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1. (WO2007075332) NETWORKS FOR USE IN GAMING
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

CLAIMS

1. A method comprising:
establishing a connection between a network and a plurality of gaming units located in a gaming establishment, wherein each gaming unit includes at least one wagering input unit;
wherein the network includes one or more network resources and is connected to at least some of the plurality of gaming units; and
transmitting gaming information traffic on the network wherein at least some of the gaming information traffic being routed through the network is based on whether the gaming information traffic is administrative information traffic for managing a gaming unit or game play information traffic for use in play of the game.

2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the network includes routing equipment and the gaming information traffic is routed in data units through the routing equipment based on apriority of the data units.

3. A method according to claim 2 further wherein the priority is based on a type of event that is supported with the gaming information traffic.

4. A method according to claim 3 further wherein the type of event is selected from the group consisting of: game outcome, game determination, non-essential video content, and essential video content.

5. A method according to claim 1 including a wireless network and further including:
using one or more channels of the wireless network to convey administrative information to one or more of the gaming units;
using the one or more channels of the wireless network to support game play information traffic; and wherein the game play information has priority over the administrative information.

6. A method according to claim 5 wherein the administrative information includes game software or data downloaded and installed on one of the gaming units.

7. A method according to claim 5 wherein the game play information includes information used in the play of at least one session of a game being played by a player.

8. A method according to claim 5 wherein the game play information is sent through the network substantially in real-time or near real-time.

9. A method according to claim 5 wherein the transmission of game play information is associated with a first quality of service and the transmission of administrative information is associated with a second quality of service, wherein the quality of service associated with traffic determines which traffic is prioritized.

10. A method according to claim 1 further including at least one of the gaming units bidding for bandwidth against another device on the network seeking bandwidth wherein the bidding is based on a characteristic of the traffic to be transferred.

11. A method according to claim 1 further including preemptively re-routing data traffic on the network to facilitate gaming information traffic.

12. A method according to claim 1 further including re-routing traffic to accommodate a download of gaming software.

13. A method according to claim 1 further wherein the gaming information traffic is at least in part a stream of game content to be displayed on at least one of the plurality of gaming units, and further wherein the game content sent to the gaming units is selected based on available bandwidth.

14. A method according to claim 13 further including sending a denser stream of game content when a relatively higher bandwidth is available on the network to carry the game content to the gaming unit, and a less dense stream of game content when a relatively lesser bandwidth is available on the network to carry the game content to the gaming unit.

15. A method according to claim 14 wherein the less dense stream comprises a more compressed, lower bit rate or lower quality of content or alternative content that requires less bandwidth.

16. A method according to claim 1 further wherein the gaming information traffic is prioritized based on available bandwidth

17. A method according to claim 1 further wherein at least some of the gaming information traffic is prioritized based on player perception related to the operation of at least one of the plurality of gaming units.

18. A method according to claim 16 wherein traffic may be allocated based on an identity or characteristic of a player playing the gaming unit to which the traffic is directed.

19. A method according to claim 16 wherein prioritization is based on available bandwidth and further wherein traffic may be allocated based on a recent pattern of play on a gaming unit to which the traffic is directed.

20. A method according to claim 19 wherein the pattern of play indicates wagering at a rate above one or more thresholds.

21. A method according to claim 16 including prioritizing the traffic to gaming units based on a type of gaming unit.

22. A method according to claim 21 wherein gaming units requiring a higher denomination of wager are prioritized over gaming units requiring a relatively lower denomination of wager.

23. A method according to claim 16 wherein at least some content related to a live broadcast of a sports event has higher priority over at least some content that is not related to a live sports event.

24. A method according to claim 16 wherein priority is determined using the number of bets placed.

25. A method according to claim 1 further including monitoring the network and responding to fluctuating network traffic or changes in the network to reroute game play information traffic on the network by reallocating at least one network resource.

26. A method according to claim 25 further wherein the network includes at least one wireless access point and including rerouting traffic by removing communication from at least one access point and shifting it to another access point.

27. A method according to claim 25 further including monitoring the network using a monitoring server that monitors wireless coverage of the network from one or more wireless access points and network traffic conditions.

28. A method according to claim 27 including reconfiguring the network such that if one of the access points is removed from operation, at least one other access point is reconfigured to compensate for the access point removed from operation.

29. A method according to claim 27 wherein the network includes one or more wireless resources and further wherein the installation of the wireless resources is at least partly automated.

30. A method according to claim 29 wherein the automation includes at least in part the assignment of channels to one or more wireless access points to minimize interference between channels.

31. A method according to claim 25 wherein the network includes a plurality of wireless access points and further including automated tuning of the network to provide wireless coverage.

32. A method according to claim 31 further wherein the automated tuning is configured to minimize dead spots caused by interference, poor coverage or overload.

33. A method according to claim 25 further including scanning the network to determine a topology to aid in automatic configuration of the network.

34. A method according to claim 33 further including moving a mobile device around an area served by the one or more wireless access points to determine signal strength and to map out the coverage of the area.

35. A method according to claim 25 wherein the network includes one or more access points and at least one gaming unit operable to provide the network with at least one indication of received signal strength to allow the network to determine approximately which areas are weak in signal strength. "

36. A method according to claim 25 further including rerouting gaming information traffic using a decentralized rerouting process.

37. A method according to claim 25 further including rerouting gaming information traffic using a centralized rerouting process.

38. A method according to claim 25 further including:
supporting one or more gaming units from one or more access points on the network; and
redeploying at least some of the gaming units to different ones of the access points.

39. A method according to claim 25 wherein the connection established with the gaming units is a wireless connection, and further wherein the network is adapted to monitor its wireless coverage at least by detecting faults in a wireless access point.

40. A method according to claim 25 wherein the connection established with the gaming units is a wireless connection provided by a wireless access point, and further wherein if there is a disruption of service from the wireless access point, the network dynamically re-routes network traffic.

41. A method according to claim 25 wherein the connection established with the gaming units is a wireless connection provided by a wireless access point, and further wherein if there is a disruption of service from the at least one wireless access point, the network dynamically re-routes network traffic to balance traffic.

42. A method according to claim 25 wherein the connection established with the gaming units is a wireless connection provided by a wireless access point, and further wherein if there is a disruption of service from the at least one wireless access point, the network dynamically re-routes network traffic to establish an active network path for at least one of the gaming units.

43. A method according to claim 42 wherein the traffic is re-routed to provide for a shortening of the path from a server to the gaming unit.

44. A method according to claim 25 further wherein the network is formed at least in part using a mesh network topology.

45. A method according to claim 44 further wherein traffic may be rerouted on the network due to the removal, failure or overload of a node on the mesh network.

46. A method according to claim 1 wherein at least some of the gaming information is wide area progressives (WAP) data and further wherein the WAP data is content prioritized.

47. A method according to claim 1 further wherein the content prioritization includes giving low priority for downloads.

48. A method according to claim 1 further wherein the content prioritization includes giving higher priority for server-based games.

49. A method according to claim 1 further wherein if network traffic becomes congested or overloaded, an instruction is sent to the gaming units or other devices connected to the network, instructing the gaming units or other devices to take action to reduce further traffic for a period of time.

50. A method according to claim 49 wherein the action includes delaying initiation of a spin sequence for a period of time.

51. A method according to claim 50 wherein the delay is chosen to be largely imperceptible to a player but long enough to relieve the overloading or congestion.

52. A method comprising:
installing on a gaming unit a wireless access point device built into or integrated with the gaming unit; and
deploying a plurality of the gaming units in an area to create a wireless network with wireless network coverage for mobile devices.

53. A method according to claim 52 wherein the wireless network may be formed as a wireless mesh or as a fixed network.

54. A method according to claim 52 wherein the gaming units include an antenna.

55. A method according to claim 54 wherein the antenna is a candle-shaped antenna.

56. A method according to claim 54 wherein the antenna is adapted to allow transmission of RF signals through a glass bezel on the gaming unit.

57. A method according to claim 52 wherein the gaming units include a router deployed above the gaming unit on a mast supported by the gaming unit.

58. A method comprising:
connecting one or more gaming units to a wireless network wherein each gaming unit includes a wagering input unit;
using one or more channels of the wireless network to convey administrative information to one or more of the gaming units; and
using one or more other channels of the wireless network to support game play information, wherein the one or more other channels are different than the one or more channels used for administrative information.

59. A method according to claim 58 wherein the administrative information includes game software or data downloaded and installed on at least one of the gaming units.

60. A method according to claim 59 wherein one or more channels of the wireless network are secured and one or more channels of the wireless network are not secured.

61. A method according to claim 58 wherein the game play information includes information used in the play of at least one session of a game being played.

62. A method according to claim 58 wherein the game play information is sent through the network substantially in real-time or near real-time.

63. A method according to claim 58 further wherein if there is a competition for network capacity between the game play information and administrative
information, the game play information has priority over the administrative information.

64. A method according to claim 63 wherein the transmission of game play information is associated with a first quality of service and the transmission of administrative information is associated with a second quality of service, wherein if there is a competition for network capacity between the game play information and administrative information, the quality of service determines which information is prioritized.

65. A computer-readable medium encoded with instructions for directing a gaming unit to:
establish a connection between a network and a plurality of gaming units located in a gaming establishment, wherein each gaming unit includes at least one wagering input unit and wherein the network includes one or more network resources and is connected to at least some of the plurality of gaming units; and transmit gaming information traffic on the network.

66. A system comprising:
a plurality of gaming units;
one or more network resources coupled to at least one of the plurality of gaming units using a communication network;
wherein the gaming units and the network resources communicate gaming information over the communication network.

67. An apparatus comprising:
a wagering game unit operable to receive a wager in association with a wagering game;
a wagering game network; and
at least one virtual LAN on the wagering game network adapted to reduce network traffic using a multicast protocol.