Title:
Electronic betting system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In order to provide a realistic sensation and high satisfaction in the aspect of user convenience, an electronic betting system has a satellite system includes an audio-visual unit for broadcasting a betting event live, and betting terminals, for betting on betting events, arranged opposite to the audio-visual unit, each betting terminal receiving betting event services and prediction information services, and making electronic payment of a customers' requirements for betting.



Inventors:
Yamagishi, Junichi (Chuo-ku, JP)
Application Number:
12/004256
Publication Date:
06/25/2009
Filing Date:
12/20/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
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Primary Examiner:
LARSEN, CARL VICTOR
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
C. Bruce Hamburg (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claim is:

1. An electronic betting system for betting events, comprising: a betting event service system for providing betting event services; a prediction information service system for providing prediction information services; a satellite system for receiving the betting event services and the prediction information services; and a communication medium connecting the betting event service system, the prediction information service system and the satellite system with one another, wherein the satellite system includes an audio-visual unit for broadcasting a betting event live, and a plurality of betting terminals, for betting on betting events, arranged opposite to the audio-visual unit, each betting terminal receiving the betting event services and the prediction information services, and making electronic payment of a customers' requirements for betting.

2. The electronic betting system according to claim 1, wherein: the betting terminal is configured to make electronic payment through a portable storage medium, the portable storage medium storing at least customer identification information and electronic money information, the betting terminal comprising: an image displaying apparatus for displaying the contents of the betting event services and the prediction information services; and an information processing apparatus for reading the customer identification information and electronic money remaining amount information stored in the portable storage medium, the information processing apparatus conducting electronic payment of the customer's requirement for betting, based upon the customer identification information and the electronic money remaining amount information read thereby.

3. The electronic betting system according to claim 2, wherein: the image displaying apparatus is a touch-panel type image displaying apparatus, and the customer's requirement for betting is performed by touch panel operation by a customer.

4. The electronic betting system according to claim 2, wherein: the information processing apparatus includes a function writing updated electronic money remaining amount information into the portable storage medium.

5. The electronic betting system according to claim 4, wherein: the information processing apparatus, whenever a customer bets on a betting event, writes a money amount obtained by subtracting a fee based upon the customer's requirement for betting from the electronic money remaining amount information before the betting as updated electronic money remaining amount information after the betting into the portable storage medium.

6. The electronic betting system according to claim 2, wherein: the information processing apparatus includes a function writing a betting details of customers into the portable storage medium.

7. The electronic betting system according to claim 6, wherein: the information processing apparatus, whenever a customer bets on a betting event, the betting details according to the betting are written as betting history information in the portable storage medium.

8. The electronic betting system according to claim 2, wherein: the portable storage medium is a noncontact IC card which is independent or incorporated in a mobile phone.

9. The electronic betting system according to claim 1, wherein: the prediction information services provided by the prediction information service system are various information items provided by a plurality of prediction information service providers.

10. The electronic betting system according to claim 9, wherein: the customer's requirement for betting is performed by selecting prediction information which meets a customer's intention from among various prediction information items provided by the plurality of prediction information providers.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an electronic betting system for betting events such as horse race, bicycle race, motorboat race, or auto race.

2. Description of the Related Art

Conventionally, as a betting system for a betting event such as horse race, bicycle race, motorboat race, or auto race, for example, a telephone betting system of Japan Racing Association (JRA) using phone lines has been known. In such a conventional betting system, based upon conditions of racehorses, racetracks, and the like on the day at the race grasped from a live broadcast video at home or at outside ticket sales booths, information grasped through racing papers or the like, the customers predict the race result. Then, the customers bet the horse according to the predicted results to JRA through the phone lines. For example, while being guided by audio guidance on the receiver of the phone, the customers operate the numeric keypad of touch-tones to perform input operation of their membership identification numbers or their code numbers registered in advance in the telephone betting reception center, then, bet the horses by performing input operation of a desired competitive race number, a betting category, a betting combination number, the amount of wager, and the like.

In the above-described conventional betting system, however, the information the customers can obtain at a betting time is limited to fragmentary information such as conditions of racehorses, racetracks, and the like obtained through the live broadcast video or prediction information obtained from, for example, racing papers. It, therefore, is difficult to predict the race result based upon a fund of information from various perspectives. As this result, there is concern about the lack of pleasure of predicting the race result. Moreover, in the above-described conventional betting system, the operational procedure of the numeric keypad of the touch-tone is troublesome, and there is room for improvement therein.

In response, in Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2006-99653, a system for providing prediction information of the order of arrival to the customers through the Internet has been described, and in Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2005-322151, a system for betting through the Internet has been disclosed.

However, there is a problem of a lack of a realistic sensation and satisfaction in the aspect of customer convenience.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an electronic betting system that provides a realistic sensation and provides high satisfaction in the aspect of customer convenience.

In order accomplish the object, the present invention adopts the following means.

An electronic betting system for betting events has a betting event service system for providing betting event services, a prediction information service system for providing prediction information services, a satellite system for receiving the betting event services and the prediction information services, and a communication medium connecting the systems with one another. The satellite system includes an audio-visual unit for broadcasting a betting event live, and a plurality of betting terminals arranged opposite to the audio-visual unit and used when customers receive the betting event services and the prediction information services, the betting terminals being capable of making electronic payment of the customer's requirement for betting.

Each of the plurality of betting terminals includes an image displaying apparatus for displaying the contents of the betting event service and the prediction information service, and an information processing apparatus for reading customer identification information and electronic money remaining amount information stored in a portable storage medium. The betting terminal provides the prediction information service to each of the customers via the image displaying apparatus, makes electronic payment of the customer's requirement for betting based upon the customer identification information and the electronic money remaining amount information read by the information processing apparatus.

Preferably, the image displaying apparatus is a touch-panel type image displaying apparatus, and the customer's requirement for betting is performed by a touch panel operation of the customer.

The information processing apparatus further includes a function writing updated electronic money remaining amount information into the portable storage medium. Whenever the customer bets, the information processing apparatus writes a money amount obtained by subtracting a fee based upon the customer's requirement for betting from the electronic money remaining amount information before the betting as updated electronic money remaining amount information after the betting.

The information processing apparatus further includes a function writing a betting content of the customer into the portable storage medium. Whenever the customer bets, the information processing apparatus writes the betting content according to the betting as betting history information into the portable storage medium.

Preferably, the portable storage medium is a noncontact IC card which is independent or incorporated in a mobile phone.

The prediction information service provided by the prediction information service system is various information items provided by a plurality of prediction information service providers.

In this case, the customer's requirement for betting is performed by selecting prediction information which meets the customer's intention from among various prediction information items provided by the plurality of prediction information providers preferably.

According to the electronic betting system of the present invention, the customers can utilize the betting event services and the prediction information services fully via the betting terminals at hand to bets while watching a betting event broadcasted live on the audio-visual unit. Their requirement for the betting can be settled by electronic payment. Therefore, they can enjoy predicting the race result, and besides, the electronic betting system can provide high satisfaction in the aspect of user convenience.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a structural block diagram showing an electronic betting system according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a satellite system configuring a portion of the electronic betting system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram showing a betting terminal configuring a portion of the satellite system of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a flowchart at a time of an electronic betting through the betting terminal of the electronic betting system according to the embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In order to provide a realistic sensation and high satisfaction in the aspect of user convenience, an electronic betting system according to an embodiment of the present invention has a satellite system including an audio-visual unit for live broadcasting a betting event, and a plurality of betting terminals, for betting on betting events, arranged opposite to the audio-visual unit. Each betting terminal receives betting event services and prediction information services the betting terminals, and makes electronic payment in response to betting.

Hereinafter, an electronic betting system according to an embodiment of the present invention will be explained in detail with reference to the drawings.

FIG. 1 is a structural block diagram showing an electronic betting system according to the embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a satellite system configuring a portion of the electronic betting system of FIG. 1, and FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram showing a betting terminal configuring a portion of the satellite system of FIG. 2.

The electronic betting system according to the present invention is applicable to various betting system for various betting events such as horse race, bicycle race, motorboat race, or auto race. In the embodiment, an example of a system configuration applied to a horse race system among these betting events in the present embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 1, an electronic betting system 11 has a betting event service system 13, a prediction information service system 15 and a satellite system 17. The betting event service system 13, the prediction information service system 15 and the satellite system 17 are connected with one another via a communication medium 19 such as an Internet network or an exclusive line. The betting event service system 13 provides betting event services. The betting event services are to provide race information, for example, details of races (names, times, awards and the like), starters (names and numbers of the starters), jockeys (names and numbers of jockeys), the racetrack condition, and the like and to accept of electronic betting and the like. The prediction information service system 15 provides prediction information services. The prediction information services are to providing analysis information of races provided by third party based on the race information and other information, and the like. The satellite system 17 receives the betting event services and the prediction services.

The betting event service system 13 has a central management server 21 and a customer management database 23. The central management server 21 conducts management relating to betting on the races or refund of win money. The customer management database 23 stores electronic money information for each customer. The customer management database 23 also stores betting history information such as race names or race number on which customers bet and the order of arrival thereof in association with customer identification information for identifying a customer in addition to the race information.

The prediction information service system 15 has a prediction information management server 25 and a prediction information database 27.

The prediction information management server 25 conducts management relating to prediction information. The prediction information includes the race information and the analysis information of races provided by prediction information service providers as the third party (for example, racing paper publishers and specialized magazine publishers) based upon the race information and other information such as pedigrees of horses and previous results of horses and jockeys. The analysis information corresponds to information in racing papers, specialized magazines issued by the prediction information service providers for example.

The prediction information database 27 stores the prediction information of each race in association with peripheral information on the race. For example, the prediction information database 27 stores the race information, the other information, the analysis information, and the like.

The satellite system 17, as shown in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, has a satellite management server 29, an audio-visual unit 31 and a plurality of betting terminals 33. The satellite management server 29, the audio-visual unit 31 and the plurality of betting terminals 33 are connected with one another via a satellite LAN (including a wireless LAN) cable 35.

The satellite management server 29 manages betting on the races or refund based upon win money in the system 17. The satellite management server 29 conducts management relating prediction information of races. The audio-visual unit 31 includes a large-size display and a speaker for broadcasting a race live. The plurality of betting terminals 33 are located opposite to the audio-visual unit 31. Each betting terminal 33 allows customers to receive the betting event services and the prediction information services.

The satellite system 17 is not site-specific and can be disposed anywhere. For example, the satellite system 17 may be located in a region which has had no choice but to perform telephone betting for enjoying races so far, and further may be located at a place which can be expected to pull in more customers, for example, near a station. Besides, the satellite system 17 may also be located inside offtrack betting shops or a racetrack. This satellite system 17 provides the prediction information services to the customers, and allows customer to bet on the races and conducts electronic payment for customers' requirement for betting via the plurality of betting terminals 33.

Each of the plurality of betting terminals 33, as shown in FIG. 3, includes a CPU 37, a ROM 39, a RAM 41, and IC card reader/writer 43, a touch-panel type liquid crystal display panel 49 and a communicating unit 51.

The CPU 37 controls functions providing the prediction information services to each customer and making electronic payment of wager as customer's requirement for betting. The ROM 39 stores a program or the like. The RAM 41 stores data or the like. The IC card reader/writer 43 (information processing apparatus) performs data communication timely with a noncontact IC card 47 incorporated in a mobile phone 45 carried by a customer. The data communication is carried out while electronic betting is continued. The touch-panel type liquid crystal display panel 49 has an information display screen located on a housing. The information display screen is in, for example, 15 inch size, and displays the received prediction information services visually to the customer. The touch-panel type liquid crystal display panel 49 is used for input of wager, selection of the prediction information service, and the like. The communicating unit 51 has a communication interface function to communicate with the satellite LAN 35.

Incidentally, the IC card reader/writer 43 is incorporated in the betting terminal 33 in the vicinity of a mobile phone holder (not shown) formed on the betting terminal 33. At a time of electronic betting, the mobile phone 45 of a customer is set on the mobile phone holder on the betting terminal 33, and data communication is performed timely between the betting terminal 33 and the noncontact IC card 41 incorporated in the mobile phone 45. In the data communication, the IC card reader/writer 43 reads a customer identification number assigned to a customer who is the holder of the mobile phone 45. At the same time, the IC card reader/writer 43 reads or writes various kinds of data including the electronic money information and the betting history information from or to the noncontact IC card 41.

Each betting terminal 33 configured as mentioned above has a prediction information service function, an electronic payment function, an electronic money information updating function and a betting history information updating function. The prediction information service function provides the prediction information services to a customer. The electronic payment function makes electronic payment of the wager based upon customer identification information and electronic money remaining amount information read by the IC card reader/writer 43. The electronic money information updating function write a money amount obtained by subtracting an amount of the wager from the electronic money remaining amount information before the betting in the noncontact IC card 47 via the IC card reader/writer 43 whenever the customer bets on. The betting history information updating function updates the betting history information whenever the customer bets on.

In order to provide the prediction information services to the customer, various information items are displayed according to customer's direction for operation on the information display screen of the touch-panel type liquid crystal display panel 49. For example, race names, race numbers, race groups, racetrack conditions, weather, place at where the racetrack is located, running distance, remaining time before the betting is closed, starter names, racing styles of horses (running all the way, making the pace, putting on a last spurt, stretch running), kinds of horses (filly or mare, colt or horse, gelding), horse weights, increase and decrease values of the horse weights, jockeys' names, prediction, previous race results, win odds, conditions of horses, and the like are displayed. Moreover, the display panel 49 displays a plurality of icons of racing papers' names on the information display screen of the display panel 49. By touching an icon of a desired racing paper, prediction information of the paper can be obtained together with hitting ratio information.

Incidentally, in the present embodiment, explanation will be made by an example. In this example, the noncontact IC card 47 incorporated in the mobile phone 45 carried by a customer has combined roles in which one role as electronic money and other role as an electronic betting slip. Further, in this example, it is assumed that money as betting fund prepared in advance is charged as electronic money remaining amount information in the noncontact IC card 47. Besides, it is assumed that the upper limit amount according to customer's desire, for example, up to 30,000 yen or 300 dollars, is set in a money amount of the electronic money chargeable in the noncontact IC card 47.

FIG. 4 is a flowchart at a time of an electronic betting through the betting terminal 33 of the electronic betting system.

First, the customer sets the mobile phone 45 incorporating the noncontact IC card 47 into the mobile phone holder on desired betting terminal 33. In response to the set of the mobile phone 45, the betting terminal 33 carries out an acquisition authenticating processing of the customer identification information and the electronic money remaining amount information (S11). That is, the betting terminal 33 reads the customer identification information and the electronic money remaining amount information stored in the noncontact IC card 47. The betting terminal 33 sends the read customer identification information to the central management server 21 via the satellite LAN 35, the satellite management server 29, and the communication medium 19 in order. With this sending, the betting terminal 33 carries out an inquiring processing of the electronic money remaining amount information by using the customer identification information as a retrieval key. Then, in the central management server 21, based upon the received inquiry, i.e., retrieval key (customer identification information), the electronic money remaining amount information of the corresponding customer is read from the customer management database 23. The read electronic money remaining amount information is sent back to the betting terminal 33 via the various equipments in the order opposite to the above.

The betting terminal 33 collates the electronic money remaining amount information sent back from the betting event service system 13 by the above inquiry with the electronic money remaining amount information read from the noncontact IC card 47. If it is confirmed that these information items correspond to each other, the electronic money remaining amount information of the corresponding customer is displayed on the display screen of the touch-panel type liquid crystal display panel 49 like “The current bet fund is 30,000 yen or 300 dollars” for example (S12). Incidentally, in step S12, the reason why the electronic money remaining amount information sent back by the inquiry and the electronic money remaining amount information read from the noncontact IC card 47 are collated with each other to confirm their correspondence is that cheatings as falsifying a memory content (electronic money remaining amount information) of the noncontact IC card 47 is prevented. Alternatively, such a matching and confirming processing may be omitted.

Next, when the customer inputs betting details (S13), the betting details and a money amount required as wager are displayed (S14). At this time, the customer visually confirms the displayed contents, and then inputs a “betting” icon (not shown) on the display screen. Therefore, it can bet on the race securely after seeing if the betting details that he/she intends are correct.

An electronic payment processing is carried out together with a betting processing (S15). That is, the betting terminal 33 calculates such that it subtracts an amount of the wager from the electronic money remaining amount information before betting in step S15.

On the other hand, the betting terminal 33 requests the betting event service system 13 to update the electronic money remaining amount information in the customer management database 23. Specifically, the betting terminal 33 sends the corresponding customer identification information, the betting details of the customer, and the amount of the wager to the central management server 21 via the satellite LAN 35, the satellite management server 29, and the communication medium 19 in order. This requests for updating the electronic money remaining amount information.

Then, the central management server 21 reads the electronic money remaining amount information of the corresponding customer from the customer management database 23 based upon the retrieval key (customer identification information) requested to be updated. The central management server 21 carries out calculation for subtracting the amount of the wager from the read electronic money remaining amount information. With this calculation result, the central management server 21 updates the electronic money information such that it replaces the read electronic money remaining amount information with the calculated electronic money remaining amount information (S16). The updated electronic money remaining amount information is sent back to the betting terminal 33 via the various equipments in the order opposite to the above.

The betting terminal 33 collates the electronic money remaining amount information sent back from the betting event service system 13 with its calculation result in step S15. If their correspondence is confirmed, the betting terminal 33 rewrites the electronic money remaining amount information stored in the noncontact IC card 47 with the latest electronic money remaining amount information (S17). Together with the electronic money remaining amount information rewriting processing in step S17, the betting terminal 33 writes betting history information such as the race name or race number on which the customer has betted and the order of arrival in the noncontact IC card 47. By the processing in step S17, the electronic money remaining amount information and the betting history information stored in the noncontact IC card 47 is updated to the latest information. Incidentally, in step S17, the reason why the electronic money remaining amount information are collated with each other to confirm their correspondence is that cheatings as falsifying a memory content (electronic money remaining amount information) of the noncontact IC card 47 is prevented. Such a matching and confirming processing may be omitted.

After the writing processing to the IC card in step S17, the betting terminal 33 returns the flow of processing to step S12. Then, the updated electronic money remaining amount information in step S17 displayed on the display screen of the touch-panel type liquid crystal display panel 49, and performs the following processing up to step S17 repeatedly. Incidentally, if there is refund of win money as a result of the betting, the amount of win money is added to the electronic money remaining amount information. In this case, according to the processing in steps S16 to S17, both the electronic money remaining amount information of the customer management database 23 and the noncontact IC card 47 are updated in synchronization with each other. In this case, if the electronic money remaining amount exceeds the upper limit amount of the electronic money set in the noncontact IC card 47 as a result of the refund, the set upper limit amount is modified correspondingly.

In this way, the customers can utilize the betting event services and the prediction information services fully via the betting terminals 33 at hand to bet on the races while watching a betting event broadcasted live on the audio-visual unit 31. Then, their requirements for the betting can be settled by electronic payment. Therefore, they can enjoy predicting the race result, and besides, the electronic betting system can provide high satisfaction in the aspect of user convenience.

The betting reception/refund processing can be performed by the electronic betting management instead of conventional betting slip management using a magnetic card. The customers can bet on the races without carrying a large amount of cash. This prevents cash from being stolen. Further, the refund of win money occurs, the refund can be carried out through electronic money. Therefore, complication of handling cash can be eliminated, and bothersome handling of small coins can also be eliminated.

It sets the upper limit of a charge money amount of the electronic money. Therefore, it can prevent the customers from overspending, i.e., spending an unexpected amount of money due to excite.

The betting slip is computerized to be held in the mobile phone 45 instead of a conventional betting slip using a magnetic card. Generation of a lot of wastes by throwing away magnetic betting slips can be prevented before happens.

The touch-panel type liquid crystal display panel is adopted as a user interface that allows the customers to intuitive input. Therefore, user convenience can be improved dramatically. Besides, a realistic sensation can be produced in whole.

Instead of or together with above-mentioned betting method, the electronic betting system according to the present invention can adopt various betting method such as a paper prediction selection betting method, a target money amount designation betting method, and an odds designation betting method.

The paper prediction selection betting method is what the prediction information of the racing paper and the betting processing are associated with each other. Namely, a customer selects desired racing paper information as the prediction information, and betting is automatically carried out according to the prediction information of the racing paper (racing paper information).

In this case, it is preferable to provide to customers hitting ratio information from past to present including the current day of each prediction information to customers in addition. According to the paper prediction selection betting method, various prediction information in which a plurality of possibilities relating to the order of arrival in a race are predicted is provided to customers together with their hitting ratio information from a plurality of prediction information service. The customers select the prediction information meeting their intensions from among such various prediction information while referring to the hitting ratio information or the like. Then, betting is automatically performed in response to the selection of the prediction information.

In this way, betting can be performed easily in a short time. As a result, inconveniences such that the customers could not make it to the bet before closing time because they spent too much time on consideration is avoided. Accordingly, they can enjoy the race itself purely.

On the other hand, the target money amount designation betting system method is what the electronic betting system automatically calculates wager such that win money reach a target amount.

Namely, a customer sets a target money amount he/she desires to get together with designation of a target such as horse numbers to be betted on. In response to this, a proper amount of wager is automatically calculated based upon the target money amount and the odds of the designated target to be betted on. The calculated wager is automatically betted on the designated target.

For example, at a time of the last race, when a betting fund, which is 30,000 yen at first, is reduced to 15,000 yen which is half. In order to return the betting fund to 30,000 yen which is the original principal, “15,000 yen” is set as a target money amount and “horse number win system: third” is designated as a target to be betted on. Then, a proper amount of wager is automatically calculated as 1,000 yen based upon the target money amount “15,000 yen” and the odds (for example, 15 times) of the target to be betted on. The calculated wager of 1,000 yen is automatically betted on the target.

In the meantime, the odds designation betting method is what betting is automatically performed based upon a desired range of odds. Namely, a customer sets a desired range of odds, for example, 100 to 150 times, and sets an amount of wager. The electronic betting system automatically bets on all combinations within the range of the odds.

According to the paper prediction selection betting system, the target money amount designation betting system, or the odds designation betting system, by such a very easy input operation as designating a desired racing paper, designating a target money amount together with a target to be betted, or designating a desired range of odds, even a beginner can perform proper betting in a short time.

The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment, and may be modified without deviating from the scope of the present invention readable from the claims and the whole description.

For instance, the noncontact IC card 47 is combined with the mobile phone 45 is illustrated as a portable storage medium in the present embodiment, it however may use an independent IC card (including a noncontact IC card) as a portable storage medium (which corresponds to claim 5).

Further, the customer identification information is stored in the IC card 47 in the embodiment. Instead of or together with the customer identification information, input of one or any combination of code number, fingerprint data, palm print data, or the like can be performed properly for security reasons.

Finally, in the above embodiment, the electronic betting system according to the present invention is applied to the horse race system. It may be widely applied to betting event systems such as bicycle race system, motorboat race system, and auto race system.