The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "It is desirable in the gaming industry to, from time to time, pay an at least apparently random payout simultaneously on a group of associated machines, because this can lead to a significant event occurring in a venue and encourage machine usage. The most simple way of achieving this is using a central controller to generate an appropriate signal that is simultaneous fed to each of the machines in the group. In reality it is often difficult to hard wire all such machines to a server, particularly if the server is to be kept in a secure location. Accordingly, in many venues, at least some of the links to such gaming devices are wireless and commonly utilized a mobile telephone technology. It has been found that in many instances there are variations in signal strength over time, with the result that a particular gaming device may not receive its 'random' win signal at all or may receive the signal an interval after other machines in the group. This can lead to a significant loss of visual and/or aural impact and so there is a need to overcome the problems arising from the technical unreliability of the mobile signal strength."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "From one preferred aspect of the invention there is a group of associated gaming devices each having a lottery drawer comprising a database having a plurality of entries, each entry containing one or more winning numbers associated with a predetermined time information, and a pseudo random number generator for generating pseudo random numbers from a seed supplied by the database, and a clock for extracting the winning number or numbers from an entry of the database for the time interval indicated by the clock, and a comparator for at least one receiving of the extracted winning number or numbers and at least one number generated by the pseudo random generator, wherein the comparator is adapted for generating a win signal when the extracted winning number and the generated pseudo random number match; and wherein all of the associated gaming devices include identical databases having the plurality of entries and pseudo random number generators whereby win signals are generated simultaneously.
"An active device is one which is being played or, as indicated below, is being played and meets other criteria.
"It will be understood that the system will enable the 'random' win to occur simultaneously on each machine whether or not they are connected to a central controller. In general it is desirable that there is a connection to a central controller so that the clocks within the devices can be synchronized from time to time but the random win in any specific device is not dependent on whether or not the link to the controller is up at the moment of the win.
"Preferably each database entry includes a header which constitutes or contains the seed for the pseudo/random generator. Conveniently the time period is twentyfour (24) hours. Preferably each data entry includes a plurality of winning numbers which are drawn off in sequence.
"The number of data entries may be such that the same winning number will not be extracted on the same date for at least a two year period. Additionally or alternatively it is preferred that the number of data entries is such that the same winning number will not extracted on the same day of the week as previously occurred within the at least a two year period.
"The database may have 448 entries when the machines are installed they should be set to begin with the same data entry in the sequence.
"At least one device in the group may include an enabler for enabling the lottery drawer of that device when a set of predetermined conditions apply. For example the conditions may be one or more of player time, number of games played, the interval between the players and total stake.
"From a further aspect the invention consists in a method of operating a group of associated gaming devices including providing each device with the same database of sequential entries containing winning numbers, each database being associated with a predetermined time interval, seeding a pseudo random number generator from the next entry in the sequence in accordance with the actual timing date, extracting a number from said next entry, comparing the extracted number and the number generated by the pseudo random number and generating a win signal if the numbers match whereby all active devices produce a win signal simultaneously.
"Preferably the method includes determining if any particular device is eligible for a lottery draw. This may be done, for example, by establishing the presence of one or more of the following conditions, player time, number of games played, the intervals between plays and total stake.
"Each database entry may include a header which may constitute or contain the seed for the pseudo random generator. The time interval may be 24 hours. The number of data entries may be such that the same winning number will not be extracted on the same date and/or on the same day of the week within at least a two year period. The database may have 448 entries.
"From a still further aspect the invention consists in a gaming device having a lottery drawer including a memory for storing a database having a plurality of entries each containing one or more winning numbers associated with a predetermined time interval, a pseudo random number generator for generating numbers from a seed supplied by the database, a clock for extracting the winning number or numbers from an entry of the database for the time interval indicated by the clock, a comparator adapted for generating a win signal when the winning number and the generated number match. Such a device may have the features of the individual associated devices as specified above.
"Although the invention has been defined above it is to be understood that it includes any inventive combination of the features set out above or in the following description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The invention may be formed in various ways specific embodiments will now be disclosed with reference to the accompanying drawings in which
"FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view illustrating an example of the external appearance for gaming device;
"FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating the components of the gaming device of FIG. 1;
"FIG. 3 is a table illustrating an example lottery database for use in embodiments of the invention; and
"FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating the operation of the lottery associated with the gaming device of FIG. 1."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Watts, Ron; Dinning, Andy. Gaming Devices and Methods of Operating Them. Filed
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