Method Apparatus and System for permitting the self-service of established casino players to new casino destinations in the Gaming Industry via a Wide Area Network
This invention relates to the art of facilitating the ability for a game of chance player (“casino player” or “player”) to handle their own upcoming plans for accommodations and services via the World Wide Web or other Wide Area Network to a casino service provider (“casino”) without human intervention or approval by applying a set of rules, conveying information translated into the native language of the patron and approving the transaction according to the casino's house rules for similar established players even if the player has never visited this particular property or company's properties before the trip being planned. The invention will support numerous languages.
This invention relates to the art of facilitating the ability for a game of chance player (“casino player” or “player”) to handle their own upcoming plans for accommodations and services via the World Wide Web or other Wide Area Network to a casino service provider (“casino”) without human intervention or approval by applying a set of rules more particularly by conveying information translated into the native language of the patron and approving the transaction according to the casino's house rules for similar established players even if the player has never visited this particular property or company's properties before the trip being planned.DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART
There exist many forms of making reservations and many reservations systems designed to be operated by humans at a casino for the purpose of bringing an established player to the property for services. For the purposes of discussion, an established player is a customer of a casino property that has historical play with a casino stored in the casino's Customer Management System or another similar filing system which identifies the games played, hours played, amounts wagered and other information common in the industry which would be used to identify the player, qualify the player for future trips and other discounted services. These established players are preferred in some instances to players who are not established, or “rated.”
Historically, systems used by casinos to market to established players are self-contained and designed by programmers to be operated by casino personnel. These systems have no ability to be used by the established casino patron themselves for the purposes of planning services. Some systems have been extended to permit limited self-service on the gaming floor by an established player for the purpose of obtaining free or discounted services like meals while on-property; however, these systems require that the established player already be a member of that particular casino's frequent player program (i.e. they must be rated at that casino). These systems work quite well for established patrons returning for additional services, future trips, or free meals.
While these systems take into account a returning player that has been previously been rated in their casino system, none seem to handle the established player with past play at a competitor's casino property, which is new to this particular casino property and/or brand. Further, despite much automation in the decision-making ability of the existing player development service systems, which are designed to approve, discounted and free services for returning players, the highest of services to established players of competitive properties must still be approved manually with human intervention. Often this approval process is handled by a special customer service agent called a “host” or by a member of the senior marketing staff. It is routine in the host's industry to make phone calls, obtain faxes, and use human networking techniques to validate the past play of an established player at a different property. Existing systems stop short of any automated or mechanical means to validate the past play of an established player who has not yet visited a casino's property or sister properties.
Therefore a continuing need exists for a system which will take into account an established player's past play at another casino property in real-time via a centralized system, communicate the established level of play, apply a set of house rules, reserve and book the service request with the destination casino property's system, create an audit log and trail, and communicate with the player in their native language without human or host intervention.SUMMARY
An object of the present invention comprises a method and apparatus for providing a potential casino patron (player) with a means to self-service the arrangements directly into the computer systems, hotel management systems, and other reservations apparatus required to process an upcoming set of services at the casino property for the new or returning player. Said system services these players on a wide area network, such as the Internet and directly controls the process and all related facts surrounding the complete interaction of the process between the clients, the casino and the casinos where the player has been established from prior visits. In other words, potential casino patrons may use this system to plan new trips, with discounted and free amenities despite the fact that they have no prior experience at the casino in question. Furthermore, since the system is designed with multiple languages, the casino patron may self-service in their native language while the system validates their play, forms an audit trail and interacts with staff members at casino destinations independent of the patron's native language. The present implementation supports seven languages including French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Portuguese; however, the embodiment of this invention is by no means limited by these seven languages.
A further object of the present invention is to provide all interested parties of the transaction with the current status of the established player's past play lookup, the status of the reservation or request for amenities or services from the prospective casinos, and a list or combination of services, discounts or free amenities that the player qualifies for on the planned trip based upon an application of the house rules for the chosen casino. These house rules are programmatically entered by the operating casino staff members and are capable of determining eligibility around the clock to self-servicing casino patrons electronically.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus, which enables a plurality of gaming clients and casino service providers to manage a plurality of patrons via a global computer information network, such as the Internet.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a method and apparatus, which enables both new and pre-qualified players to access the current or historical status of the interactions via a global computer information network.
A further object of the present invention is to permit the casino patron to flag their request for human review or automated approval based upon a series of factors which may be configured by the casino establishment and changed from time to time based upon marketing priorities and other management policies. This “work queue” appears to the casino staff members as a list of items to approve or reject based upon subjective qualities of the content.
The above objects are substantially achieved by providing a computer and software program, recorded on a computer-readable medium, for controlling the computer of a potential client to maintain and generate a listing of players, maintain important rules of the trade, rules specific to the destinations and business logic of the expected exchange. The software program interacts with the database of information and applies the business rules to create lists of clients, alerts, emails, and other data that can be accessed via the Internet. Specifically, the software program is adapted to be run by a casino patron's computer to control the computer to generate a computer readable file (request file) that includes information pertaining to established play, ratings, trip dates, money wagered, desired trips, approval status, confirmation numbers, type of computer system, location of access, reservations, contacts, companies, and transactions that can be accessed from a remote site via the Internet. For example, these files can be posted as a Web site on the World Wide Web.
The current invention can utilize the Internet. The Internet comprises a vast number of computers and computer networks that are interconnected through communication links. The interconnected computers exchange information using various services, such as electronic mail, Gopher, and the World Wide Web (“WWW”). The WWW service allows a server computer system (i.e., Web server or Web site) to send graphical Web pages of information to a remote client computer system. The remote client computer system can then display the Web pages. Each resource (e.g., computer or Web page) of the WWW is uniquely identifiable by a Uniform Resource Locator (“URL”). To view a specific Web page, a client computer system specifies the URL for that Web page in a request (e.g., a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (“HTTP”) request). The request is forwarded to the Web server that supports that Web page. When that Web server receives the request, it sends that Web page to the client computer system. When the client computer system receives that Web page, it typically displays the Web page using a browser. A browser is a special-purpose application program that affects the requesting of Web pages and the displaying of Web pages.
The system is more efficient, effective, accurate and functional than the current art.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
Without restricting the full scope of this invention, the preferred form of this invention is illustrated in the following drawings:
The following description is demonstrative in nature and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention or its application of uses.
There are a number of significant design features and improvements incorporated within the invention.
As shown in
The present invention comprises a method and apparatus for providing a potential client 120, such as a casino player, self-service functionality with time and destination components that dramatically extend the art of established rated casino player self-servicing for players 120 serviced within a business that are planning to travel to a casino establishment. Additionally, the potential client 120 operates in their own spoken and written dialect or language. More specifically, the present invention relates to a method and apparatus which enables these potential clients to record all aspects of their past-play and the systems automatically validates the past play at the casinos where the player was previously established as a player 120 during the lookup process by maintaining a database 310 of historical, phase and state information pertaining to the transaction used in the business to introduce players 120 to the new property for an upcoming trip. The current invention accomplishes this via a global computer information network, such as the Internet 500, to record data relevant to the transaction while enforcing a series of business rules which must be followed during the transaction as defined by the casino's business operation. These rules must be followed to satisfy certain legal, regulatory or common-sense guidelines during the booking process and are inherent in the system.
The present invention further enables casino personnel to use the Internet 500 to manage and approve the transactions, perform reporting, create graphical representations of the process, value the transactions, the destinations and relative business being formed at each of the destinations or offices, verify staff and internal personnel performance, create graphs and other reports both online and offline on the relative performance of customer service personnel performing the functions on the part of the self-service system.
The computer application that includes the user interface for this invention will henceforth be referred to as the “System 1.” The system is network-based and works on an Internet, Intranet and/or Wireless network basis as well as a stand-alone and fax-based system.
The Users 10 contact the System Web Site 100 using an informational processing system (Client) capable of running an HTML compliant Web browser such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Lynx or Mosaic. A typical system that is used is a personal computer with an operating system such as Windows 95, 98 or ME, NT, 2000 or Linux running a Web browser. The exact hardware configuration of computer used by the Users 10, the brand of operating system or the brand of Web browser configuration is unimportant to understand this present invention. Those skilled in the art can conclude that any HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) compatible Web browser is within the true spirit of this invention and the scope of the claims.
In one preferred embodiment of the invention, the Users 10 and/or Casinos 20 connect to the System Web Site 100. In the preferred embodiment the system has numerous web pages. The information in the web pages are in HTML format via the Hypertext Transport Protocol (http) and on Server System database 310. The User System 110 includes software to allow viewing of web pages in multiple languages including double-byte implementations, commonly referred to as a Web Browser, such as Communicator available from Netscape Communications Corp. or Internet Explorer available from Microsoft Corp. The user system is capable of accessing web pages located on Server System database 310.
Output can include a graphical user interface, hardcopy, facsimile, e-mail, messaging or other communication with any humanly or machine discernable data and/or artifacts. In some embodiments, output can include transmitting the risk variable related data to a designated recipient, any humanly or machine discernable data and/or artifacts.
The system 1 is set to run on a computing device. A computing device on which the present invention can run would be comprised of a CPU, Hard Disk Drive, Keyboard, Monitor, CPU Main Memory and a portion of main memory where the system resides and executes. A printer can also be included. Any general-purpose computer with an appropriate amount of storage space is suitable for this purpose. Computer Devices like this are well known in the art and are not pertinent to the invention. The computing device can serve as a server.
The invention comprises a method and apparatus for providing a game of chance player self-service system for players 120 serviced within a business that are being provided to a casino establishment without the need for a host to approve amenities which would normally only be approved for an established returning customer by accessing historical play information from competing casino locations via a wide area network.
The system 1 enables casino staff to record data relevant to the transaction of delivery of casino clients 120 to destinations, casinos, venues, bars, nightclubs, and to each other including, but not limited to: the stage of the introduction process, preferred language, desired dates of travel, desired casino play, past play, past casino trips, desired travel, qualifying information, personal data, pictures, methods of transportation, personnel greeting and meeting information, alerts, probability of travel coming to fruition, charges related to the trip, credit and front-money requirements for the trip, arrival and departure dates, nightclub and other entertainment information, personal travel companions, spouse information, group leaders and other attributes associated with the other individuals on the trip.
These items are stored on the system's database 310. The system 1 enforces business rules and logic required by the site's business against these data to ensure that a business process is followed that maximizes profit, play and travel.
Casino Clients or Hosts as Users 10 can search this collection of data from the database using a series of qualifying criteria or context criteria, including dates of travel, age of member, gender of member, spouse or travel partner, desired games to be played, historical games played, complimentary status, approved or rejected complementarities, approved or rejected service amenities (meals, limos, etc), previous trips, “do not call” lists, common interests, play history, body features, pictures, and facial recognition attributes for security processing against criminal data as well as other personal information which may be of interest to a venue or person traveling.
The system 1 further enables a client 120 to be searched from a multiplicity of such clients, based upon their attributes, play or travel history. The method and apparatus further enables a client 120 to be searched based upon their desired destination. The method and apparatus further enables a player 120 to be searched based on their preferred games or style of playing games of chance. Standard search methodology that is commonly known in the art is used.
The system 1 enables the site administrator, client 120 or venue service personnel, as a User 10, to verify the client's profile information in real-time, batch or via the Internet with remote computer systems operated by the casino service provider for the purposes of scoring the client's profile against actual data collected during a previous visit of the player 120 to the casino service provider. The system 1 as a web-based system permits any licensed user 10 to book clients 120 via the web directly into a casino's or hotel systems.
The system 1 will enable the administrator, client or venue service personnel, as a User 10, to use this score against a series of criteria (rules) that match the casino service providers desired customers for a specific future travel data specified by the representative, player or casino service personnel. And to transmit this data back through the system for established players traveling to new casinos other than this one.
Thus, the venue service personnel may take hypothetical pairings of potential casino patrons and extrapolate the potential value of these patrons and pre-emptively make such an offer to entice them to return. This allows the venue, client or casino service personnel to concentrate on those players 120 that match specific criteria and maximize venue use or profit.
The system 1 is connected to other databases and computer systems, such as hotel reservation systems 130, allowing it the capable of monitoring gaming service provider hotel inventories, gaming space, and desired gamers and notifying the player 120 when a casino service provider has openings for which the player is qualified and/or interested in is made available by the gaming service provider. The system 1 can notify the player 120 and/or the service provider 20 through E-mail, mail, phone, and fax or any other means of communications 140 as shown in
The system 1 allows a plurality of casino service providers, representatives, and players 120 as users 10 to interact at a single location accessible via a global computer information network. The system 1 has a communications function that further enables a player and the venue representative to communicate directly with a gaming service provider facility, such as a casino, via the Internet if the client is interested in completing the plans for the client's next experience at the gaming service provider's facility (booking).
The system 1 allows a plurality of casino service providers to monitor the transactions and automatically notifies the venue representative and client when a rule is violated during the interaction process.
Advantages the previously described version of the present invention has many advantages. It provides a system for providing a game of chance player (casino player) self-service, language-independent system for players, it provides a method and apparatus to monitor the transactions and automatically notifies the casino personnel when a stay or amenity request by the player is approved, rejected or suspended, it provides a method and apparatus which enables a plurality of casino providers to manage a plurality of players via a global computer information network, and it provides a method and apparatus which enables both new and pre-qualified players to access the current or historical status of the interactions via a global computer information network. Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the point and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.
As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.
With respect to the above description, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.
Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
1. A self-servicing systems for established gaming players comprising:
- Having a database;
- Having said database contain data about an established player;
- Having said database contain gaming history about the established player;
- Allowing said data to be accessed by users of the system
2. A self-servicing system of claim 1 further comprising having said system being accessible by a user through the Internet.
3. A self-servicing system of claim 1 further comprising having said data being historic data of said gaming player from other properties.
4. A self-servicing system of claim 3 further comprising having said historic data being the gaming history of said casino client.
5. A self-servicing system of claim 1 further comprising having said data being the actuals, wagering data, win/loss, property, player account number, credit line information, service dates, and other gaming facts and preference data of said client.
6. A self-servicing system claim 1 further comprising having said system connecting to other database systems, not necessarily owned by the same company or brand (i.e. potentially competitors).
7. A self-servicing system of claim 6 further comprising having said other database systems being used to form a trip to a casino destination or entertainment venue near a casino.
8. A self-servicing system claim 1 further comprising having said system contacting said casino client.
9. A self-servicing system of claim 8 further comprising where said gaming player is contacted based on a selection criteria.
10. A self-servicing system of claim 9 further comprising where said selection criteria is based on the information contained in said database.
11. A self-servicing system of claim 6 further comprising where said system compares said data against a rule set.
12. A self-servicing system of claim 11 further comprising where said system will notify if a rule set is broken, approve if all rules are applied correctly, and suspend if one or more results conflict.
13. A self-servicing system claim 1 further comprising where said system has a communication means for players and users to contact each other in their native languages, not necessarily the same language on both ends of the conversation (i.e said system can translate between languages).
14. A self-servicing system of claim 8 further comprising where said notification is an E-mail.
15. A self-servicing system of claim 8 further comprising where said notification is mailing.
16. A self-servicing system of claim 8 further comprising where said notification is telephonic.
17. A self-servicing system of claim 6 further comprising where said other databases are Customer Management Systems of casinos.
18. A self-servicing system of claim 1 further comprising having said users searching based on qualifying criteria.
19. A self-servicing system of claim 8 further comprising having said users searching for a plurality of casino options based on their established validated play, likes and dislikes, next planned trip, favorite destinations, and other key items to interested persons.
20. A self-servicing system claim 8 further comprising having said users searching for a plurality of casino offers based upon their gaming history at established casinos.
21. A self-servicing system of claim 13 further comprising having said users with the ability to hide or unhide certain personal attributes about their past-play, past-trips, or personal data until they feel comfortable exposing this information to the new casino destination.
22. A self-servicing system of claim 13 further comprising having said users uploading and adding to their profile in the database a current picture of themselves for the purpose of showing other users or service personnel at venues and augmenting their historical established information with subjective information.
23. A self-servicing system of claim 13 further comprising having said users inviting other users to join groups to attend a venue together (group travel) based upon their established play.
24. A self-servicing system of claim 13 further comprising having venues contacting said casino clients with offers for their venues in order to maximize profit and venue turnout.
Filed: Aug 24, 2004
Publication Date: Mar 15, 2007
Inventor: George Nassef (Las Vegas, NV)
Application Number: 10/711,106
International Classification: A63F 9/24 (20060101);