Title:
GAMING SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gaming system is disclosed which includes a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device being arranged to implement a game. The gaming system includes a communications network arranged to connect the gaming devices in networked relationship, and a parameter repository arranged to store gaming device parameters. The gaming system is arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository and modification of the gaming device parameters from a gaming device.



Inventors:
Andersson, Hakan (Sundbyberg, SE)
Application Number:
12/490862
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
06/24/2009
Assignee:
Aristocrat Technologies Australia PTY Limited (North Ryde, AU)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HSU, RYAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. c/o Armstrong et al. (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A gaming system comprising: a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device being arranged to implement a game; a communications network arranged to connect the gaming devices in networked relationship; and a parameter repository arranged to store gaming device parameters; the gaming system being arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository and modification of the gaming device parameters from a gaming device.

2. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein gaming device parameters associated with at least one gaming device are stored remotely relative to the gaming device and accessible through the communications network.

3. A gaming system as claimed in claim 2, comprising a remote base station arranged to store gaming device parameters, the remote base station comprising data indicative of at least one game and a game server arranged to serve data indicative of a game to a gaming device for implementation at the gaming device.

4. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one gaming device is arranged to store gaming device parameters.

5. A gaming system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the gaming device parameters stored at a gaming device are associated only with the gaming device.

6. A gaming system as claimed in claim 4, wherein the gaming device parameters stored at a gaming device are associated with a plurality of gaming devices.

7. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the gaming system is arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository from at least one dedicated gaming device.

8. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the gaming system is arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository from any one of the plurality of gaming devices.

9. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, comprising an authorization device arranged to permit access to the game parameters by a person only when the identity of the person has been verified.

10. A gaming system as claimed in claim 9, wherein the authorization device is arranged to receive an authorization code from a person, to compare the authorization code with a reference authorization code, and to permit access to the game parameters if the entered authorization code and the reference authorization code match.

11. A gaming system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the gaming system comprises an identification device reader and the reference authorisation code is stored on an identification device, the identification device reader being arranged to extract the authorization code from the identification device when the identification device is in communication with the identification device reader.

12. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the gaming device parameters include speaker volume; allowable bill denominations receivable by a bill acceptor of the gaming device; status of the gaming device; and/or opening hours associated with the gaming venue.

13. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the gaming system is arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository from a remote location through the Internet.

14. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one gaming device comprises a gaming machine.

15. A gaming system as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one gaming device comprises a gaming terminal arranged to implement a game in association with a gaming server.

16. A gaming device arranged to implement a game, the gaming device being arranged to facilitate access to at least one parameter repository arranged to store gaming device parameters associated with at least one respective gaming device, and to facilitate modification of the gaming device parameters from the gaming device.

17. A gaming device as claimed in claim 16, wherein the gaming device is arranged to communicate with a remote base station arranged to store the gaming device parameters, and to facilitate modification of the gaming device parameters stored in the remote base station.

18. A gaming device as claimed in claim 16, comprising a parameter repository arranged to store gaming device parameters at the gaming device.

19. A gaming device as claimed in claim 18, wherein the gaming device parameters stored in the parameter repository are associated only with the gaming device.

20. A gaming device as claimed in claim 18, wherein the gaming device parameters stored in the parameter repository are associated with a plurality of gaming devices.

21. A gaming device as claimed in claim 16, comprising an authorization device arranged to permit access to the game parameters by a person only when the identity of the person has been verified.

22. A gaming device as claimed in claim 16, wherein the gaming device parameters include speaker volume; allowable bill denominations receivable by a bill acceptor of the gaming device; status of the gaming device; and/or opening hours associated with the gaming venue.

23. A method of managing gaming device parameters comprising: providing a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device being arranged to implement a game; connecting the gaming devices in networked relationship; storing gaming device parameters for a plurality of gaming devices; and facilitating access to the gaming device parameters and modification of the gaming device parameters from a gaming device.

24. A method as claimed in claim 23, comprising storing gaming device parameters associated with at least one gaming device remotely relative to the gaming device.

25. A method as claimed in claim 24, comprising storing gaming device parameters at a remote base station, the remote base station comprising data indicative of at least one game and a game server arranged to serve data indicative of a game to a gaming device for implementation at the gaming device.

26. A method as claimed in claim 23, comprising storing gaming device parameters at a gaming device.

27. A method as claimed in claim 26, comprising storing gaming device parameters associated only with the gaming device at a gaming device.

28. A method as claimed in claim 26, comprising storing gaming device parameters associated with a plurality of gaming devices at a gaming device.

29. A method as claimed in claim 23, comprising facilitating access to the parameter repository from at least one dedicated gaming device.

30. A method as claimed in claim 23, comprising facilitating access to the parameter repository from any one of the plurality of gaming devices.

31. A method as claimed in claim 23, comprising permitting access to the game parameters by a person only when the identity of the person has been verified.

32. A method as claimed in claim 23, wherein the gaming device parameters include speaker volume; allowable bill denominations receivable by a bill acceptor of the gaming device; status of the gaming device; and/or opening hours associated with the gaming venue.

33. A method as claimed in claim 23, comprising facilitating access to the parameter repository from a remote location through the Internet.

34. An article of manufacture comprising: a computer readable storage medium; and executable program instructions embodied in the computer readable storage medium that when executed by programmable system cause the system to perform functions that implement a method of managing gaming device parameters comprising: providing a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device being arranged to implement a game; connecting the gaming devices in networked relationship; storing gaming device parameters for a plurality of gaming devices; and facilitating access to the gaming device parameters and modification of the gaming device parameters from a gaming device.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of priority to Australian Provisional Patent Application No. 2008903206, filed on Jun. 24, 2008, entitled “A GAMING SYSTEM”, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a gaming system, a gaming device and a method of managing gaming device parameters.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known to provide a gaming system which comprises a game controller arranged to implement a game and a player interface usable by a player to play the game.

In some gaming systems which include a plurality of networked gaming devices, parameters associated with the gaming devices, such as speaker volume, allowable denominations, and so on, are adjustable by operators of the gaming system, for example by providing a dedicated maintenance terminal connected through the network to the gaming devices and usable to modify the parameters associated with the gaming devices.

However, such a dedicated maintenance terminal is expensive for relatively small gaming venues and necessitates a dedicated space at the gaming venue which may not be readily available.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming system including:

a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device being arranged to implement a game;

a communications network arranged to connect the gaming devices in networked relationship; and

a parameter repository arranged to store gaming device parameters;

the gaming system being arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository and modification of the gaming device parameters from a gaming device.

In one embodiment, gaming device parameters associated with at least one gaming device are stored remotely relative to the gaming devices and accessible through the communications network. With this embodiment, the gaming system may include a remote base station arranged to store gaming device parameters, the remote base station including data indicative of at least one game and a game server arranged to serve data indicative of a game to a gaming device for implementation at the gaming device.

In one embodiment, at least one gaming device is arranged to store gaming device parameters. The gaming device parameters stored at a gaming device may be associated only with the gaming device or may be associated with a plurality of gaming devices.

In one arrangement, the gaming system is arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository from at least one dedicated gaming device.

In an alternative arrangement, the gaming system is arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository from any one of the plurality of gaming devices.

In one embodiment, the gaming system includes an authorization device arranged to permit access to the game parameters by a person only when the identity of the person has been verified.

The authorization device may be arranged to receive an authorization code from a person, to compare the authorization code with a reference authorization code, and to permit access to the game parameters if the entered authorization code and the reference authorization code match.

In one embodiment, the gaming system includes an identification device reader and the reference authorisation code is stored on an identification device which may be an identification card, the identification device reader being arranged to extract the authorization code from the identification device when the identification device is in communication with the identification device reader.

In one embodiment, the gaming device parameters include speaker volume; allowable bill denominations receivable by a bill acceptor of the gaming device 12; status of the gaming device 12; opening hours associated with the gaming venue; and/or any other gaming device related property.

In one arrangement, the gaming system is arranged to facilitate access to the parameter repository from a remote location through the Internet, for example by a remotely located computing device such as a personal computer, or by a wireless enable personal digital assistant (PDA).

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming device arranged to facilitate access to at least one parameter repository arranged to store gaming device parameters associated with at least one respective gaming device, and to facilitate modification of the gaming device parameters from the gaming device.

In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of managing gaming device parameters including:

providing a plurality of gaming devices, each gaming device being arranged to implement a game;

connecting the gaming devices in networked relationship;

storing gaming device parameters for a plurality of gaming devices; and

facilitating access to the gaming device parameters and modification of the gaming device parameters from a gaming device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Certain embodiments of 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 gaming system in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram a gaming device of the gaming system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic representation of the gaming device shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a schematic block diagram of operative components of the gaming device shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a schematic block diagram of components of a memory of the gaming device shown in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic representation of a login screen displayed by the gaming device shown in FIGS. 2 to 4;

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic representation of a game parameters menu displayed by the gaming device shown in FIGS. 2 to 4;

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic representation of a game parameters table displayed by the gaming device shown in FIGS. 2 to 4;

FIG. 9 is a schematic block diagram of a gaming system in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic representation of a gaming device of the gaming system shown in FIG. 9.

Features, further aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of embodiments thereof, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. Also, various embodiments of the aspects described in the preceding paragraphs will be apparent from the appended claims, the following description and/or the accompanying drawings. It should be understood, however, that the present invention is not limited to the arrangements and instrumentality shown in the attached drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS

Although the following discloses example methods, systems, articles of manufacture, and apparatus including, among other components, software executed on hardware, it should be noted that such methods and apparatus are merely illustrative and should not be considered as limiting. For example, it is contemplated that any or all of these hardware and software components could be embodied exclusively in hardware, exclusively in software, exclusively in firmware, or in any combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware. Accordingly, while the following describes example methods, systems, articles of manufacture, and apparatus, the examples provided are not the only way to implement such methods, systems, articles of manufacture, and apparatus.

When any of the appended claims are read to cover a purely software and/or firmware implementation, at least one embodiment of the elements is hereby expressly defined to include a tangible medium such as a memory, DVD, CD, etc. storing the software and/or firmware.

Referring to the drawings, an embodiment of a gaming system 10 is shown which is arranged to implement a probabilistic game, in this example of the type wherein several symbols from a set of symbols are randomly displayed, and a game outcome is determined on the basis of the displayed symbols.

With some such probabilistic games, the set of symbols used include standard symbols and function symbols, and the game outcome is determined on the basis of the displayed standard symbols and the function associated with any displayed function symbol. For example, standard symbols may resemble fruit such as apples, pears and bananas with a win outcome being determined when a predetermined number of the same fruit appear on a display along a win line, or are displayed according to defined outcome patterns such as scattered, and so on. The function associated with a function symbol may be for example a wild function wherein display of the function symbol is treated during consideration of the game outcome as any of the standard symbols. A function symbol may be represented as the word “WILD”, a star, or by any other suitable word or symbol. Other functions are also envisaged such as scatter functions, multiplier functions, repeat win functions, jackpot functions and feature commencement functions.

Referring to FIG. 1, a schematic diagram of a gaming system 10 in accordance with the present embodiment is shown. The gaming system 10 includes several gaming devices 12 connected together in networked relationship. In this example, a remote base station 16 is also connected to the network 14, the base station 16 storing data indicative of several games which may be controllably served to the gaming devices for implementation by the gaming devices 12.

The base station 16 includes a processor 18 for controlling and coordinating operations in the base station 16, a games repository 20 for storing data indicative of one or more games implementable by the gaming devices 12, a games server 22 arranged to serve games to the gaming devices 12 under control of the processor 18, and a network interface 24 arranged to interface with the network 14 and facilitate communications between the base station 16 and the network 14.

The gaming system, 10 also includes a parameters repository 26, in this example included in the base station 16. The parameters repository 26 stores parameters usable by the gaming devices 12 to define properties of the gaming devices 12. Example parameters include speaker volume; the allowable bill denominations receivable by a bill acceptor of the gaming device 12; the status of the gaming device 12, for example whether the gaming device is on-line or off-line; opening hours associated with the gaming venue and thereby whether gaming is allowed or not; and/or any other gaming device related property. The parameters repository 26 is arranged to store a parameter record 28 for each gaming device 12, each parameter record 28 containing data indicative of parameters associated with the gaming device 12.

The gaming system 10 is arranged such that the parameters contained in the parameter records 28 are modifiable by an operator from at least one of the gaming devices 12, in the present embodiment by enabling a gaming device to display a parameters menu on the gaming device display on request using a player interface associated with the gaming device.

While this embodiment is described in relation to a gaming system wherein gaming device parameters are stored at a network location remote from the gaming devices 12, it will be understood that other arrangements are possible. For example, each gaming device may be arranged to store gaming device parameters locally at the gaming device, and the gaming system arranged so that the gaming device parameters stored locally at the gaming devices are accessible using one dedicated gaming device or any of the gaming devices connected to the network.

It will also be understood that the ability to modify the gaming device parameters is not restricted to locally disposed gaming devices 12. For example, access to the gaming device parameters, whether stored at the base station or locally at the gaming devices 12, may also be permitted by remotely located devices such as through the Internet by gaming devices 12 or computer enabled devices such as personal computers and personal digital assistants (PDA) located remotely relative to the gaming venue.

An embodiment of a gaming device 12 is shown in block diagram form in FIG. 2. The gaming device 12 includes a player interface 30 and a game controller 32. The player interface 30 is arranged to enable interaction between the gaming system and a player or gaming device operator and for this purpose includes input/output components for the player to enter instructions and play the game and for the operator to gain access to a parameters menu and make changes to gaming device parameters as required.

Components of the player interface 30 may vary but will typically include a credit mechanism 34 to enable a player to input credits and receive payouts, one or more displays 36 which may include a touch screen, and a game play mechanism 38 arranged to enable a player to input instructions.

The game controller 32 is in data communication with the player interface 30 and typically includes a processor 40 arranged to process game play instructions and output game player outcomes to the display 36. Typically, the game play instructions are stored as program code 42 in a memory 44 that can also be hardwired. It will be understood that in this specification the term “processor” is used to refer generically to any device that can process game play instructions and may include a microprocessor, microcontroller, programmable logic device or other computational device such as a personal computer or a server.

In this example, the memory 44 also stores at least one service program 46 which is used by the processor 40 to enable modification of the gaming device parameters at the gaming device by an operator. The service program 46 uses game menu data 46 which defines the characteristics of a parameters menu displayed on the display 36 when the parameters menu is requested by an operator. In this example, access to the parameters menu is only allowed after the operator has been authenticated. This may occur by storing an authorisation code 49 in the memory 44 and requesting the authorisation code 49 from the operator prior to granting access to the parameters menu.

In an alternative authorisation arrangement, the gaming system may be provided with a reader which may be in the form of a player marketing module (PMM), and the person authorised to access the parameters menu provided with an identification card readable by the PMM and including information identifying the person. Insertion of the identification card into the PMM first causes the player tracking device to verify that the person indicated on the card is authorised to gain access to the parameters menu, and secondly causes a request to be made for the person to enter an authorisation code such as a PIN number. Verification of the PIN number causes access to the parameters menu to be permitted.

The gaming device 12 also includes a network interface 47 arranged to facilitate communications between the gaming device 12 and the network 14.

The gaming system 10 can take a number of different forms.

In a first form, gaming devices in the form of gaming machines are provided wherein all or most components to implement a game are present in the gaming machine.

In a second form, a distributed architecture is provided wherein some of the components to implement a game are present in a player operable gaming device and some of the components to implement the game are located remotely relative to the gaming device, such as in a base station as shown in FIG. 1. For example, a “thick client” architecture may be used wherein part of the game is executed on a player operable gaming terminal and part of the game is executed remotely, such as by a gaming server; or a “thin client” architecture may be used wherein most of the game is executed remotely such as by a gaming server and a player operable gaming terminal is used only to display audible and/or visible gaming information to the player and receive gaming inputs from the player.

However, it will be understood that other arrangements are envisaged. For example, an architecture may be provided wherein a gaming device is networked to a gaming server and the respective functions of the gaming device and the gaming server are selectively modifiable. For example, the gaming system may operate in stand alone gaming machine mode, “thick client” mode or “thin client” mode depending on the game being played, operating conditions, and so on. Other variations will be apparent to persons skilled in the art.

Irrespective of the form of implementation of the gaming system, various arrangements are possible for storing and facilitating access to gaming device parameters associated with the gaming devices, including storing the gaming device parameters locally at the gaming devices or storing the gaming device parameters for at least some of the gaming devices at the base station 16.

A stand alone gaming device 50 for use with the gaming system is illustrated in FIG. 3. The gaming device 50 includes a console 52 having a display 54 on which is displayed representations of a game 56 that can be played by a player. A mid-trim 60 of the gaming device 50 houses a bank of buttons 62 for enabling a player to interact with the gaming device, in particular during game play. The mid-trim 60 also houses a credit input mechanism 64 which in this example includes a coin input chute 64A and a bill collector 64B. Other credit input mechanisms may also be employed, for example, a card reader for reading a smart card, debit card or credit card. A reading device may also be provided 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.

A top box 66 may carry artwork 68, 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 69 of the console 52. A coin tray 70 is mounted beneath the front panel 69 for dispensing cash payouts from the gaming device 50.

The display 54 is in the form of a video display unit, particularly a cathode ray tube screen device. Alternatively, the display 54 may be a liquid crystal display, plasma screen, or any other suitable video display unit. The top box 66 may also include a display, for example a video display unit, which may be of the same type as the display 54, or of a different type. The display 54 may include a touch screen usable by a player to interact with the gaming device, in particular during game play, and to interact with the system menu in order to display a parameters menu usable to access and modify parameters associated with one or more gaming devices.

The display 54 in this example is arranged to display representations of several reels, each reel of which has several associated symbols. During operation of the game, the reels first appear to rotate then stop with at least one symbol visible on each reel. Game outcomes are determined on the basis of the visible symbols together with any special functions associated with the symbols.

A player marketing module (PMM) 72 having a display 74 is connected to the gaming device 50. The main purpose of the PMM 72 is to allow the player to interact with a player loyalty system. The PMM has a magnetic card reader for the purpose of reading a player tracking device, for example as part of a loyalty program. However other reading devices may be employed and 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. The PMM 72 may also be arranged to read identification information from an identification card in order to authorise a person to gain access to meter data stored in the gaming device memory. In this example, the PMM 72 is a Sentinel III device produced by Aristocrat Technologies Pty Ltd.

FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of operative components of a gaming device 100 which may be the same as or different to the gaming device shown in FIG. 3.

The gaming device 100 includes a game controller 101 having a processor 102. Instructions and data to control operation of the processor 102 in accordance with the present invention are stored in a memory 103 which is in data communication with the processor 102.

Typically, the gaming device 100 will include both volatile and non-volatile memory and more than one of each type of memory, with such memories being collectively represented by the memory 103.

FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of the main components of an exemplary memory 103. The memory 103 includes RAM 103A, EPROM 103B and a mass storage device 103C. The RAM 103A typically temporarily holds program files for execution by the processor 102 and related data. The EPROM 103B may be a boot ROM device and/or may contain some system or game related code. The mass storage device 103C is typically used to store game and service programs, the integrity of which may be verified and/or authenticated by the processor 102 using protected code from the EPROM 103B or elsewhere, and meter data 28.

The gaming device has hardware meters 104 for purposes including ensuring regulatory compliance and monitoring player credit, an input/output (I/O) interface 105 for communicating with a player interface 120 of the gaming device 100, the player interface 120 having several peripheral devices. The input/output interface 105 and/or the peripheral devices may be intelligent devices with their own memory for storing associated instructions and data for use with the input/output interface or the peripheral devices. A random number generator module 113 generates random numbers for use by the processor 102.

In the example shown in FIG. 3, the peripheral devices that communicate with the game controller 101 include one or more displays 106, a touch screen and/or bank of buttons 107, a card and/or ticket reader 108, a printer 109, a bill acceptor and/or coin input mechanism 110 and a coin output mechanism 111. Additional hardware may be included as part of the gaming device 100, or hardware may be omitted based on the specific implementation.

In addition, the gaming device 100 may include a communications interface, for example a network card 112. The network card may, for example, send status information, accounting information or other information to a central controller, server or database and receive data or commands from the central controller, server or database.

It is also possible for the operative components of the gaming device 100 to be distributed, for example input/output devices 106,107,108,109,110,111 may be provided remotely from the game controller 101.

An example of a specific implementation of a gaming system will now be described.

During normal operation, the gaming system implements a game in response to player input. The game may be implemented solely by a gaming device, or at least partly by the gaming device and at least partly by a remote base station.

In order to view and/or modify at least one parameter associated with a gaming device, a representative of operators of the gaming system causes an authorization screen 200 to be shown on a gaming device using the game play mechanism 20 and/or touch screen, as shown in FIG. 6. Using the authorization screen 200, an operator enters authorization information, in this example a login name 202 and authorization code 204, in order to verify the identity of the representative.

Positive identification grants the representative access to a parameters menu 210 shown in FIG. 7 which may be navigated using the game play mechanism 20 and/or touch screen. The parameters menu 210 includes a plurality of buttons 212, each button 212 corresponding to a gaming device and being arranged such that, when activated, a parameters table 220 as shown in FIG. 8 is displayed.

Each parameters table 220 includes at least one parameter 222 and at least one modifiable value 224 for each parameter 222. In this example, the parameters 222 include speaker volume; allowable bill denominations; the machine status, that is, whether the gaming device is on-line or off-line; and the gaming venue opening hours and, as such, the times at which the gaming device may be used by a player. However, it will be understood that other parameters are envisaged.

Using the parameters table 220, an operator is able to modify the parameter values 224 for the gaming device associated with the parameters table 220.

While the above embodiment is described in relation to a gaming system wherein gaming device parameters are stored at a base station in networked communication with the gaming devices, it will be understood that other arrangements are possible. For example, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, an alternative gaming system 300 and gaming device 310 are shown. Like and similar features are indicated with like reference numerals. With this arrangement, instead of storing the gaming device parameters at a base station in networked communication with the gaming devices, the parameters 312 for each gaming device are stored locally at the gaming device 310, for example in the gaming device memory 44, and each gaming device is arranged so as to allow the gaming device parameters to be accessed and modified through the network, for example from other gaming devices 310.

It will be appreciated that the gaming system may also be arranged so as to facilitate access to the gaming device parameters 28, 312 from devices other than the gaming devices disposed at the gaming venue. For example, the gaming system may be arranged to as to facilitate access to the gaming device parameters by computing devices such as personal computers disposed remotely relative to the gaming venue, or by network enabled, for example wireless network enabled, personal portable computing devices such as personal digital assistant devices (PDA).

In the claims of this application and in the description of the invention, except where the context indicates otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the words “comprise” or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising” are used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the invention.

It is to be understood that, if any prior art publication is referred to herein, such reference does not constitute an admission that the publication forms a part of the common general knowledge in the art, in Australia or any other country.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that numerous variations and/or modifications may be made to the invention as shown in the specific embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as broadly described. The present embodiments are, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. Several embodiments are described above with reference to the drawings. These drawings illustrate certain details of specific embodiments that implement the systems and methods and programs of the present invention. However, describing the invention with drawings should not be construed as imposing on the invention any limitations associated with features shown in the drawings. It will be understood that the invention disclosed and defined in this specification extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text or drawings. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the invention.

The present invention contemplates methods, systems and program products on any electronic device and/or machine-readable media suitable for accomplishing its operations. Certain embodiments of the present invention may be implemented using an existing computer processor and/or by a special purpose computer processor incorporated for this or another purpose or by a hardwired system, for example.

Embodiments within the scope of the present invention include program products comprising machine-readable media for carrying or having machine-executable instructions or data structures stored thereon. Such machine-readable media can be any available media that can be accessed by a general purpose or special purpose computer or other machine with a processor. By way of example, such machine-readable media may comprise RAM, ROM, PROM, EPROM, EEPROM, Flash, CD-ROM or other optical disk storage, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to carry or store desired program code in the form of machine-executable instructions or data structures and which can be accessed by a general purpose or special purpose computer or other machine with a processor. When information is transferred or provided over a network or another communications connection (either hardwired, wireless, or a combination of hardwired or wireless) to a machine, the machine properly views the connection as a machine-readable medium. Thus, any such a connection is properly termed a machine-readable medium. Combinations of the above are also included within the scope of machine-readable media. Machine-executable instructions comprise, for example, instructions and data which cause a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or special purpose processing machines to perform a certain function or group of functions.