WO2010072274A1 - Gaming machine comprising a voice control interface, a method of operating a gaming machine, a computer program product for operating a gaming machine - Google Patents

Gaming machine comprising a voice control interface, a method of operating a gaming machine, a computer program product for operating a gaming machine Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010072274A1
WO2010072274A1 PCT/EP2008/068300 EP2008068300W WO2010072274A1 WO 2010072274 A1 WO2010072274 A1 WO 2010072274A1 EP 2008068300 W EP2008068300 W EP 2008068300W WO 2010072274 A1 WO2010072274 A1 WO 2010072274A1
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WO
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
user
game
apparatus
money
virtual
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2008/068300
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Silva Rocha Jose' Da
Original Assignee
Kendal Finance B.V.
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Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • 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
    • G07F17/3234Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed about the performance of a gaming system, e.g. revenue, diagnosis of the gaming system
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3209Input means, e.g. buttons, touch screen
    • 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
    • G07F17/3227Configuring a gaming machine, e.g. downloading personal settings, selecting working parameters
    • 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
    • G07F17/3237Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed about the players, e.g. profiling, responsible gaming, strategy/behavior of players, location of players
    • 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
    • G07F17/3237Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed about the players, e.g. profiling, responsible gaming, strategy/behavior of players, location of players
    • G07F17/3239Tracking of individual players

Abstract

The invention relates to a game of chance apparatus (10) comprising a control unit which may be implemented as a computer program (8b) executed by a processor (8a) of a remote host (8). The game of chance apparatus (10) further comprises a display unit (4) for featuring results of the game of chance, for example for depicting a particular combination of pictograms and a user interface (3) for feed-backing operation-related information to the user using a voice prompt. The apparatus (10) may be implemented as a stand-alone coin- operated machine, or as a card operated cashless machine, which may, optionally, be implemented as an on-line unit. The apparatus (10) may be further arranged to communicate with a periphery unit (9), which may also be arranged in a data exchange connection with the host (8), for enabling due logging of events which have taken place on the apparatus (10). A log file (9a) may be created on the periphery unit (9) for enabling operator' control of events and for account balancing which takes place on the apparatus during playing. The periphery unit may comprise means for overruling the apparatus, for example for forcing desired balancing. Such feature is particularly advantageous when a network communication malfunctions causing hanging of the apparatus (10). The invention further relates to a method and a computer program for operating a game of chance apparatus.

Description

P86970PC00

Title: Gaming machine comprising a voice control interface, a method of operating a gaming machine, a computer program product for operating a gaming machine

FIELD

The invention relates to a game of chance apparatus, a method of operating a game of chance apparatus, a computer program product for operating a game of chance apparatus and a network comprising a game of chance apparatus and a host computer. The invention further relates to a method, a system and a computer program for real time error tracking in an on-line cashless game of chance apparatus. The invention still further relates to a network of game of chance apparatus operable using real time error tracking.

BACKGROUND

An embodiment of a game of chance apparatus is known from JP201009082. The known game of chance apparatus comprises a suitable gaming environment, like pictogram drums, which are rotatable about an axis. As a result of a gaming loop, the drums are triggered to stop depicting a particular combination of pictograms, wherein pre-defined sets of pictograms are nominated for prize winning.

The known game of chance apparatus is further equipped with a voice prompt arrangement for guiding the user with respect to a progress in the game. For example, voice prompts are produced for verbalizing the fact that the drums of the game of chance apparatus are about to stop and whether a prize is won.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a disadvantage of the known apparatus that the user, being preoccupied with the game, is not duly made aware of possible processes affecting reliability of the game of chance apparatus, which may affect a quality or correctness of a game session.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved game of chance apparatus. To this end a game of chance apparatus according to the invention comprises:

- a control unit for enabling a user interaction with a game of chance apparatus;

- a display unit for featuring results of the game of chance, wherein said apparatus further comprises a user interface for feed-backing operation-related information to the user using a voice prompt.

The invention is based on the insight that by improving interfacing between the game of chance apparatus and the (pre-occupied) user reliability of the game of chance apparatus is improved. In addition, failures regarding the user being not informed about hidden operational processes taking place in the game of chance apparatus are duly taken care of.

It will be appreciated that the term 'operation-related information' refers to processes or events which are not perceived by the user during a gaming session. In other words, such 'operation-related information' preferably relates to malfunctions in the apparatus. By providing such feed-back, the correctness of the game and its results is warranted. In particular, users, perceiving the gaming apparatus as a black box, are prevented from leaving the apparatus when it malfunctions and thereby losing their money due to abandoning the game. Alternatively or additionally, such operation-related information may relate to a bidding mode of the game of chance apparatus. Such feed-backing may be advantageous for allowing the user to perceive a trend in his game, allowing him to make responsible decisions.

It is found that the invention is particularly advantageous when practiced on a slot machine. Due to the fact that the gaming session is triggered by an electronic card, malfunctions during a card-operated gaming session may have more pronounced adverse effects on the user than when such malfunctions appear on a coin-operated apparatus. By providing the interface using a voice prompt, the (pre- occupied) user is warned about internal, non perceivable processes in the apparatus, which improves the quality of the apparatus and reduces user losses due to errors in the apparatus.

More in particular, the invention is advantageous to be practiced on an on-line cashless slot machine. In this case transactions of virtual money may be hampered due to system errors. By suitably advising the user using the voice prompt of such errors, the user is prevented from suffering unexpected losses or damages, for example due to incorrect data exchange or data allocation. It is found that in order to prevent errors from propagating, it is advantageous that they are repaired during the same gaming session, that is, when the electronic card is still being positioned in the slot. When the user experiences hardware errors instead of abandoning the machine and losing money, he is warned about any background processing in the form of a voice prompted operation-related information, which improves functionality and reliability of the game of chance apparatus.

Preferably, according to an aspect of the invention an on-line game of chance apparatus is installable in a network comprising a host computer configured to exchange data with said apparatus and to control an operation mode of the apparatus.

According to this feature, it is possible to utilize the gaming apparatus as a suitable periphery of a gaming network. In this way centralized data storage is enabled, wherein control functionality may be directed from a central site. As a result data handling may be improved as updates and modifications of a control script have to be executed only at the host.

Preferably, a game of chance apparatus according to a further aspect of the invention is arranged for enabling user identification.

It is found to be preferable to identify a user, particularly when the gaming apparatus is enabled to receive considerable sums of money. Such feature may improve safety of the gaming environment and/or safety of the user. User identification may be carried out semi- automatically, for example, when the user is given an electronic play card which is valid for one day, his relevant data may be logged into the card. Alternatively, user identification may be carried out automatically, when the user is assigned an electronic play card which validity does not expire during a considerable amount of time.

In a preferable embodiment, suitable user identification is enabled using user data, said user data comprising a user profile. It is found to be advantageous to provide a possibility of defining a user profile. The user profile may be based on user general data, like gender, age, area of residence, etc. In addition, the user profile may be based on specific knowledge about the user, like his gaming style or particular preferences. Such feature may enable customizing of the gaming environment regarding a particular user. For example some suitable hard-ware settings of the game of chance apparatus may be automatically modified to suit user's preferences.

In a particular embodiment of the game of chance apparatus according to the invention, settings of the user interface for voice prompting are modified according to the user profile.

It is found that this feature further improves user-friendliness of the apparatus according to the invention. For example, colour and language settings may be adapted according to user's preferences. In addition, voice characteristics, like gender and intensity, may be modified. Also, animation mode of the voice prompt display may be modified as well.

More in particular, type of betting or a mode or frequency of celebrity payments may be adapted to a user profile. Next, it is also possible to define a particular selected sub-group of users to whom particular features and authorizations may be assigned. This feature may further improve versatility of the apparatus according to the invention. In a further embodiment of a game of chance apparatus according to the invention, the apparatus is arranged to enable analysis of a user gaming style, the user interface being arranged to provide coaching instructions to the user based on analysis of the gaming style. It is found to be particular practical and advantageous to enable the user interface of the apparatus according to the invention to provide coaching or advisory interaction. For example, based on the gaming history and/or the user's profile the user interface may recommend to pause or to alter the betting style. This feature may enable responsible gaming, which may have an advantageous social impact.

In a further embodiment of a game of chance apparatus according to the invention, the user interface comprises a voice recognition module for enabling a two- directional communication with the user.

It is found to be particularly advantageous to enable voice recognition as user friendliness of the apparatus according to the invention is further improved.

For example, the voice recognition prompt may be used for providing specific operating commands to the game of chance apparatus according to the invention, like transferring virtual money from the account, modifying a betting level, or the like. It will be appreciated that a wide variety of commands operating the game of chance apparatus may be executed using voice prompt.

In a particular embodiment of a game of chance apparatus according to the invention, the user interface is enabled to run a user survey for collecting additional user data, the game of chance apparatus being operable based on the user data and the additional user data.

It is found to be particularly advantageous to enable the game of chance apparatus to be operable based in a user-specific way. For example, results of a user-survey may be suitably analyzed for defining and/or updating the user's profile. The user's profile may be then used to provide user-specific stimuli to the user during the game. For example, the user-specific stimuli may be selected from the group consisting of: commercials, travel information, banking information, and so on.

A method for interfacing during operation of a game of chance apparatus, according to the invention comprises the steps of:

- enabling a user interaction with the game of chance apparatus;

- featuring results of the game of chance;

- feed-backing operation-related information of the game of chance apparatus to the user using a voice prompt. Further advantageous embodiments of the method for interfacing are set forth in claims 16 - 26.

A computer program product according to the invention comprises instructions for causing a processor to carry out steps of the method as is set forth with reference to the foregoing. Preferably, the computer program product is installed in a host computer and is executed to operate one or more of game of chance apparatus connected to the host computer via a suitable network.

The invention further relates to a network comprising a game of chance apparatus as is set forth in the foregoing and a host computer comprising a processor arranged for executing a computer program as is set forth in claim 27. Preferably, the host computer comprises an executable code of the computer program.

The invention further relates to a method of real time error tracking for an on-line cashless gaming slot machine, comprising the steps of: - transferring a first virtual amount of money from a host computer to the on-line cashless slot machine pursuant to a user initiating a gaming session;

- receiving a second virtual amount of money from the on-line cashless slot machine by the host computer pursuant to a user playing during the gaming session; - tracking a first virtual integral amount of money received by the on-line cashless slot machine based on the first virtual amount of money;

- tracking a second virtual integral amount of money received by the host based on the second virtual amount of money; - holding a virtual sum when the on-line cashless gaming slot machine malfunctions during a step of receiving or transferring;

- balancing the first virtual integral amount of money and the second virtual integral amount of money using the held virtual sum automatically. This technical feature is based on the following understanding. It is found that one of the main problems of a money transfer operation from account to machine for an on-line cashless slot apparatus is a system failure when the following operation is being executed:

• Virtual money is being transferred to a gaming machine but isn't actually written off from a virtual account, which may be stored in the host computer;

• Virtual money is being uploaded to the customer's account being stored in the host computer.

In particular, the method according to the invention is useful during verification of a cash out operation for a cashless slot apparatus, in particular for cashless on-line slot apparatus. The cash out operation is understood as an electronic transaction of a virtual amount of money from the apparatus to an account of the user, which may be stored in a host computer.

In particular, in the state of the art on-line cashless apparatus, the staff has to frequently correct for erroneous cash out events, which is time consuming and prone to human errors.

By providing an automatic balancing system the above disadvantages of the apparatus known from the prior art are mitigated.

In accordance to the invention, said balancing may be triggered pursuant to checking automatic meters during a pre-determined number of gaming loops. Alternatively or additionally, such balancing may take place prior to finishing up a gaming session, which may comprise one or more gaming events. In this case suitable electronic meters provided in the system are balanced with respect to each other using the held virtual sum. Such operation is carried out automatically, which may happen either to a user triggering an end of gaming session, or to an operator closing the gaming session pursuant to an overruling interrupt. It will be appreciated that functionality of the electronic meters is known per se to a person skilled in the art of game of chance apparatus. For example, the electronic meters may be arranged to track a running parameter called Actual Session Loss (ASL), which may be computer according to the formula:

ASL = Total In - Total Out, wherein

Total In - is an integral value of a positive money flow, i.e. increasing user's account

Total Out - is an integral value of a negative money flow, i.e. decreasing user's account

Held money for a user may be configured as a buffer, which may follow the following basic conditions: • It may be configured as a prohibition for the user to dispose of the relevant amount;

• It cannot be accessed by the user, for transferring it to the gaming apparatus or for cashing it out.

Preferably, in an embodiment of the method according to the invention, the on-line cashless gaming slot machine tracks a main money balance occurring pursuant to gaming and a held money balance occurring pursuant to a malfunction separately.

According to this feature a correct balancing is enabled mitigating possible system malfunctions during transactions. Preferably, tracking of a first virtual integral amount of money received by the on-line cashless slot machine based on the first virtual amount of money is enabled by a first automatic meter. Tracking of a second virtual integral amount of money received by the host using one ore more second virtual amount of money may be enabled by a second automatic meter. Due balancing may be triggered pursuant to an automatic checking the first automatic meter and/or the second automatic meter during a pre- determined number of gaming loops.

This feature is based on the understanding that balancing may be suitably automated when use is made of electronic meters which are used for controlling on-line cashless gaming apparatus.

In an embodiment of a method according to the invention, wherein the first virtual integral money comprises redeemable money and non- redeemable money, the method comprises the steps of: - balancing the first virtual integral amount of money and the second virtual integral amount of money using non-redeemable money prior to balancing using redeemable money.

According to this feature due accounting of non-redeemable and redeemable money is enabled. In an embodiment of the method according to the invention events taking pace during the gaming session are logged in an operator-readable form.

It is found to be advantageous to provide a real-time log of events taking place during a gaming session on the on-line cashless slot apparatus. In some particular circumstances it is advantageous that the operator, which may be present in a gaming room, or be in a remote location, has an ability to provide an overruling trigger action for forcing the balancing operation. Such feature may be particularly advantageous when the system hangs up. A computer program product according to the invention comprises instructions for causing a processor to carry out the steps of the method as claimed in any one of the claims 29 - 35.

An on-line cashless slot machine according to the invention comprises:

- a first meter transferring a first virtual amount of money from a host computer to the on-line cashless slot machine pursuant to a user initiating a gaming session;

- a second meter for receiving a second virtual amount of money from the on-line cashless slot machine by the host computer pursuant to a user playing during the gaming session;

- a processor for tracking a running value of the first meter and the second meter;

- a buffer having a running value for holding a virtual sum when the on-line cashless gaming slot machine malfunctions during a receiving or a transferring operation;

- a control unit for balancing the first meter with the second meter using the running value of the buffer upon an receipt of a trigger signal.

Further advantageous embodiments of the on-line cashless slot machine according to the invention are set forth in claims 37 - 40.

A network comprising the on-line cashless slot machine according to the invention is set forth in claim 41.

These and other aspects of the invention will be discussed in more detail with reference to drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements. It will be appreciated that the drawings are presents for illustrative purposes and may not be used for limiting the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 presents an embodiment of a game of chance apparatus according to the invention.

10 Figure 2 presents an embodiment of a method of real time error tracking for an on-line cashless gaming slot machine according to a first aspect of the invention.

Figure 3 presents an embodiment of a method of real time error tracking for an on-line cashless gaming slot machine according to a second aspect of the invention.

Figure 4 presents an embodiment of a control log of a method according to a further aspect of the invention.

Figure 5 presents an embodiment of a control log of a method according to a still further aspect of the invention.

Figure 6 presents an embodiment of a control log of a method according to a still further aspect of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 presents an embodiment of a game of chance apparatus according to the invention. A game of chance apparatus 10 according to an aspect of the invention comprises a control unit for enabling a user interaction with the game of chance apparatus. The control unit may be implemented as a build-in module actuatable by the user, for example a trigger knob. Alternatively, the control unit may be implemented as a computer program 8b executed by a processor 8a of a remote host 8.

The game of chance apparatus 10 further comprises a display unit 4 for featuring results of the game of chance, for example for depicting a particular combination of pictograms. In accordance with the invention the game of chance apparatus 10 is provided with a user interface 3 for feed- backing operation-related information to the user using a voice prompt.

Preferably, the user interface 3 is provided on a front panel of the apparatus 10 approximately at a level of between 1.2 m and 1.8 m high. The user interface 3 is preferably suited for feed-backing graphic information next to generating a voice prompt. For example, the graphic interface may be

11 enabled as a touch screen so that the user may interact with the apparatus conveniently.

Preferably, the game of chance apparatus 10 comprises a slot unit 5 for accommodating an electronic card. The electronic card may be arranged to comprise suitable user identification data, which may be, for example readable by the computer program 8b of the remote host. The computer program 8 may be adapted to customize the user interface 3 in accordance with user data, for example in accordance with a stored or deduced user profile. The deduced user profile may be obtained, for example, by analyzing user data, or by analyzing user's input pursuant to a survey, or by analyzing user's gaming style or habits. Such customizing may range from choosing a suitable communication language for the voice prompt to particular settings of the graphic screen of the user interface 3. In addition, such customizing may relate to generation of user-specific stimuli for prompting the user or for attracting his attention toward specific services, which may be relevant to his sphere of interests.

In a particular embodiment of the game of chance apparatus 10, the user interface 3 is arranged to enable voice recognition. In this case a suitable two-directional communication between the apparatus and the user may be possible. In a particular embodiment, the apparatus 10 is arranged as a network apparatus, so that user's input is communicated using suitable networking means to a host computer 8, which may control the apparatus pursuant to user's input. Preferably, the host 8 is arranged to run a control program for enabling real-time error tracking as is described with reference to Figures 2 and 3.

The apparatus 10 may be further arranged to communicate with a periphery unit 9, which may also be arranged in a data exchange connection with the host 8, for enabling due logging of events which have taken place on the apparatus 10. A log file 9a may be created on the periphery unit 9 for enabling operator' control of events and for account balancing which takes

12 place on the apparatus during playing. The periphery unit may comprise means for overruling the apparatus, for example for forcing desired balancing. Such feature is particularly advantageous when a network communication malfunctions causing hanging of the apparatus 10. Figure 2 presents an embodiment of a method 20 of real time error tracking for an on-line cashless gaming slot machine according to a first aspect of the invention. The method according to the invention will be described with reference to a user playing on a slot cashless apparatus.

At step 1 the user may initiate a gaming session my inserting his card into a slot of the apparatus. Such action may cause a user interface described with reference to Figure 1 to greet him is a desired language and to prompt him regarding actions to follow. At step 22 the user may initiate transfer of virtual money from his account, for example stored in the host computer, to the game of chance apparatus. Pursuant to this request a Serial Machine Interface Board (SMIB) may forward this request to the host computer running an on-line protocol. At steps 23, 24 the on-line protocol may check balance of the user's account and may determine an amount which can be transferred to the game of chance apparatus. Usually, such sum would correspond to the amount requested by the user at step 22, which is then transferred at step 25. Finally, at steps 26, 27 the transfer operation is completed and the virtual amount of money has been written to the apparatus with a due echo to the on-line control protocol. Before termination the protocol the on-line system requests confirmation of a successful operation at step 28. In case when the virtual money has been successfully credited on the apparatus at step 29b, the process of crediting terminates at step 30.

However, should the control protocol determine that the crediting operation has not been successfully implemented, the virtual money is being held at step 29a in a suitable buffer. Accordingly, a voice prompt may be activated to warn the user that the system is performing a corrective step. At step 31 after a suitable corresponding meter has been checked for a number of

13 pre-determined loops, the system checks at step 32 whether this meter has been altered. Should the meter be altered, than a message "Remove money" appears or is spoken out leading to the virtual money being accredited on the apparatus at step 33a. Should the meter be not changed, the held money is send back to the user's account at step 33b. Details on meter checking procedure are described with reference to Figure 3.

Figure 3 presents an embodiment of a method 40 of real time error tracking for an on-line cashless gaming slot machine according to a second aspect of the invention. In this particular embodiment details regarding meter checking for account balancing purposes are described.

At step 41 a gaming session may be initiated pursuant to user inserting an electronic card into a cashless slot game of chance apparatus. At step 42 the user may request crediting an account on the gaming apparatus from his virtual account, for example, stored in a remote host computer. At some point during a gaming session an event may occur necessitating checking of a meter assigned to machine's account (Cashless In). Pursuant to such event the SMIB invokes a procedure of meter checking, which is allowed to alter its running value during a number of gaming loops. This number may be predefined in a control script running a control program for the apparatus. At step 43 it is verified whether the meter has changed its value. In case when the meter did not change its running value a new logic step 48 is undertaken — it is checked whether verification of the meter is finished or has to continue. In case verification is finished the procedure may return to step 41 for waiting for another checking loop and the held money is released. If the meter verification should continue, the procedure is continued in dependence whether the cashless meter has changed adequately. For validation of the meters change a meter's delta is calculated and compared to the requested amount of money at step 44. At step 45 "remove money from account" transaction is created to remove the held money. The sum of transaction is equal to the Cashless In meter delta. If the Cashless In meter delta is less than the held amount (step

14 46) than the non-redeemable money is written off from customer's account in the first place. Afterwards, the balance of accounts is checked again. In the balance is equal to zero, the procedure of meter checking is finished. In the balance is greater than zero, the held amount is released at step 47, after which the procedure is terminated at step 49.

Figure 4 presents an embodiment of a control log of a method according to a further aspect of the invention. This exemplary embodiment relates to a situation when the money is transferred to the apparatus while the SMIB sends an error message. It will be appreciated that the lines in this log are generated in real time. This procedure will be described with reference to steps, as indicated in the left column of the Table shown in Figure 4.

1. Gaming session is opened;

2. user requests money to be transferred to a game of chance apparatus (2000) 3. money is transferred successfully and the credit value jumps to

2000;

4. gaming event with a bet of 50 units;

5. user request additional sum of 2000 to be credited on the apparatus;

6. error message is received in the control script. As a result the user's money is held (see blocked money). The procedure of cashless In checking is started;

7. gaming event - cashless in did not change;

8. gaming event - cashless in did not change;

9. gaming event — cashless in changed. The user's money (2000) is removed from the user's account - accounts are balanced. The procedure of the cashless in meter checking is finished.

10. gaming event;

11. cashing out operation;

12. end of gaming session.

15 Figure 5 presents an embodiment of a control log of a method according to a still further aspect of the invention. This particular embodiment of the log refers to a situation when SMIB sends an error message and in fact the money is not transferred to the game of chance apparatus pursuant to a user's credit request.

1. Gaming session is opened;

2. user requests money to be transferred to a game of chance apparatus (2000)

3. money is transferred successfully and the credit value jumps to 2000;

4. gaming event with a bet of 50 units;

5. user request additional sum of 2000 to be credited on the apparatus;

6. error message is received in the control script. As a result the user's money is held (see blocked money). The procedure of cashless In checking is started;

7. gaming event - cashless in did not change;

8. gaming event - cashless in did not change;

9. gaming event — cashless in did not change. The procedure of cashless In checking is finished (expired N numbers of pre-defined loops) and the held amount is released, that is returned to the main user's balance.

10. gaming event;

11. cashing out operation;

12. end of gaming session. Figure 6 presents an embodiment of a control log of a method according to a still further aspect of the invention. In this particular embodiment the money is in fact transferred to the apparatus while the SMIB sends the error message. In this example the customer has redeemable and non redeemable money. 1. Gaming session is opened;

16 2. user requests money to be transferred to a game of chance apparatus (2000)

3. money is transferred successfully and the non-redeemable money counter has been decreased by 2000, credit value jumps to 2000; 4. gaming event with a bet of 50 units;

5. user request additional sum of 2000 to be credited on the apparatus;

6. error message is received in the control script. As a result the user's money is held (1000 non-redeemable and 1000 redeemable see Table). The procedure of cashless In checking is started; 7. gaming event — cashless in did not change;

8. gaming event - cashless in did not change;

9. gaming event — cashless in changed. The Cashless In meter delta is equal to 1000. As the held amount is equal to 2000, 1000 must be removed and another 1000 must be released. At first the non- redeemable money (1000) is removed. The remaining 1000 redeemable money is released (i.e. returned to the main user's balance). The procedure of the Cashless In meter checking is finished.

10. gaming event; 11. cashing out operation;

12. end of gaming session.

Therefore, by buffering the money pursuant to an error message detected in the system a correct balancing of the user account with the apparatus account is enabled. The generated log is a particularly useful instrument for verifying the balancing and, when necessary for allowing interrupt of the script for carrying out forced balancing.

It will be appreciated that while specific embodiments of the invention have been described above, that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as described. In addition, isolated features discussed with reference to different figures may be combined. For example, the game of

17 chance apparatus as is described with reference to Figure 1 may be adapted with the functionality of the real time error tracking.

18

Claims

Claims
1. A game of chance apparatus comprising:
- a control unit for enabling a user interaction with the game of chance apparatus;
- a display unit for featuring results of a game of chance, wherein said apparatus further comprises a user interface for feed-backing operation-related information to the user using a voice prompt.
2. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the user interface is configured to feed-back information related to malfunctions of the apparatus to the user.
3. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the user interface is configured to feed-back information representative of a bidding mode of the game of chance apparatus.
4. A game of chance apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, said apparatus being a slot machine.
5. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 4, said apparatus being an on-line cashless slot machine.
6. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 5, said apparatus being installable in a network comprising a host computer configured to exchange data with said apparatus and to control an operation mode of the apparatus.
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7. A game of chance apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, arranged for enabling user identification.
8. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the user identification is enabled using user data, said user data comprising a user profile.
9. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 8, wherein settings of the user interface for voice prompting are modified using the user profile.
10. A game of chance apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the apparatus is arranged to enable analysis of a user gaming style, the user interface being arranged to provide coaching instructions to the user based on analysis of the gaming style.
11. A game of chance apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the user interface comprises a voice recognition module for enabling a two- directional communication with the user.
12. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the user interface is enabled to run a user survey for collecting additional user data, the game of chance apparatus being operable based on the user data and the additional user data.
13. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 12, wherein the user interface is arranged to feed-back user-specific stimuli based on analysis of the user data and/or the additional user data.
20
14. A game of chance apparatus according to claim 13, wherein the user- specific stimuli are selected from the group consisting of: commercials, travel information, banking information.
15. A method for interfacing during operation of a game of chance apparatus, comprising the steps of:
- enabling a user interaction with the game of chance apparatus;
- featuring results of a game of chance;
- feed-backing operation-related information of the game of chance apparatus to the user using a voice prompt.
16. A method according to claim 15, wherein said feed-backing comprises information related to malfunctions of said apparatus.
17. A method according to claim 15, wherein said feed-backing comprises information representative of a bidding mode of said apparatus.
18. A method according to claims 15, 16 or 17, wherein the game of chance apparatus comprises an on-line cashless slot apparatus, the method further comprising the steps of:
- providing a host computer in connection with said apparatus;
- exchanging data between said host and said apparatus for controlling an operation mode of the apparatus.
19. A method according to any one of the preceding claims 15 - 18, further comprising the step of identifying a user.
20. A method according to claim 19, wherein the step of identifying the user is performed using user data, the method comprising the step of compiling a user profile based on the user data.
21
21. A method according to claim 20, comprising the step of adapting said interfacing in accordance with the user profile.
22. A method according to any one of the preceding claim 15 - 21, further comprising the steps of:
- analysing a user gaming style;
- providing coaching instructions to the user based on analysis of the gaming style.
23. A method according to any one of the preceding claim 15 - 22, further comprising the step:
- receiving user's instructions using a voice recognition module;
- enabling a two-directional communication with the user.
24. A method according to claim 23, further comprising the steps of:
- running a user survey for collecting additional user data;
- controlling operation of the game of chance apparatus based on the user data and the additional user data.
25. A method according to claim 24, further comprising the step of:
- feed-backing user-specific stimuli based on analysis of the user data and/or the additional user data.
26. A method according to claim 25, wherein the user-specific stimuli are selected from the group consisting of: commercials, travel information, banking information.
27. A computer program product comprising instructions for causing a processor to carry out steps of the method according to claims 15 - 26.
22
28. A network comprising a game of chance apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims 5 - 14 and a host computer comprising a processor for executing a computer program according to claim 27.
29. A method of real time error tracking for an on-line cashless gaming slot machine, comprising the steps of:
- transferring a first virtual amount of money from a host computer to the on-line cashless slot machine pursuant to a user initiating a gaming session
- receiving a second virtual amount of money from the on-line cashless slot machine by the host computer pursuant to a user playing during the gaming session;
- tracking a first virtual integral amount of money received by the on-line cashless slot machine based on the first virtual amount of money;
- tracking a second virtual integral amount of money received by the host based on the second virtual amount of money;
- holding a virtual sum when the on-line cashless gaming slot machine malfunctions during a step of receiving or transferring; - balancing the first virtual integral amount of money and the second virtual integral amount of money using the held virtual sum automatically.
30. A method according to claim 29, wherein the on-line cashless gaming slot machine tracks a main money balance occurring pursuant to gaming and a held money balance occurring pursuant to a malfunction.
31. A method according to claim 29 or 30, wherein:
23 - tracking of a first virtual integral amount of money received by the on-line cashless slot machine based on the first virtual amount of money is enabled by a first automatic meter;
- tracking of a second virtual integral amount of money received by the host using one ore more second virtual amount of money is enabled by a second automatic meter;
- the said balancing is triggered pursuant to a user triggering an end of gaming session, prior to closing the gaming session.
32. A method according to claim 29 or 30, wherein:
- tracking of a first virtual integral amount of money received by the on-line cashless slot machine based on the first virtual amount of money is enabled by a first automatic meter;
- tracking of a second virtual integral amount of money received by the host using one ore more second virtual amount of money is enabled by a second automatic meter;
- the said balancing is triggered pursuant to checking the first automatic meter and/or the second automatic meter during a pre- determined number of gaming loops.
33. A method according to claim 32, wherein the first virtual integral money comprises redeemable money and non-redeemable money, the method comprising the steps of:
- balancing the first virtual integral amount of money and the second virtual integral amount of money using non-redeemable money prior to balancing using redeemable money.
34. A method according to any one of the preceding claims 29 - 33, wherein events taking pace during the gaming session are logged in a operator-readable form.
24
35. A method according to claim 34, further comprising the step of:
- carrying out said balancing pursuant to a user triggering by an operator.
36. A computer program product comprising instructions for causing a processor to carry out the steps of the method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims 29 - 35.
37. An on-line cashless slot machine comprising:
- a first meter transferring a first virtual amount of money from a host computer to the on-line cashless slot machine pursuant to a user initiating a gaming session;
- a second meter for receiving a second virtual amount of money from the on-line cashless slot machine by the host computer pursuant to a user playing during the gaming session;
- a processor for tracking a running value of the first meter and the second meter;
- a buffer having a running value for holding a virtual sum when the on-line cashless gaming slot machine malfunctions during a receiving or a transferring operation;
- a control unit for balancing the first meter with the second meter using the running value of the buffer upon an receipt of a trigger signal.
38. The on-line cashless slot machine according to claim 37, wherein the trigger signal is generated automatically.
39. The on-line cashless slot machine according to claim 38, wherein the trigger signal is generated in response to a constant value of the first meter or the second meter after a lapse of a pre-set number of gaming loops.
25
40. The on-line cashless slot machine according to claim 39, wherein the trigger signal is generated manually as an operator's interrupt.
41. A network comprising the on-line cashless slot machine and a host computer, said host computer comprising a control program arranged to control operation of the on-line cashless slot machine according to the method of any one of the preceding claims 29 - 35.
42. A game of chance apparatus according to any one of the preceding claims 1 - 14 further comprising:
- a first meter transferring a first virtual amount of money from a host computer to the on-line cashless slot machine pursuant to a user initiating a gaming session; - a second meter for receiving a second virtual amount of money from the on-line cashless slot machine by the host computer pursuant to a user playing during the gaming session;
- a processor for tracking a running value of the first meter and the second meter; - a buffer having a running value for holding a virtual sum when the on-line cashless gaming slot machine malfunctions during a receiving or a transferring operation;
- a control unit for balancing the first meter with the second meter using the running value of the buffer upon an receipt of a trigger signal.
26
PCT/EP2008/068300 2008-12-24 2008-12-24 Gaming machine comprising a voice control interface, a method of operating a gaming machine, a computer program product for operating a gaming machine WO2010072274A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/EP2008/068300 WO2010072274A1 (en) 2008-12-24 2008-12-24 Gaming machine comprising a voice control interface, a method of operating a gaming machine, a computer program product for operating a gaming machine

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/EP2008/068300 WO2010072274A1 (en) 2008-12-24 2008-12-24 Gaming machine comprising a voice control interface, a method of operating a gaming machine, a computer program product for operating a gaming machine

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2010072274A1 true true WO2010072274A1 (en) 2010-07-01

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Citations (6)

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US6383074B1 (en) * 1999-04-16 2002-05-07 Amtote International, Inc. Methods and apparatus for parimutuel gaming using speech recognition
US20030027631A1 (en) * 2001-08-03 2003-02-06 Hedrick Joseph R. Player tracking communication mechanisms in a gaming machine
EP1439506A2 (en) * 2003-01-16 2004-07-21 WMS Gaming Inc Audio network for gaming machines
US20050043090A1 (en) * 2000-10-04 2005-02-24 Pryzby Eric M. Audio network for gaming machines
WO2006014908A1 (en) * 2004-07-26 2006-02-09 David Gusick Voice casino game
WO2006105182A2 (en) * 2005-03-30 2006-10-05 Igt Player tracking communication mechanisms in a gaming machine

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6383074B1 (en) * 1999-04-16 2002-05-07 Amtote International, Inc. Methods and apparatus for parimutuel gaming using speech recognition
US20050043090A1 (en) * 2000-10-04 2005-02-24 Pryzby Eric M. Audio network for gaming machines
US20030027631A1 (en) * 2001-08-03 2003-02-06 Hedrick Joseph R. Player tracking communication mechanisms in a gaming machine
EP1439506A2 (en) * 2003-01-16 2004-07-21 WMS Gaming Inc Audio network for gaming machines
WO2006014908A1 (en) * 2004-07-26 2006-02-09 David Gusick Voice casino game
WO2006105182A2 (en) * 2005-03-30 2006-10-05 Igt Player tracking communication mechanisms in a gaming machine

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