EGM) (such as video slot, video poker machines, video arcade games or slot machines with mechanical reels), virtual gaming machines, e.g., for online gaming, an interface to a table management system for table games, online bingo, online keno, point of sale terminals, online hotel folios, kiosk devices or any other device connected to the system. In the illustrated embodiments, eight electronic gaming machines 12A-12H are shown in Figure 1. However, it should be noted that the present invention is not limited to any number or type of gaming machines. In one embodiment, the gaming machines 12 are organized in banks, with each bank containing a plurality of gaming machines. Other types of gaming machines 12 which

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 8 may be included are indicated with reference number 121. Other types of machines or other casino revenue sources, such as kiosks, point of sale devices, are designated 12 J.

[0027] Alternatively, the gaming machines 12 could be grouped by various dollar denominations or specific game designs or themes (not shown) as is well known in the art. For example, each gaming machine 12 may be playable using different denominations, e.g., a penny video slot machine game or a nickel video slot machine. In one embodiment, the denomination used or played is selectable by the casino. In another embodiment, the user may be given a choice of denominations. [0028] Additionally, a gaming machine 12 may be able to play different games or the same game with different themes, symbols, etc

[0029] The gaming machine 12 allows each user 18 to establish a first input on the gaming machine 12C. The first input is related to the user's usage of gaming machines 12. The first input could include the user logging into, playing and/or using the gaming machine 12 for other transactions. The other transactions could include, but are not limited to, playing the game, a table game, use of a point of sale terminal, kiosk transactions with the user's account or purchases. The first input is accomplished via mechanical switches, buttons, a touch screen interface, player input sensing device (not shown), etc. Such gaming machines 12 are well known in the art and are therefore not further discussed. The gaming machine 12C in response to the first input by the user 18 sends a signal to the host computer 14. [0030] The gaming machines 12 are playable by a plurality of users. Each user 18 selects one gaming machine 12C to play and insert cash, credit, coupon, player

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 9 tracking card, etc. into the gaming machine 12C. Generally, the gaming machines 12 have an associated number of credits or coins required in order to play. In the case of video slot or poker games, the game is played and an award in the form of credits may be awarded to the user based on a pay table associated with the gaming machine. Referring to Figure 2, a block diagram of a suitable gaming machine 12C is shown. The gaming machine 12C comprises a game controller, or central processing unit 20 (CPU), a coin-bill management device 22, a display processor 24, a RAM 26 (generally provided as a memory device), and a ROM 28 (generally provided as an EPROM), and a player tracking device 30 (described in more detail below). The CPU 20 performs various calculations and motion control necessary for the progress of the game. The coin-bill management device 22 detects the insertion of the coins and/or the bills and performs a necessary process for managing the coins and the bills. The display processor 24 interprets commands issued from the CPU 20 and displays desirable images on a gaming display 32. The RAM 26 temporarily stores programs and data necessary for the progress of the game, and the ROM 28 stores, in advance, programs and data for controlling basic operation of the gaming machine 12C, such as the booting operation thereof, game code, and graphics. [0031] Host Computer

[0032] The gaming machines 12 are connected via the network 16 to one or more host computers 14. The host computer 14 is generally located at a remote or central location, and is generally shown in Figure 1. The host computer 14 includes a computer program application 34 which maintains one or more databases 36, which in one embodiment, determines an incremental value as a function of a historical

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 1 Q composite value, and accumulates an advanced incentive pool 38, and hidden pool 40. As shown in Figure Ia, the advanced incentive gaming system 10 could further include additional host computers 14. The host computers 14 in this embodiment are in communication via the network 16 to determine the advanced incentive pool 38 over multiple sites or casino properties.

[0033] In one embodiment, the database(s) 36 of the advanced incentive system 10 are Oracle database(s). The computer program application 34 utilizes databases 36 to record, track, and report accounting information regarding the gaming machines 12 and the users. Additionally, the computer program application 34 and the databases 36 are used to maintain information related to the user 18 and the gaming machine 12C in communication with the host computer 14. The host computer 14 could incorporate a player or user tracking system or an additional player tracking system may be utilized to identify for the host computer 14 the user 18 at each gaming machine 12. The computer program application 34 logs the first inputs of the user 18 and various additional activities on the gaming machine 12 in a database 36 on the host computer 14.

[0034] In the illustrated embodiment, the host computer 14 includes a user database 42 for each user 18 registered with the casino or gaming facility, also known as a carded player or user to those skilled in the art. In addition, the host computer 14 includes a machine database 44 for each gaming machine 12 in communication with the host computer 14. The host computer 14 through either communication with the gaming machine 12 and the user database 42 or optionally through the player tracking system identifies the user 18 at the gaming machine 12C. The computer program

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 1 1 application 34 stores the identified user's first inputs as data in the user database 42. The user database 42 can further include additional data related to activity by the user 18 on the gaming machine 12. Such additional data may include, but not limited to, the user's usage on the gaming machine 12, the wagers, the amount won, the amount lost, and the purchases by the user 18. The flexibility of the system allows for the casino operator to configure the gathering of additional data and/or additional databases 36 to understand the activity of the user 18 in the gaming facility. [0035] The machine database 44 includes as data the first inputs for each gaming machine 12 in communication with the host computer 14. The machine database 44 may include as data the wagers placed at each gaming machine 12, the amount won or paid out to the user 18, the amount lost by the user 18 at the gaming machine 12, and the purchases placed at the gaming machine 12. The machine database 44 can further include as data such information about the user 18 that has established the first input into the gaming machine 12. In addition, the casino operator can configure the storing of additional parameters for determining or tracking the gaming activity at each gaming machine 12A- 121.

[0036] The computer program application 34 utilizes various parameters programmable or configurable by the casino or gaming facility to determine a contribution to the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 and/or the hidden pool 40. [0037] Player Session Ratings

[0038] In one aspect of the present invention, a contribution to the advanced incentive jackpot pool and/or the hidden pool is made when a session is updated with data and/or at the termination of a session. A session is a period during which a gaming

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 12 machine 12 is being used by a user and during which information related to the user(s)' use of the gaming machine is recorded, e.g., wager, coin-in, and payout information. The recorded information may be used to determine whether a contribution to the advanced incentive jackpot pool and/or hidden pool is made, and if so, the value thereof.

[0039] In one aspect of the present invention, a session may be opened:

[0040] (a) when a user logs (or is logged) onto a gaming machine 12 and begins using the gaming machine 12 through play or use (such as through a purchase on a point of sale device or viewing of information on a kiosk or property management system, or remote or Internet gaming systems associated with the casino),

[0041] (b) while a user is logged in and after a closing of the previous session (see below),

[0042] (c) at the start of anonymous use of the gaming machine 12, and/or

[0043] (d) other predetermined criteria.

[0044] In another aspect of the present invention, a session may be updated:

[0045] (a) after a predetermined amount of use (based on time and/or amount wagered during the current session,

[0046] (b) when the user logs out,

[0047] (c) when a transaction is completed, e.g., at a point of sale terminal,

[0048] (d) other predetermined criteria.

[0049] In one aspect of the present invention, the data session is updated when the data session is closed. In one aspect of the present invention, the data session is closed when the user changes modes, for example:

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 13 [0050] (a) at a gaming machine which offers different games and/or themes, when the user changes games and/or themes, and/or,

[0051] (b) at a gaming machine which offers the ability to play at different denominations, when the user changes denominations.

[0052] In another aspect, the data session may be closed:

[0053] (a) after a predetermined amount of use (e.g., based on time and/or amount wagered during the current session,

[0054] (b) when the user logs out,

[0055] (c) when a transaction is completed, e.g., at a point of sale terminal, and/or

[0056] (d) other predetermined criteria.

[0057] Typically, a contribution to the advanced incentive jackpot pool and/or hidden pool is made when the session is updated and/or at the close of each session. The value of the contributions, i.e., the first and second incremental values, may be determined as a function of the total amount of wagers or transactions in the session and/or a historical composite value and/or a theoretical win percentage. Typically, one or more of the following may be multiplied by predetermined percentage(s) in determining the value of the contribution and/or other values, such as the total number of wagers or purchases in the session.

[0058] Theoretical win or hold percentage

[0059] The contribution to either pool may be determined as function of a predetermined theoretical win or hold percentage. In one aspect of the invention, each gaming machine 12 has a theoretical hold percentage. The theoretical hold percentage may be defined as the casino or establishment's estimated, average

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 14 revenue percentage. For example, if the gaming machine 12 is a slot machine, the hold percentage is the expect house's estimate, average take or revenue for a particular machine. For a point of sale terminal, such as a cash register, the theoretical hold percentage may be set to an estimated profit percentage for the given cash register.

[0060] The contribution to either pool may therefore be determined by multiplying the theoretical hold percentage by one or more other values: including, but not limited to:

[0061] (a) total value of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or

[0062] (b) total number of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or

[0063] (c) a predetermined or constant percentage and/or

[0064] (d) a historical composite value (see below).

[0065] One system and method for establishing a advanced incentive jackpot pool as a function of a theoretical hold percentage is disclosed in commonly assigned, US

Patent Application Serial No. 11/066,064, filed on February 25, 2005 and titled,

"SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR ESTABLISHING A PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT

AWARD", which is hereby incorporated by reference.

[0066] Historical composite value

[0067] In one aspect of the present invention, the contribution is determined as a function of a historical composite value to calculate a first incremental value and, optionally, one or more second incremental value(s). The host computer 14 and the computer program application 34 determine the first incremental value and optionally

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 \ 5 the second incremental value in response to each signal from the plurality of gaming machines 12 in communication with the host computer 14. [0068] The parameters to determine the historical composite value could include various data gathered by the advanced incentive gaming system 10 and stored within the databases 36. The historical composite value is then multiplied by a percentage or other function to determine a first incremental value and optionally a second incremental value to be added to the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 and the hidden pool 40 respectively.

[0069] In one aspect, the historical composite value could be established from a variety of the data stored in the user database 42 and/or the machine database 44. The historical composite value could be determined based on the data stored in the user database 42. The computer program application 34 can determine the historical composite value as data averaged over a period of time. The period of time is configurable by the casino operator to have the historical composite value equate to an average wager, an average amount won, and/or an average loss by the user identified at the gaming machine 12. The computer program application 34 uses the historical composite value to determine the first incremental value as a function, usually a percentage, of the historical composite value. The computer program application 34 determines the first incremental value each time the gaming machine 12 sends a signal indicating the first input by the user 18 on the gaming machine 12C.

[0070] In a second aspect, the historical composite value could be established base on various data stored and gathered within the machine database 44 by the advanced

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 1 6 incentive gaming system 10. The historical composite value can be data averaged over a period of time such as the wagers, amount won, amount lost or the house take from the gaming machine 12. The period of time is configurable by the casino operator to have the historical composite value equate to an average wager, an average amount won, and/or an average amount lost and/or an average house take from each gaming machine 12. The computer program application 34 uses the historical composite value to determine the first incremental value as a function, usually a percentage, of the historical composite value. The computer program application 34 determines the first incremental value each time the gaming machine 12 sends a signal indicating the first input by the user 18 on the gaming machine 12C.

[0071] In one aspect of the present invention, the historical composite value does not include, or is not based on, the current (or last) wager or sets of wagers. In another aspect of the present invention, the historical composite value is only based on data from closed data sessions.

[0072] Alternatively, the historical composite value could be determined by various data stored in either the user or machine databases 42, 44. The historical composite value could be determined over a period of time to generally equate to the average take, average coins wagered, or any combination of the data stored in the user database 42 and the machine database 44. In addition, the historical composite value could be a configurable parameter in the computer program application 34 sampled over a period of time and include data specific to the user, the user database 42,

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 1 J and/or data specific to the gaming machine 12, the machine database 44 and alternatively any combination thereof.

[0073] The contribution to either pool may therefore be determined by multiplying the historical composite value by one or more other values: including, but not limited to:

[0074] (a) total value of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or

[0075] (b) total number of wagers or purchases or transaction in the session and/or

[0076] (c) a predetermined or constant percentage and/or

[0077] (d) the theoretical hold percentage (see above).

[0078] Jackpots

[0079] In one aspect of the present invention, the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 is accumulated by the host computer 14. The host computer 14 continuously updates the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 by adding the first incremental value in response to the signal from the gaming machine 12.

[0080] With reference to Figure 3, a flow diagram of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is shown. Figure 3 shows a method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool. In a first step 46, a plurality of gaming machines 12 playable by a plurality of users is provided. In one aspect, each gaming machine 12 may be playable in first and second modes selectable by the user. The advanced incentive jackpot pool may be associated with the plurality of gaming machines 12.

In a second step 48, a data session may be opened on the host computer 14 in response to a first input by one of the users on a selected one of the gaming machines.

As discussed above, the input may be the act, by the user, of logging onto the

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 1 g selected one of the gaming machines. Or if the user's play is anonymous, by use of the machine by the user.

[0081] In a third step 50, the user is allowed to select one of the first and second modes and to play the gaming machine 12 in the selected one of the first and second modes. As discussed above, the modes may be related to the user's choice of games on a multi-game gaming machine and/or a choice of denomination on a multi- denomination gaming machine. After the user's choice is made, the user may begin using or playing the gaming machine. In a first decision block 52, if predefined criteria requiring an update of the session are met (see above), then the method proceeds to a fourth step 54. Otherwise the method proceeds to the second decision block 58.

[0082] In a fourth step 54, information related to the user's play of the game, for example, wagers or wager information, is recorded on the host computer in the data session. In one aspect, the information recorded may be related to the user's play of the selected one of the gaming machines during the data session (see above). [0083] In a fifth step 56, an incremental value may be established as a function of the recorded information in the data session and added to an advanced incentive jackpot pool. In one embodiment, the step of establishing the incremental value as a function of the recorded information in the data session adding the first incremental value to an advanced incentive jackpot pool is performed each time wager information is updated in the data session. In one embodiment, the first incremental amount is established as a function of the updated wager information.

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 19 [0084] In the second decision block 58, if the user changes mode, e.g., by changing the game or denomination being played, then control proceeds to a sixth step 60. Otherwise, the method returns to the first decision block 52. [0085] In the sixth step 60, the data session may be closed in response to the user choosing to play the game in the other of the first and second modes and the data session is updated. For example, in a multi-game gaming machine 12, if the user changes games, the data session may be closed. Or if the gaming machine 12 may be played with different denominations, then if the user switches denominations, then the current data session may be closed. In one aspect of the present invention, a new data session may be automatically opened when the previous data session is closed (unless the data session is closed because the user has logged out or otherwise terminated play).

[0086] In a seventh step 62, an incremental value may be established as a function of the recorded information in the data session and adding the first incremental value to a advanced incentive jackpot pool. In one embodiment, the step of establishing a first incremental value as a function of the recorded information in the data session and adding the first incremental value to an advanced incentive jackpot pool is performed each time wager information is updated in the data session. In one embodiment, the first incremental amount is established as a function of the updated wager information.

[0087] In one embodiment the first incremental amount is a function of the updated wager information multiplied by a predetermined percentage. In another embodiment, the first incremental amount is a function of the updated wager information multiplied

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 20 by a theoretical hold percentage associated with the selected one of the gaming machines.

[0088] In one aspect of the present invention, the theoretical hold percentage is dependent upon the selected one of the first and second modes. For example, in a multi-game game, each game playable on the selected one of the gamine machines 12 may have a different theoretical hold. Thus, the incremental amount may be determined as a function of the theoretical hold of the game in the mode being played.

[0089] In a seventh step 58, at least a portion of the advanced incentive jackpot pool may be awarded to a progressive winning one of the users in response to an occurrence of predetermined progressive jackpot conditions.

[0090] Additionally, a current data session may be closed (and a new data session may be opened) in response to:

[0091] (a) passage of a predetermined amount of time;

[0092] (b) after the one of the users logs out;

[0093] (c) after a predetermined number of wagers in the data session; and,

[0094] (d) after a predetermined value of wagers in the data session and (e) other predetermined criteria.

[0095] With reference to Figure 4, in one exemplary embodiment of the present invention, in a first step 66, the advanced incentive jackpot system 10 allows the user

18 to establish a first input into the gaming machine 12C. As previously discussed, the first input may include, but not limited to, the user logging into, playing and/or using the gaming machine for other transactions. In a second step 64, the gaming machine 12C sends the signal in response to the first input by the user 18. The

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 2 1 advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 is contributed to by the plurality of gaming machines 12 in communication via the network 16 with the host computer 14. There may be additional restrictions or qualifications that the user 18 must meet to win and/or contribute to the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38, i.e., maximum wager, identified user or some other configurable parameters or restrictions set by the casino operator.

[0096] In a third step 70, the host computer 14 determines the first incremental value upon each signal received from the plurality of gaming machines 12A- 121 indicating the first input by the user 18 on the gaming machine 12C. The first incremental value is determined as a function of the historical composite value. The function in the illustrated embodiment is a percentage of the historical composite value. However, the first incremental value could also be determined the function and configurable by the casino operator. In a fourth step 66, the first incremental value is responsively added into the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38. The advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 is continuously updated by the host computer 14 with each addition of the first incremental value as determined based on signals received from the plurality of gaming machines 12.

[0097] The computer program application 34 may include parameters to allow for the casino operator to set the function that determines the first incremental value and optionally a second incremental value. The function and second function used can be a percentage of the historical composite value, or any additional function configurable within the computer program application 34 by the casino operator.

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 22 [0098] In the illustrated embodiment, the advanced incentive jackpot system 10 may include a hidden pool 40. The hidden pool 40 can be used to initially fund the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 to a minimum value after a triggering event. In addition, the hidden pool 40 could be used to fund secondary prizes. The secondary prizes may include compensation for entertainment ticket, credits at the casino, food and/or rooms comps as just a few examples of the potentially unlimited secondary prizes.

[0099] The hidden pool 40 is accumulated by the computer program application 34 determining a second incremental value as a second function of a historical composite value. The second function in the illustrated embodiment is usually a percentage and may be the same as the function to determine the first incremental value. However, the second function is configurable by the casino operator to satisfy the funds needed to maintain the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38. The host computer 14 determines the second incremental value upon each signal received from the plurality of gaming machines 12 indicating the first input by the user 18 on the gaming machine 12C. The second incremental value is responsively added into the hidden pool 40. The hidden pool 40 is continuously updated by the host computer 14 with each addition of the second incremental value. The hidden pool 40 can be configured by the casino operator establishing a maximum value for the hidden pool 40. The second incremental value is determined and added to the hidden pool 40 only when the hidden pool 40 is below the maximum value. The hidden pool 40 can be transferred into the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 after the awarding of the advanced

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 23 incentive jackpot pool 38 to establish a minimum value or initial value of the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38.. [00100] Awarding

[00101] At least a portion of the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 is awarded to the user 18 in response to the occurrence of a trigger event. The host computer 14 determines if the trigger event has occurred. The host computer 14 awards the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 in response to the trigger event to the user 18 that satisfied or caused the trigger event. The trigger event could include a playing of a advanced incentive game and the winning of the advanced incentive game as the trigger event. Such advanced incentive games may include, but not limited to, a game of chance, a lottery, a lotto-type game, a random drawing, and a game of skill and/or strategy.

[00102] In another embodiment the trigger event could be defined as the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 being greater than or equal to a trigger value. The advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 is awarded to the user 18 that the first incremental value in response to that user's first input when added to the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 became greater than or equal to the trigger value. Typically in this instance the host computer 14 randomly establishes the trigger value and awards the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 when the advanced incentive jackpot pool 38 is greater than or equal to the trigger value.

[00103] The invention has been described in an illustrative manner, and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation. Obviously, many

Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 24 modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings, and the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

[00104] Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. The invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described within the scope of the appended claims.

Attorney Docket Number: 060S18.0082S 25

Claims

CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A method for establishing a advanced incentive jackpot pool, the method including the steps of: providing a plurality of gaming machines playable by a plurality of users, each gaming machine being playable in first and second modes selectable by the user, the advanced incentive jackpot pool being associated with the plurality of gaming machines; opening a data session on the host computer in response to a first input by one of the users on a selected one of the gaming machines; allowing the user to select one of the first and second modes and to play the gaming machine in the selected one of the first and second modes; recording information, in the data session on the host computer, related to the user's play of the selected one of the gaming machines during the data session; closing the data session in response to the user choosing to play the game in the other of the first and second modes; establishing a historical composite value as a function of the recorded information in the data session; opening a new data session on the host computer in response to a second input by one of the users on another selected one of the gaming machines; allowing the user to play a game on the another selected one of the gaming machines during the new data session;
Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 26 establishing a first incremental value as a function of the historical composite value play of the game by the user in the new data session and' adding the first incremental value to a advanced incentive jackpot pool; and, awarding at least a portion of the advanced incentive jackpot pool to a winning one of the users in response to an occurrence of predetermined advanced incentive jackpot conditions.
2. A method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool associated with a gaming machine usable by a plurality of users, the gaming machine operatively connected to a computer, said method including the steps of: allowing a first user to establish a first input into the gaming machine for logging into and/or playing and/or using the gaming machine and sending a signal in response to the first input; determining a first incremental value as a function of a historical composite value in response to receiving the signal from the gaming machine; and responsively adding the first incremental value to the advanced incentive jackpot pool.
3. A method, as set forth in claim 2, including the step of establishing the historical composite value as a function of at least one of wagers, amount won, amount lost and purchases over a period of time.
4. A method, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the first input is related to the first user's usage of a plurality of gaming machines.
Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 27
5. A method, as set forth in claim 4, wherein the first input is one of a wager, an amount lost, an amount won, an identity of the user, a purchase, and logging into the gaming machine by the user.
6. A method, as set forth in claim 4, including the step of establishing the historical composite value as a function of the data in the user database over a period of time.
7. A method, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the first input is related to the usage of the gaming machine by the plurality of users.
8. A method, as set forth in claim 7, including the step of establishing the historical composite value as a function of the data in the machine database over a period of time.
9. A method, as set forth in claim 2, including the step of contributing to the advanced incentive jackpot pool by a plurality of gaming machines.
10. A method, as set forth in claim 2, including the step of awarding at least a portion of the advanced incentive jackpot pool to one of the users when predetermined conditions are met.
11. A method, as set forth in claim 2, including the steps of: determining a second incremental value as a second function of a historical composite value in response to receiving the signal from the gaming machine in response to the first input and adding the second incremental value to a hidden pool; establishing a maximum value for the hidden pool and accumulating the second incremental value until the hidden pool reaches the maximum value; and,
Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 28 transferring the hidden pool into the progressive jackpot pool after the awarding of the advanced incentive jackpot pool.
12. A system for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool, comprising: a host computer; and, at least one gaming machine usable by a plurality of users, the at least one gaming machine being operatively connected to the host computer, the at least one gaming machine for allowing a first user to establish a first input into the gaming machine for logging into and/or playing and/or using the gaming machine and sending a signal in response to the first input, the host computer for receiving the signal and responsively determining a first incremental value as a function of a historical composite value in response to receiving the signal from the gaming machine and responsively adding the first incremental value to the advanced incentive jackpot pool.
13. The system, as set forth in claim 12, the host computer for establishing the historical composite value as a function of at least one of wagers, amount won, amount lost and purchases over a period of time.
14. The system, as set forth in claim 12, wherein the first input is related to the first user's usage of a plurality of gaming machines.
15. The system, as set forth in claim 14, wherein the first input is one of a wager, an amount lost, an amount won, an identity of the user, a purchase, and logging into the gaming machine by the user.
Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 29
16. The system, as set forth in claim 14, the host computer for establishing the historical composite value as a function of the data in the user database over a period of time.
17. The system, as set forth in claim 12, wherein the first input is related to the usage of the gaming machine by the plurality of users.
18. The system, as set forth in claim 17, the host computer for establishing the historical composite value as a function of the data in the machine database over a period of time.
19. The system, as set forth in claim 12, wherein each of a plurality of gaming machines contributes to the advanced incentive jackpot pool
20. The system, as set forth in claim 12, wherein at least a portion of the advanced incentive jackpot pool is awarded to one of the users when predetermined conditions are met.
21. The system, as set forth in claim 12, the host computer for determining a second incremental value as a second function of a historical composite value in response to receiving the signal from the gaming machine in response to the first input and adding the second incremental value to a hidden pool, for establishing a maximum value for the hidden pool and accumulating the second incremental value until the hidden pool reaches the maximum value, and for transferring the hidden pool into the progressive jackpot pool after the awarding of the advanced incentive jackpot pool.
22. A method, as set forth in claim 1, wherein each of the gaming machines may be one a mechanical reel slot machine, a video slot machine, a video poker machine, video arcade games, virtual gaming machines, internet or online gaming
Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 30 machine, an interface to a table management system for table games, online bingo, online keno, point of sale terminals, online hotel folios, kiosk devices, any other device connected to the host computer and/or other revenue generating device.
23. A method, as set forth in claim 2, wherein each of the gaming machines may be one a mechanical reel slot machine, a video slot machine, a video poker machine, video arcade games, virtual gaming machines, internet or online gaming machine, an interface to a table management system for table games, online bingo, online keno, point of sale terminals, online hotel folios, kiosk devices, any other device connected to the host computer and/or other revenue generating device.
24. A system, as set forth in claim 12, wherein each of the gaming machines may be one a mechanical reel slot machine, a video slot machine, a video poker machine, video arcade games, virtual gaming machines, internet or online gaming machine, an interface to a table management system for table games, online bingo, online keno, point of sale terminals, online hotel folios, kiosk devices, any other device connected to the host computer and/or other revenue generating device.
Attorney Docket Number: 060518.00825 3 1
PCT/US2007/022734 2006-10-31 2007-10-26 Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool as a function of a historical composite value WO2008054681A2 (en)

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US60/863,639 2006-10-31

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US12/433,612 US20090209329A1 (en) 2005-02-25 2009-04-30 Method for Establishing Promotional Progressive Jackpot Pools as a Function of a Historical Composite Value

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US12/235,237 Continuation-In-Part US8429229B2 (en) 2007-09-20 2008-09-22 Multipurpose EGM/player tracking device and system

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US12/433,612 Continuation US20090209329A1 (en) 2004-09-09 2009-04-30 Method for Establishing Promotional Progressive Jackpot Pools as a Function of a Historical Composite Value

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PCT/US2007/022783 WO2008054685A2 (en) 2006-10-31 2007-10-29 Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool from a user selectable subgroup of a plurality gaming machines
PCT/US2007/022882 WO2008054723A2 (en) 2006-10-31 2007-10-30 Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool from first and second gaming machines with different theoretical hold values
PCT/US2007/022956 WO2008054758A2 (en) 2006-10-31 2007-10-31 Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool in response to a change in mode

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PCT/US2007/022956 WO2008054758A2 (en) 2006-10-31 2007-10-31 Method for establishing an advanced incentive jackpot pool in response to a change in mode

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WO2008054681A3 (en) 2008-09-25
WO2008054758A2 (en) 2008-05-08
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WO2008054723A3 (en) 2008-12-11
WO2008054685A2 (en) 2008-05-08
WO2008054685A3 (en) 2008-11-06
WO2008054758B1 (en) 2008-10-30

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