Title:
Jackpot Display System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A jackpot display system (10) is disclosed for a gaming system, the jackpot display system comprising a display controller (14) arranged to receive jackpot data indicative of a plurality of current jackpot amounts, each jackpot amount being derived from games played on at least one gaming machine (22, 24), and a display (16). The display controller (14) is arranged to process the jackpot data so as to generate display data usable by the display (16) to display information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts.



Inventors:
Lyons, Martin Stephen (Lane Cove, AU)
Muir, Robert Linley (Lane Cove NSW, AU)
Application Number:
12/134053
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
06/05/2008
Assignee:
ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED (Lane Cove NSW, AU)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
AHMED, MASUD
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCANDREWS HELD & MALLOY, LTD (500 WEST MADISON STREET SUITE 3400, CHICAGO, IL, 60661, US)
Claims:
1. A jackpot display system for a gaming system, the jackpot display system comprising: a display controller arranged to receive jackpot data indicative of a plurality of current jackpot amounts, each jackpot amount being derived from games played on at least one gaming machine; and a display; wherein the display controller is arranged to process the jackpot data so as to generate display data usable by the display to display information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts.

2. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the display controller is arranged to generate display data usable by the display to simultaneously display information indicative of a plurality jackpot amounts.

3. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the display controller is arranged to generate display data usable by the display to simultaneously display information indicative of all jackpot amounts.

4. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the display controller is arranged to generate display data usable by the display to consecutively display information indicative of a plurality jackpot amounts.

5. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the display controller is arranged to generate display data usable by the display to emphasise one or more jackpot amounts relative to the other jackpot amounts.

6. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 5, wherein the display controller is arranged to emphasise a jackpot amount when the jackpot amount has been won by a player of a gaming machine.

7. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the display controller is arranged to display only the jackpot amount which has been won, or to display the jackpot amount which has been won at an increased size relative to other displayed jackpot amounts.

8. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the jackpot display system is arranged to apply video effects to the displayed jackpot amounts.

9. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the jackpot display system is arranged to scale, rotating or fading in/out the displayed jackpot amounts as the displayed jackpot amounts change.

10. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising at least one jackpot controller, each jackpot controller being arranged to receive jackpot contribution data from a plurality of gaming machines associated with the jackpot controller, and each jackpot controller being arranged to generate jackpot data indicative of a jackpot amount for supply to the display controller.

11. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the display is implemented using a single display device.

12. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the display is implemented using multiple display devices, each display device being dedicated to a specific area of the display.

13. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the jackpot display system is arranged to receive video data for selective display on the display at the same time as or intermittently with the jackpot amounts.

14. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the jackpot display system is arranged to store multiple sets of video data for each jackpot amount to be displayed, each set of video data being optimised to a particular display size, and the jackpot display system being arranged to select one of the video data sets depending on the size at which the jackpot amount is to be displayed.

15. A jackpot display system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the jackpot display system is arranged to receive video data indicative of a further jackpot amount from a further display controller and to process the jackpot data received from one or more jackpot controllers and the video data received from the further display controller so as to generate display data usable by the display to display information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts.

16. A method of displaying jackpots in a gaming system, the method comprising: receiving jackpot data indicative of a plurality of current jackpot amounts, each jackpot amount being derived from games played on at least one gaming machine; and processing the jackpot data so as to generate display data usable by the display; and displaying information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts on the display.

17. A method as claimed in claim 16, comprising generating display data usable by the display to simultaneously display information indicative of a plurality jackpot amounts.

18. A method as claimed in claim 17, comprising generating display data usable by the display to simultaneously display information indicative of all jackpot amounts.

19. A method as claimed in claim 16, comprising generating display data usable by the display to consecutively display information indicative of a plurality jackpot amounts.

20. A method as claimed in claim 16, comprising generating display data usable by the display to emphasise one or more jackpot amounts relative to the other jackpot amounts.

21. A method as claimed in claim 19, comprising emphasising a jackpot amount when the jackpot amount has been won by a player of a gaming machine.

22. A method as claimed in claim 20, comprising displaying only the jackpot amount which has been won, or displaying the jackpot amount which has been won at an increased size relative to other displayed jackpot amounts.

23. A method as claimed in claim 16, comprising applying video effects to the displayed jackpot amounts.

24. A method as claimed in claim 22, comprising scaling, rotating or fading in/out the displayed jackpot amounts as the displayed jackpot amounts change.

25. A method as claimed in claim 16, further comprising providing at least one jackpot controller, receiving jackpot contribution data from a plurality of gaming machines associated with each jackpot controller, and generating jackpot data indicative of a jackpot amount for supply to the display controller.

26. A method as claimed in claim 16, comprising receiving video data, and selectively displaying video corresponding to the video data on the display at the same time as or intermittently with the jackpot amounts.

27. A method as claimed in claim 16, comprising storing multiple sets of video data for each jackpot amount to be displayed, each set of video data being optimised to a particular display size, and selecting one of the video data sets depending on the size at which the jackpot amount is to be displayed.

28. A method as claimed in claim 16, comprising receiving video data indicative of a further jackpot amount from a further display controller and processing the jackpot data received from one or more jackpot controllers and the video data received from the further display controller so as to generate display data usable by the display to display information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2007903081, having an international filing date of Jun. 7, 2007, entitled “A Jackpot Display System,” which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[Not Applicable]

MICROFICHE/COPYRIGHT REFERENCE

[Not Applicable]

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a jackpot display system. It is known to provide a gaming system which includes a plurality of gaming machines connected together and configured such that each gaming machine contributes to a common jackpot which may be won by players of the gaming machines. In general, each common jackpot is managed by a jackpot controller which receives jackpot contribution data from each gaming machine associated with the common jackpot, and outputs a jackpot amount derived from the jackpot contribution data to a display. The purpose of the display is to advertise the common jackpot to players and thereby encourage the players to play a game on the gaming machines associated with the common jackpot.

However, such jackpot display systems are relatively unsophisticated and inflexible.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a jackpot display system for a gaming system, the jackpot display system comprising:

    • a display controller arranged to receive jackpot data indicative of a plurality of current jackpot amounts, each jackpot amount being derived from games played on at least one gaming machine; and a display;
    • wherein the display controller is arranged to process the jackpot data so as to generate display data usable by the display to display information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts.

In one arrangement, the display controller is arranged to generate display data usable by the display to simultaneously display information indicative of a plurality jackpot amounts, such as all jackpot amounts.

In one arrangement, the display controller is arranged to generate display data usable by the display to consecutively display information indicative of a plurality jackpot amounts.

The display controller may be arranged to generate display data usable by the display to emphasise one or more jackpot amounts relative to the other jackpot amounts. In one arrangement, the display controller is arranged to emphasise a jackpot amount when the jackpot amount has been won by a player of a gaming machine. With this arrangement, only the jackpot amount which has been won may be displayed or the jackpot amount which has been won may be displayed at an increased size relative to other displayed jackpot amounts.

The jackpot display system may be arranged to apply video effects to the displayed jackpot amounts, such as scaling, rotating and fading in/out as the displayed jackpot amounts change.

The jackpot display system may further comprise at least one jackpot controller, each jackpot controller being arranged to receive jackpot contribution data from a plurality of gaming machines associated with the jackpot controller, and each jackpot controller being arranged to generate jackpot data indicative of a jackpot amount for supply to the display controller.

The display may be implemented using a single display device, or may be implemented using multiple display devices, each display device being dedicated to a specific area of the display.

In one embodiment, the jackpot display system is arranged to receive video data for selective display on the display at the same time as or intermittently with the jackpot amounts. The video data may correspond to any video information such as advertising information or sporting events.

The jackpot display system may be arranged to store multiple sets of video data for each jackpot amount to be displayed, each set of video data being optimised to a particular display size, and the jackpot display system being arranged to select one of the video data sets depending on the size at which the jackpot amount is to be displayed.

The jackpot display system may be arranged to receive video data indicative of a further jackpot amount from a further display controller and to process the jackpot data received from one or more jackpot controllers and the video data received from the further display controller so as to generate display data usable by the display to display information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of displaying jackpots in a gaming system, the method comprising:

    • receiving jackpot data indicative of a plurality of current jackpot amounts, each jackpot amount being derived from games played on at least one gaming machine; and
    • processing the jackpot data so as to generate display data usable by the display; and
    • displaying information indicative of one or more jackpot amounts on the display.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic block diagram of a jackpot display system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of an example display controller of the jackpot display system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating an example implementation of the jackpot display system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating an alternative example implementation of the jackpot display system shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic representation of a gaming machine suitable for use with the jackpot display system shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings, in FIG. 1 there is shown a jackpot display system 10 for use with a gaming system of the type including a plurality of gaming machines.

The jackpot display system 10 comprises a plurality of jackpot controllers 12, each of which is associated with one or more gaming machines such that the associated gaming machines contribute to a common jackpot managed by the jackpot controller 12.

The jackpot display system 10 also comprises a display controller 14 which is connected to the jackpot controllers 12 through a jackpot network 15. The display controller 14 is arranged to receive jackpot data indicative of respective jackpot amounts from the jackpot controllers 12 and to control a display 16 so that information indicative of one or more of the jackpot amounts associated with the jackpot controllers 12 is selectively displayed.

In particular, the display controller 14 may be arranged to control the display 16 so as to simultaneously show jackpot amounts associated with all jackpot controllers 12, or so as to emphasize one or more of the jackpot amounts, for example when one of the jackpots is won by a player by displaying only the winning jackpot amount using the entire area of the display, or by increasing the size of a jackpot which has been won relative to other jackpots.

For this purpose, as shown in FIG. 2 the display controller 14 may include a control unit 18 which may comprise a processor, a memory 19 usable to store programs for execution by the processor, a selector 20 under control of the control unit 18 to select jackpot data from the jackpot network 15 which is to be shown on the display 16, and a video generator 21 under control of the control unit 18 to generate display data indicative of one or more jackpot amounts and usable by the display 16 to display the selected jackpot amounts.

The display controller 14 may also be arranged so as to modify the number of jackpot amounts displayed, for example so as to display in sequence a single jackpot, four jackpots, nine jackpots, and so on. The display controller 14 may also apply video effects such as scaling, rotating and fading in/out as the displayed image changes.

It will be understood that the display scheme implemented by the display controller 14, in particular which jackpot amounts are displayed and the manner in which the jackpot amounts are displayed, may be selectable by a user, for example using a computing device (not shown) in communication with the display controller 14, may be implemented automatically by the control unit 18 in accordance with the programs stored in the memory 19, or in any other suitable way.

In the present embodiment, the display scheme implemented by the display controller 14 is carried out by the video generator 21 under control of the control unit 18 based on jackpot data received from the selector 20 under control of the control unit. However, it will be understood that other arrangements are envisaged.

In an example implementation shown in FIG. 3, four first gaming machines are shown connected to a first jackpot controller 12 and four second gaming machines 24 are shown connected to a second jackpot controller 12′. Operation is such that each gaming machine 22, 24 supplies jackpot contribution data indicative of a jackpot contribution amount to a respective jackpot controller 12, 12′ and the respective jackpot controllers 12, 12′ use the supplied jackpot contribution data to generate jackpot data indicative of a current jackpot amount which may be won by a player of a gaming machine 22,24 associated with the jackpot controllers 12,12′.

The jackpot controllers 12,12′ supply jackpot data indicative of the respective jackpot amounts to the display controller 14 through the jackpot network 15 and the display controller 14 processes the jackpot data according to any desired scheme and causes the display 16 to show one or both jackpot amounts in any desired way. For example, the display 16 may be caused to display each jackpot amount in a dedicated display region 26, to alternately display the jackpot amounts on the entire display 16, or to progressively increase and decrease the sizes of the displayed jackpot amounts so that each display amount is alternately displayed in large size.

While the implementation shown in FIG. 3 uses a single relatively large display 16 to show one or more jackpot amounts, it will be understood that other variations are possible. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, a display 16 may be provided which comprises multiple display elements 28 with each display element 28 being arranged to display a specific portion of an image shown on the display 16.

In the present embodiments, the display 16 is in the form of one or more LCD displays, although it will be understood that any display device is envisaged, such as plasma screens and projectors.

An example gaming machine 22 is illustrated in FIG. 5. The gaming machine 22 includes a console 42 incorporating a Player Marketing Module 43 and has a display 44 on which is displayed representations of a game 46 that can be played by a player. A mid-trim 50 of the gaming machine 22 houses a bank of buttons 52 for enabling a player to interact with the gaming machine, in particular during gameplay. The mid-trim 50 also houses a credit input mechanism 54 which in this example includes a coin input chute 54A and a bill collector 54B. Other credit input mechanisms may also be employed, for example, a card reader for reading a smart card, debit card or credit card. The PMM 43 may include a reading device (not shown) for the purpose of reading a player tracking device, for example as part of a loyalty program. The player tracking device may be in the form of a card, flash drive or any other portable storage medium capable of being read by the reading device. In this example, the PMM 43 is a Sentinel III device produced by Aristocrat Technologies Pty Ltd.

A top box 56 may carry artwork 58, including for example pay tables and details of bonus awards and other information or images relating to the game. Further artwork and/or information may be provided on a front panel 59 of the console 42. A coin tray 60 is mounted beneath the front panel 59 for dispensing cash payouts from the gaming machine 22.

The display 44 is in the form of a video display unit, particularly a cathode ray tube screen device. Alternatively, the display 44 may be a liquid crystal display, plasma screen, or any other suitable video display unit. The top box 56 may also include a display, for example a video display unit, which may be of the same type as the display 44, or of a different type.

The display 44 in this example is arranged to display representations of several reels, each reel of which has several associated symbols. Typically 3, 4 or 5 reels are provided. During operation of the game, the reels first appear to rotate then stop with typically three symbols visible on each reel. Game outcomes are determined on the basis of the visible symbols together with any special functions associated with the symbols, and if a function has been allocated to a reel, on the basis of the allocated function.

As indicated in FIG. 1, the jackpot display system 10 may be arranged so that the display controller 14 is capable of receiving video information, for example from an AV source 70. The AV source 70 may supply advertising information for display on the display 16 under control of the display controller 14, or may supply video information, for example corresponding to sporting events.

In some situations, the display controller 14 may be required to decode multiple streams of video data simultaneously. In order to reduce the processing load on the display controller 14, multiple sets of video data may be provided for each jackpot sequence, each set of video data being optimised to a particular size of display output. Video data optimised to display at a small size has less image quality, and requires less processing power to decode and display, and as a result more video data sets can be decoded simultaneously. The display controller 14 may be arranged to automatically select the optimum video data set based on quality and processing requirements.

In situations wherein it is not possible to obtain jackpot data from a jackpot controller 12, a video output from an existing jackpot display controller may be digitised and fed to the display controller 14. With this arrangement, the jackpot controller may dynamically cause the digitized video data to be encoded at different quality and/or size to optimise the video data for decoding performance requirements.

Modifications and variations as would be apparent to a skilled addressee are deemed to be within the scope of the present invention.