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(12) United States Patent
(io) Patent No.: (45) Date of Patent:
US 7,094,151 B2 *Aug. 22, 2006
(54) PARI-MUTUEL SPORTS WAGERING SYSTEM
(76) Inventor: David W. Downes, P.O. Box 8097, Marysville, CA (US) 95901
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
(21) Appl. No.: 11/097,649
(22) Filed: Apr. 1, 2005
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2005/0181869 Al Aug. 18, 2005
Related U.S. Application Data
(63) Continuation of application No. 10/126,266, filed on Apr. 19, 2002, now Pat. No. 6,910,965.
(51) Int. CI.
A63A 9/24 (2006.01)
(52) U.S. CI 463/28; 463/25; 700/91
(58) Field of Classification Search 463/25 26,
463/28-29, 40^12; 700/91-92 See application file for complete search history.
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
6,236,900 Bl* 5/2001 Geiger 700/91
6,508,710 Bl * 1/2003 Paravia et al 463/42
6,527,270 Bl * 3/2003 Maksymec et al 273/138.1
6,910,965 Bl * 6/2005 Downes 463/28
2002/0087447 Al * 7/2002 McDonald et al 705/36
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner—Xuan M. Thai
Assistant Examiner—Alex F. R. P. Rada, II
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—DLA Piper Rudnick Gray
Cary US LLP
This invention relates to sports and event wagering, particularly to a new sport and event wagering game and system. This game and supporting system allows pari-mutuel wagering with respect to new areas other than horse or dog racing, which will expand the sports wagering industry to encompass new areas of interest and enjoyment to bettors. Specifically, pari-mutuel wagering is enabled with respect to the performance statistics of individual sport or event participants, combinations of sport participants, combinations of event participants, and sport teams. This wagering game is supported by an electronic system, which allows interaction with the game via various communications methods, remotely or in-person, which can allow or restrict wagering activity based upon bettor location.
16 Claims, 2 Drawing Sheets
PARI-MUTUEL SPORTS WAGERING Such fixed odds methods lack the flexibility to efficiently
SYSTEM accommodate a sports wagering game structure involving a
larger number of players.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS 5 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/126,266, filed on Apr. 19, 2002, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,910,965 whichis incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. 10
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is directed generally to wagering systems, and more particularly to wagering systems that 15 involve pari-mutuel wagering on the performance statistics of sports teams, individual sports players or athletes, or groups of such players.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 20
Although the current landscape provides some options for the sports gaming enthusiast to wager on sports, the options that exist are limited. There is a continuing need for a sports wagering game that has the following attributes: 25
High odds payout potential for every game, regardless of event type, game type, sport or length of game
Allows a single correct choice to be a sufficient condition for payout eligibility, without, in addition, having to beat a house imposed handicap or spread 30
No limitations with respect to choice of wagers or sport participants by the bettor
Ability for the bettor to apply knowledge, and skill
Ability for the bettor to rely on random chance, if desired
No requirement for the bettor to have an expert knowl- 35 edge of a sport in order to be successful
Currently choices for wagering on sports are limited by the drawbacks associated with fixed odds wagering. The profitability of providing fixed odds wagering on a given group of outcomes depends on the ability of the casino or 40 "house" to reliably split the betting money into offsetting groups corresponding to each outcome as weighted by the odds offered by the house. The house needs to do this "offsetting" because with fixed odds wagering each individual player is in effect betting against the house. Accord- 45 ingly, the ability of the house to minimize the risk to its own capital is limited by its ability to split the betting pool into appropriately weighted and offsetting groups. As a result of these limitations of fixed odds wagering, sports betting casinos typically offer sports betting in relation to only a 50 very limited range of choices and do not commonly offer high odds payouts.
With respect to football, for example, the house conventionally sets a point spread, which is a point handicap placed against the perceived stronger team, in an attempt to attract 55 an equal quantity of wagering on each team. With other sports, odds are conventionally set that have a higher level of payout for the perceived weaker team. From time to time the house may adjust the point spreads and payout odds offered on future sports wagers in an attempt to maintain a 60 balance between wagers on both sides. However, for a given sports wager, the terms or payout odds are conventionally fixed, so that the bettor is in effect wagering against the house. With conventional fixed odds sports wagering, in order to hedge its risks and maintain profitability, the house 65 must be able to reliably divide the betting money into offsetting groups.
The present invention improves upon typical casino sport wagering in part by incorporating a pari-mutuel wagering system and method. This type of wagering, although applied in horse and dog racing, is uncommon in other contexts.
Pari-mutuel betting (sometimes referred to as "para-mutual" betting) is a mote efficient betting system than fixed odds wagering in that the house does not have to rely on its ability to divide the betting pool in order to avoid risk to its own capital. The term pari-mutuel derives from the French expression meaning "a wager among ourselves".
The basic principle of pari-mutuel wagering is that the winners share the total stakes wagered on an event minus a fixed commission for the house. Another way of stating this is that pari-mutuel wagering is a form of betting in which the losers' wagers (less a percentage for the house) are distributed among the winners. The bettors compete against each other rather than against the house. Although pari-mutuel wagering has been applied to horse race betting, it has not been applied to wagering on the performance of human sports players as proposed herein.
Unlike fixed odds wagering, with pari-mutuel wagering, the house does not win money directly from the players, but rather only collects a commission on wagers. While the house will not win money directly from the bettors in this type of system, it will not lose money to the bettors. The house inherently has a far lower level of risk to its capital with pari-mutuel wagering than with fixed odds wagering. This fact in turn means that, with pari-mutuel wagering, the house is much more able to offer a wide variety of betting options as well as betting options with high odds payouts than is the case with fixed odds wagering. The reason this is so is that the house's flexibility in providing betting options is not limited by the need to divide the betting stakes into offsetting groups in order to hedge the house's risk to capital.
By definition, pari-mutuel type wagering in essence is a system where all bettors are competing for a common pool of funds. Bettor skills are pitted against one another rather than against the house.
Wagering games according to the invention deal with the performance statistics of the human sport players and teams, which are much more plentiful in type and number than are game scores. These games and statistics often are related to the performance of a single player. By focusing on the performance of a single player, a bettor can more easily apply his or her skill and knowledge.
The invention offers the possibility of high odds payouts with every game offered, as opposed to the even money payouts typical of casino sports wagering. The bettor does not have to select a multi-event parlay in order to potentially receive a large odds payout. A single correct choice by the bettor may result in a high-odds payout without the handicap of a point spread. In addition, high odds payouts are possible, even if the selected player does not finish in first place, enhancing bettor enjoyment. Also, the bettor can place wagers on a wider number of finish positions, providing greater utility and enhancing the bettor's ability to apply knowledge and skill.
In addition, the invention does not rely on newspapers and other print media as the primary means to communicate how to interact with the game. In addition, the invention does not