Title:
Cabinet for a gaming machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming machine for playing a game includes side walls extending to a distal edge, a top wall, and a bottom wall to define a housing of the gaming machine. A player interaction device is disposed in the housing to determine a winning outcome of the game and to receive and process currency such as, coins, tokens, or the like, and to discharge the currency in response to the winning outcome of the game through a coin retrieving opening defined in the front wall. At least one handle is defined at the distal edge of one of the side walls.



Inventors:
Mallory, Chester Lawrence (Reno, NV, US)
Lychock Jr., Ferdinand P. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/153152
Publication Date:
08/10/2006
Filing Date:
06/15/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LOPEZ, ELDRED ISAAC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOWARD & HOWARD ATTORNEYS PLLC (450 West Fourth Street, Royal Oak, MI, 48067, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gaming machine for playing a game and processing currency comprising; a housing defined by a back wall and a pair of spaced side walls each extending from said back wall to a distal edge and a front wall defining a coin retrieving opening, a player interaction device for determining a winning outcome of the game with said player interaction device disposed in said housing and exposed through said front wall and adaptable for receiving and processing the currency and discharging the currency in response to the winning outcome of the game, and at least one handle defined at said distal edge of one of said side walls.

2. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein each of said side walls presents opposing surfaces.

3. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 2 wherein said at least one handle is further defined by an outer edge defined at each of said opposite surfaces and a dish extending concavely from said outer edge and into said side wall.

4. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein said at least one handle is further defined by an opening transversely extending between said outer edge at each of said opposite surfaces of each of said side walls.

5. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 4 wherein said at least one handle is further defined by a rail partially connected to each of said side walls at said distal edge.

6. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 1 wherein said player interaction device includes a currency circulating device adaptable for receiving and processing the currency and discharging the currency in response to the winning outcome of the game.

7. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 6 wherein said player interaction device is further defined by a game computer operably communicated with said currency circulating device.

8. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 7 wherein said player interaction device includes a display device operably communicated with said currency circulating device and said game computer with said display device being exposed for the player through said front wall.

9. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 8 wherein said front wall is further defined by a top door, a display door, and a bottom door pivotably connected to said side walls and pivoted away and vertically relative to said side walls between opened and closed positions with said display devise connected to said display door and said currency circulating device connected to said bottom door.

10. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 3 including a lighting device disposed about said at least one handle for illuminating said at least one handle said lighting device partially extending along said outer edge thereby illuminating said opening.

11. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 10 wherein said lighting device is further defined by a housing of said lighting device and at least one lighting source disposed in said housing.

12. A gaming machine for playing a game and processing currency comprising; a housing defined by a back wall and a pair of spaced side walls each extending from said back wall to a distal edge and a front wall defining a coin retrieving opening, a player interaction device for determining a winning outcome of the game with said player interaction device disposed in said housing and exposed through said front wall and adaptable for receiving and processing the currency and discharging the currency in response to the winning outcome of the game, at least one handle defined at said distal edge of one of said side walls, and a lighting device disposed about said at least one handle for illuminating said at least one handle.

13. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 12 wherein each of said side walls presents opposing surface and an outer edge defined at each of said opposite surfaces extending to an opening with said lighting device partially extending along said outer edge thereby illuminating said opening.

14. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 13 wherein said lighting device is further defined by a housing and at least one light emitting source.

15. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 14 wherein said at least one light emitting source is further defined by a light emitting diode.

16. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 14 wherein said at least one light emitting source is further defined by a fluorescent device.

17. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 14 wherein said at least one light emitting source is further defined by an incandescent device.

18. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 12 wherein said player interaction device includes a currency circulating device adaptable for receiving and processing the currency and discharging the currency in response to the winning outcome of the game.

19. A gaming machine as set forth in claim 12 wherein said player interaction device is further defined by a game computer operably communicated with said currency circulating device.

20. A gaming machine for playing a game comprising: a pair of spaced side walls each extending to a distal edge and defining opposite surfaces with said side walls matable with a top wall and a bottom wall to define a housing of the gaming machine; at least one handle defined at each distal edge and presenting an outer edge extending to an opening; a lighting device disposed in said outer edge and extending along said at least one handle for illuminating said opening; a housing of said lighting device having at least one light emitting device disposed therein; a top door pivotably connected to said side walls and pivoted away from said collector and vertically relative to said side walls between opened and closed positions with said top door presenting a display area adaptable for conveying information to a player; a display door positioned below said top door and pivotably connected to said side walls and movable between an opened position and a closed position, said display door being adaptable for receiving a display device; a player interaction device for determining a winning outcome of the game with said player interaction device disposed in said housing and exposed through said front wall and adaptable for receiving and processing the currency and discharging the currency in response to the winning outcome of the game; a game controller of said player interaction device disposed in said housing and presenting electronic communication with said display area; a bottom door defining a dish for receiving and collecting the currency discharged from said player interaction device in response to the winning outcome of the game; and a currency retrieving opening defined in said front wall.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of application Ser. No. 60/646,036 filed on Jan. 21, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The subject invention relates to gaming machines, and more particularly to a configuration of a gaming machine with one or more handles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Modern gaming industry is replete with different gaming machines to allow players an opportunity to win money by placing a certain amount of money at risk. These gaming machines typically pay back to the players an overall percentage of the money deposited therein. Typically, manufactures of the aforementioned gaming machines desire these machines to be attractive, amusing, and comfortable for the players. Various configurations of the gaming machines are currently known in the gaming industry.

One common gaming machine configuration is referred to as the “upright” or “arcade” configuration. The upright gaming machine is generally configured to set upon a stand or cabinet. Extending upwardly, this type of gaming machine is generally tall and narrow. The front of the upright gaming machine generally comprises at least two doors or decks, such as a display door and an operational door having a coin hopper assembly. The United States Patent Application Publication Nos. 2004/0224776 to Nagano and 2005/0026702 to Cole teach the “upright” or “arcade” configurations of the gaming machine.

Another configuration of the gaming machine configuration is referred to as a “slant top” as taught, for example, by the U.S. Pat. No. 6,201,532 to Tode et al. Typically, this gaming machine is free standing and presents a lower supporting portion and a top display portion, which has a sloping or slanted section where player input buttons and reels or video display are located. The cabinet may be an upright cabinet, a “slant-top cabinet” or some variation or combination thereof. A player, who desires to play one of the aforementioned gaming machines, may stand or may sit on a provided chair or stool.

One of the problems not addressed by the aforementioned prior art references, is that some players, after having sitting in front of the gaming machine for long periods of time, may experience some difficulty in getting or standing up from the chair or the stool.

The present invention is aimed at one or more of the problems addressed above.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION AND ADVANTAGES

A gaming machine for playing a game and processing currency, such as coins, tokens, and the like, includes a housing. The housing is defined by a back wall and a pair of spaced side walls extending forwardly from the back wall to a distal edge, and a front wall defining a coin retrieving opening. A player interaction device is disposed in the housing of the gaming machine for determining a winning outcome of a game. The player interaction device is exposed to a player through the front wall and is adaptable for receiving and processing currency. The player interaction device is adaptable for discharging the currency in response to a winning outcome of the game. The housing of the gaming machine includes at least one handle defined at the distal edge of one of the side walls.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gaming machine of the present invention with adjacent stool;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the gaming machine shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is another end view of the gaming machine and a player sitting at the stool, as shown in phantom, and standing up by holding handles defined at side walls of the gaming machine;

FIG. 4 is partial and perspective view of one of the side walls of the gaming machine extending to a distal edge and a rail partially connected to the distal edge to define the handle;

FIG. 5 is a partial and perspective view of a first alternative embodiment of the handle;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the handle as shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a partial and perspective view of a second alternative embodiment of the handle; and

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a lighting assembly of the first and second alternative embodiments of the handle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an electronic gaming machine of the present invention, generally shown at 10. The gaming machine 10 has a housing, generally indicated at 12, has a pair of side walls or side panels 16, 18, a back panel 19, a bottom panel 20, and a top panel 22 defining an interior surface 24. The side panels 16, 18, the back panel 19, the bottom panel 20, and the top panel 22 are exposed to an open front. A support base 26 is positioned below the housing 12 to support the housing 12. Each of the side panels 16, 18 extends to a distal edge 28. A stool or chair 29 is adjacent the gaming machine 10 to allow a player P to sit, as shown in phantom in FIG. 4, while playing a game.

The housing 12 is separated into at least three sections. A top door, generally indicated at 30, is connected to the side walls 16, 18, as known to those skilled in the art. Alternatively, the top door 30 is pivoted away from the housing 12 vertically relative to the side walls 16, 18 between an opened position, as the top door 30 disengages from the side walls 16, 18, and a closed position, as the top door 30 is oriented substantially co-planar with the side walls 16, 18. The top door 30 presents a display area 34, adaptable for conveying information to the player P. This information may include the title of the gaming machine 10, the minimum cost to operate the gaming machine 10, the potential prize or winnings that could be won by playing the gaming machine 10, or the like. The top door 30 is connected to the housing 12, with any suitable lifting device, such as, for example, air or hydraulic cylinder, gas springs, or the like.

Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, a display door, generally indicated at 40, is positioned below the top door 30. Alternatively, the display door 40 is pivotably connected to the side walls 16, 18. The display door 40 is pivoted away from the housing 12 vertically relative to the side walls 16, 18 between an opened position, as the display door 40 disengages the side walls 16, 18, and a close position, as the display door 40 is oriented substantially co-planar with the side walls 16, 18. A display device, generally indicated at 42, is operably connected to the display door 40 and is disposed therewithin. The display device 42 is movable with the display door 40 between the opened position and the closed position. The display device 42 has a display screen 44 that can display text, graphics or a combination thereof. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various suitable devices may be used for display device 42. These suitable devices may include and are not limited to cathode ray tube displays, liquid crystal displays, and any other displays, known to those skilled in the display art, which are capable of visually displaying necessary information to the player P.

Alternatively, the display device 42 may be equipped with a touch screen (not shown). A player interaction device or system (not shown) is disposed in the housing 12 to determine a winning outcome of the game. The player interaction device is exposed through the front wall through the display device 42, a coin acceptor 50, a credit card receiver 52, a ticket injector and receiver 54, and the like. The player interaction device is adaptable for receiving and processing currency, such as tokens, coins, tickets, and the like and discharging the currency in response to the winning outcome of the game.

A game computer (not shown) of the player interaction device is positioned within the housing 12 and is used to supply the display device 42 with the images, text, and any other information, necessary for the gaming application. In the alternative embodiment of the present invention, the game computer may also be connected and moved with the display door 40. The game computer controls the text or graphics displayed on the display device 42. When the player P presses a certain area of the touch screen corresponding to an area of the display device 42, that information is electronically communicated to the game computer. The game computer uses this information to continue the game being played.

A collector cabinet or a bottom door, generally indicated at 60, is pivotably connected to the side walls 16, 18 of the housing 12. The bottom door 60 is pivoted away from the housing 12 vertically relative to the side walls 16, 18 between an opened position, as the bottom door 60 disengages the side walls 16, 18, and a closed position, as the bottom door 60 is oriented substantially co-planar with the side walls 16, 18. The bottom door 60 defines a coin retrieving opening 70 for the player P to collect the coins or the tokens. A currency or coin circulation device (not shown) is a part of the player interaction device 46 and is known to those skilled in the art.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the gaming machine 10 includes at least one handle, generally indicated at 80, defined by a rail 82. The handle 80 is at least partially connected to the distal edge 28 to define an opening 84 therebetween and adaptable for holding the handle 80 by the player P as shown in FIG. 3, as the player P stands-up to leave the gaming machine 10 after the game is complete or the player P wishes to interrupt the game.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show an alternative embodiment of the handle, generally indicated at 90 and defined by a rail 92. The rail 92 presents an outer edge 94 defined at each of the opposite surfaces of the rail 92 and a dish 96 extending concavely from the outer edge 94 and into the rail 92, as shown in FIG. 6. Another alternative embodiment of the handle is generally indicated at 100 in FIG. 7. The handle 100 is defined in each side wall 16, 18 adjacent the distal edge 28. The handle 100 presents an outer edge 102 at each of the opposing surfaces of the side walls 16, 18 and an opening 104 transversely extending between the outer edge 102 at each of the opposite surfaces of each of side walls 16, 18.

As illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, the handles 80 and 100 may include a lighting assembly, as generally indicated at 106. For example, as shown in FIG. 8, the lighting assembly 106 is embedded in the rail 82 and extends along the opening 84. FIG. 9 shows the lighting assembly 106 disposed in the outer edge 102 of the handle 100 and extending along the opening 104. The lighting assembly 106 is defined by a housing 108 containing a single light emitting source, such as an elongated light device (not shown) or a plurality of spaced light devices 110 of uniform color or a combination of different colors to attract the attention of the player. The light emitting source may be one or more light emitting diodes, a fluorescent light bulb, an incandescent light bulb, and any other suitable light or lighting devices.

While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to a particular embodiment, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.