Retrofit bill validator assembly

Abstract

A bill validator assembly is provided that retrofits a coin and token only slot machine to be operable with paper currency. A replacement mounting plate relocates the slot reels and provides space for a bill validator and storage cassette on the interior of the slot machine. An improved stacking drive stacks the bills horizontally for storage within the cassette and minimizes currency jams.

Claims

What is claimed is: 1. A bill validator assembly for use as a conversion assembly for converting a coin and token only slot machine into a slot machine that can also accept paper currency comprising: a) a mounting plate having a plurality of slot reel stations positioned thereon in close proximity to one another so as to provide sufficient space in the interior of the slot machine to receive a bill validator unit therein; b) a bill validator unit mounted on the mounting plate adjacent to the slot reel stations; c) the bill validator unit comprising: 1) a face plate having a bill insert shelf and a first display for showing any accrued credits; 2) a bill validator mounted behind the face plate for validating currency inserted through the bill insert shelf; and 3) a bill cassette mounted to a base and positioned behind the bill validator for stacking and storing currency which has been validated. 2. A method of converting a slot machine that accepts only coins or tokens into a slot machine that accepts not only coins and tokens but also paper currency comprising: a) providing a retrofit mounting plate having a plurality of slot reel stations positioned thereon in close proximity to one another so as to provide sufficient space in the interior of the slot machine to receive a bill validator unit therein; b) removing an existing mounting plate from the slot machine and replacing it with the retrofit mounting plate; c) providing a bill validator unit comprising: 1) a face plate having a bill insert shelf and a first display for showing any accrued credits; 2) a bill validator mounted behind the face plate for validating currency inserted through the bill insert shelf, and 3) a bill cassette mounted to a base and positioned behind the bill validator for stacking and storing currency which has been validated; and d) mounting the bill validator unit on the retrofit mounting plate adjacent to the slot reel stations.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a Continuation-in-Part of application Ser. No. 29/023,371, filed May 24, 1994, entitled "Bill validator Kit for a Gaming Machine", now Patent No D360,277; U.S. application Ser. No. 29/023,391, filed May 24, 1994, entitled "Mounting Plate for a Bill Validator Kit and Reel Assembly for a Gaming Machine", now pending; and U.S. application Ser. No. 29/023,396, filed May 24, 1994, entitled "Face Plate for a Bill Validator Kit for a Gaming Machine", now Patent No D360,228. This invention relates to a bill validator assembly used in an electronic slot machine and more particularly to a bill validator assembly that can be retrofit into an electronic slot machine that does not presently accept paper currency. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Electronic slot machines have been traditionally operated by the players who insert coins or gaming tokens to activate the slot machine. The coins or tokens enter into the gaming machine through a coin head on the door of the gaming machine and pass through a coin acceptor mechanism that determines whether the coin or token is valid for that machine. The coin or token then falls into a coin hopper mounted internally in the slot machine. In recent years, slot machines have begun to be made with currency acceptors provided therein as original equipment by the slot machine manufacturers. This construction allows a player to insert paper currency into the slot machine to activate the slot machine for play. The insertion of the paper currency causes a credit meter to be incremented according to the value of the paper currency. The player then uses the credits accrued on the credit meter to play the slot machine. A visual display of the credits accrued is normally shown on a meter visible to the player. However, there are a considerable number of slot machines currently in use that presently are configured to only accept coins or gaming tokens. In order to extend the useful life of these slot machines, there is a need to convert these coin and token only slot machines to slot machines that are also capable of accepting paper currency. It is an object of the present invention to provide a retrofit bill validator assembly that can be used to retrofit existing coin and token only slot machines to provide the capability of accepting paper currency. It is a feature of the present invention that a replacement mounting plate is provided to relocate the reels of the slot machine and thereby provide space on the interior of the slot machine for a bill validator unit. The bill validator unit is also mounted on the mounting plate with the face plate of the bill validator unit extending through the front of the slot machine so that it is accessible by the player. A bill stacking unit forms part of the bill validator assembly and stores paper currency in a cassette for later removal. It is an advantage of the present invention that coin and token only slot machines can be converted to be operable using paper currency. The expense of conversion is minimal, it can be done on location at the gaming establishment and there is no need to return the slot machine to the manufacturer for retrofitting. The cost of the coin and token only slot machines plus the cost of the retrofit bill validator assembly is less than the cost of a new slot machine manufactured with a bill validator as original equipment therein. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A bill validator assembly is provided that retrofits a coin and token only slot machine to be operable with paper currency. A replacement mounting plate relocates the slot reels and provides space for a bill validator and storage cassette on the interior of the slot machine. An improved stacking drive stacks the bills horizontally for storage within the cassette and minimizes currency jams. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a slot machine fitted with the retrofit assembly of the present invention. FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the retrofit assembly of the present invention. FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the bill validator unit of the present invention with its outer shell removed. FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the bill validator unit of the present invention with its outer shell removed. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS A slot machine provided with the retrofit assembly of the present invention is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1. A traditional slot machine has a cabinet 12 with a door 14 hinged thereto to provide access to the interior of the slot machine 10. The retrofit assembly 50 of the present invention includes a replacement mounting plate 60 for the mounting plate that traditionally holds the mechanical assembly of the slot reels (not shown). The mounting plate 60 has three slot reel stations 62A, 62B and 62C. The mounting plate 60 of the present invention has the same overall dimensions as the traditional mounting plate but the slot reel stations 62A, 62B and 62C are located laterally closer together and moved slightly to the left (as viewed facing the 10) to provide space on the interior of the slot machine 10 for the bill validator unit 100. The bill validator unit 100 is fastened to the mounting plate 60 by means of a mounting bracket 90 at the front of the bill validator unit 100 and a plurality of screws or other fastening means (not shown) at the rear of the bill validator unit 100. The bill validator unit 100 has an outer shell 110 that covers the internal components and a face plate 120 that extends through the upper glass area of the slot machine 10 when the retrofit assembly 50 is mounted in the slot machine 10 to make the bill validator unit 100 accessible to the player. The face plate 120 includes a bill insert shelf 122 into which paper currency is inserted by the player. A key lock 124 is provided to securely close the face plate 120 into the body of the bill validator unit 100. Various LED displays are also provided including a first display 126 that displays to the player the number of credits remaining, a second display 128, a third display 130 and a fourth display 132. Each of the second display 128, third display 130 and fourth display 132 are electronically connected to a electronic computer control that operates the bill validator unit 150 and the bill cassette 160 and these displays are used to show data or other information for use by the player or the gaming establishment during the operation and use of the slot machine 10. FIG. 3 shows the face plate 120 connected to the base 140 which receives the bill cassette 160. An electrical connection between the bill cassette 160 and the base 140 is provided by the pin connector 142 on the base 140. A corresponding pin connector (not shown) is mounted on the underside of the bill cassette 160. A conventional bill validator 150 is positioned on the base 140 directly behind the face plate 120 and in alignment with the bill insert shelf 122. FIG. 4 shows the bill cassette 160 in an exploded view. The bill cassette 160 comprises a cassette body 200 that is generally hollow to provide a space for the paper currency to be stacked following insertion into the bill insert shelf 122 and acceptance by the bill validator 150. At the rear of the cassette body 200 is a stacker drive housing 210 that contains the mechanical elements that effect the stacking of the paper currency. The top of the cassette body 200 is closed by a cassette lid 170 that is hingedly connected to the cassette body 200. The cassette lid 170 also includes a handle 172 and a lock aperture 174 for locking the cassette lid 170 into a securely closed condition. In operation, the owner of a conventional coin and token only slot machine obtains a retrofit assembly 50 that is used to convert the slot machine 10 into a paper currency accepting slot machine. The old mounting plate in the existing slot machine is removed and the new mounting plate 60 is inserted in its place. The reel structure is then remounted onto the new mounting plate 60 with each of the three reels fastened or otherwise secured to the mounting plate at 62A, 62B and 62C respectively. This results in the reels being moved slightly to the left (as viewed facing the slot machine 10) and slightly closer together. The bill validator unit 100 is fastened to the mounting plate 60 by means of the mounting bracket 90 and other fastening means. A new piece of glass is also provided in the upper area of the slot machine 10 to allow the face plate 120 to extend out the front of the slot machine 10 so that the bill validator unit 100 is accessible by the player. The new glass in the upper area of the slot machine 10 may also contain printing or other distinctive markings identifying the reels behind the glass and providing other information about the method of operation of the slot machine 10. In use, the player inserts paper currency into the bill insert shelf 122 and the paper currency is drawn into the bill validator 150 for validation. If the paper currency is found to be valid, the paper currency is further drawn into the bill cassette 160 where it is appropriately stacked by the stacker drive housing 210 in the cassette body 200. While the invention has been illustrated with respect to several specific embodiments thereof, these embodiments should be considered as illustrative rather than limiting. Various modifications and additions may be made and will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the invention should not be limited by the foregoing description, but rather should be defined only by the following claims.

Description

Topics

Download Full PDF Version (Non-Commercial Use)

Patent Citations (10)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    DE-3641806-A1June 16, 1988Paul GauselmannEinrichtung zum geldwechseln in einer spielstaette
    DE-3802124-A1August 03, 1989Nsm Apparatebau Gmbh KgGeldspielautomat
    GB-2186412-AAugust 12, 1987Bally Mfg CorpBill validation and change system for a slot machine
    US-4669596-AJune 02, 1987Debitek, Inc.Vending machine accessory permitting dual mode machine operation with either money or coded cards
    US-4966304-AOctober 30, 1990Lamba-Beta-Epsilon GroupBill money changer for slot machines
    US-5102136-AApril 07, 1992Bally Manufacturing CorporationSlot machine reel mounting assembly
    US-5113990-AMay 19, 1992Bally Manufacturing CorporationBill validation and change system for a slot machine
    US-5209477-AMay 11, 1993Bally Manufacturing CorporationSlot machine reel mounting assembly
    US-5310035-AMay 10, 1994Revenco CorporationPaper and coin currency totalizer for an existing vending machine
    WO-9321609-A1October 28, 1993Mars IncorporatedLecteur optique de billets de banque

NO-Patent Citations (1)

    Title
    The Dollars & Sense Solution , advertisement in Vending Times, Jul. 1989.

Cited By (74)

    Publication numberPublication dateAssigneeTitle
    US-5993317-ANovember 30, 1999Konami Co., Ltd.Apparatus for holding slip verification unit in a game machine and game machine incorporating the same
    US-2005003889-A1January 06, 2005Dabrowski Stanley P.Method and apparatus for scrip distribution and management permitting redistribution of issued scrip
    US-7036721-B2May 02, 2006Dabrowski Stanley PMethod and apparatus for autonomous validation of issued scrip media
    US-2008015032-A1January 17, 2008Sierra Design GroupCombination fingerprint reader and i/o devices for gaming machines
    US-2006021848-A1February 02, 2006Fireking InternationalApparatus having a bill validator and a method of servicing the apparatus
    US-9437075-B2September 06, 2016Western Gaming PropertiesMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    US-8388424-B2March 05, 2013Stanley P. DabrowskiMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    US-7452280-B2November 18, 2008Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming machine with common top box substructure
    US-7520810-B2April 21, 2009Dabrowski Stanley PMethod and apparatus for scrip distribution and management permitting redistribution of issued scrip
    US-8834264-B2September 16, 2014Stanley P. DabrowskiMethod and apparatus for providing cash-out and cash-in values to a gaming device
    WO-02073549-A2September 19, 2002Jcm American CorporationEncadrement perfectionne pour distributrice acceptant les billets
    US-8794420-B1August 05, 2014Fire King Security Products, LlcSecure storage apparatus
    US-8133102-B2March 13, 2012Dabrowski Stanley PMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    US-7458895-B2December 02, 2008Wms Gaming Inc.Floating bezel for a peripheral component in a gaming machine
    US-2007246531-A1October 25, 2007Western Money SystemsMethod and apparatus for low cost concurrent provision of gaming machine token redemption and ATM services
    US-2004053698-A1March 18, 2004Tastad Gregory J., Wurz Norman R.Floating bezel for a peripheral component in a gaming machine
    US-6332099-B1December 18, 2001Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine payout controlling system and method
    US-5700195-ADecember 23, 1997Aristocrat Leisure IndustriesSlot machines having security for bill validator and bill stacker
    EP-0896307-A1February 10, 1999Konami Co., Ltd.Dispositif de fixation pour un validateur de feuilles dans une machine de jeu et une machine de jeu qui comprend un tel dispositif
    US-9022847-B2May 05, 2015Western Gaming PropertiesMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    US-2004182676-A1September 23, 2004Hand Peter E.Enhanced bezel for currency acceptor
    WO-9816910-A1April 23, 1998Casino Data SystemsMachine a sous et methode associee
    GB-2406204-BFebruary 14, 2007Wms Gaming IncGaming machine with common top box substructure
    US-7556562-B2July 07, 2009IgtMethod and system for converting a slot machine
    US-6852029-B2February 08, 2005Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.Method for retrofitting gaming machines to issue and redeem tickets
    US-2005054449-A1March 10, 2005Kopera Thomas M., Cornell Bradley D., Rothschild Wayne H., Irving Scott M.Gaming machine with common top box substructure
    WO-2006138299-A3November 29, 2007Frank J PerryProcede et dispositif servant a adapter des distributeurs a pieces de monnaie pour un fonctionnement avec et sans piece
    US-6289261-B1September 11, 2001Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine payout dispensing system and method
    US-2013026218-A1January 31, 2013Mr. Kenneth Lee MillerCombination magnetic stripe and contactless chip card reader
    US-2008132330-A1June 05, 2008Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.Interface for a Gaming Machine
    US-6293867-B1September 25, 2001Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine payout system and method
    US-8734213-B2May 27, 2014Western Gaming PropertiesMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    WO-02073549-A3December 18, 2003Jcm American Corp, Peter E HandEnhanced bezel for currency acceptor
    US-6109416-AAugust 29, 2000Nickerson; James L.Method of operating a bill and coin changer
    US-2010096239-A1April 22, 2010Russo Anthony RCoin Hopper Conversion Method And Apparatus
    US-9177436-B2November 03, 2015Western Gaming PropertiesMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    US-6125307-ASeptember 26, 2000Bally Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine payout transportsystem
    US-6533659-B2March 18, 2003Millennium Gaming, Inc.Game machines and method of upgrading game machines
    US-2009054135-A1February 26, 2009Dabrowski Stanley PMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    US-6834794-B2December 28, 2004Stanley P. DabrowskiMethod and apparatus for autonomous validation of issued scrip media
    US-7886961-B2February 15, 2011Dabrowski Stanley PMethod and apparatus for low cost concurrent provision of gaming machine token redemption and ATM services
    US-2006277805-A1December 14, 2006Wms Gaming, Inc.Gaming machine with common alterable signage display
    US-6247572-B1June 19, 2001Mohegan Tribal Gaming AuthorityBill validator status detector
    US-7247098-B1July 24, 2007Sierra Design GroupCombination fingerprint reader and I/O devices for gaming machines
    US-9792463-B2October 17, 2017Kenneth L. MillerCombination magnetic stripe and contactless chip card reader
    US-9367992-B2June 14, 2016Stanley P. DabrowskiMethod and apparatus for providing secure and anonymous cash-out and cash-in values in a gaming system
    US-2002130012-A1September 19, 2002Kaehler John D.Protective cover for a vending machine bill validator and storage box
    US-2008139302-A1June 12, 2008Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.Interface for a Gaming Machine
    US-2005096127-A1May 05, 2005Dabrowski Stanley P.Method and apparatus for autonomous validation of issued scrip media
    US-7004837-B1February 28, 2006Sierra Design GroupCashless gaming apparatus, system, and method of use
    US-6698569-B2March 02, 2004John D. KaehlerProtective cover for a vending machine bill validator and storage box
    US-8939833-B2January 27, 2015Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.Interface for a gaming machine
    US-6763998-B1July 20, 2004Alliance Gaming CorporationSystem and method for securely storing and controlling the dispensing of a payout
    CN-1120452-CSeptember 03, 2003科乐美股份有限公司游戏机票签查验器的托持装置和装有此托持装置的游戏机
    US-2006172798-A1August 03, 2006Sierra Design GroupCashless Gaming Apparatus, System and Method
    US-2009036198-A1February 05, 2009Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming Machine With Common Top Box Substructure
    US-6068101-AMay 30, 2000Casino Data SystemsGaming machine currency apparatus and method therefore
    US-2007225074-A1September 27, 2007Dabrowski Stanley PMethod and apparatus for providing cash-out and cash-in values to a gaming device
    US-7927218-B2April 19, 2011Wms Gaming Inc.Gaming machine with common top box substructure
    US-8348043-B2January 08, 2013Fire King Security Products, LlcApparatus having a bill validator and a method of servicing the apparatus
    WO-2006138299-A2December 28, 2006Perry Frank JProcede et dispositif servant a adapter des distributeurs a pieces de monnaie pour un fonctionnement avec et sans piece
    US-2003036427-A1February 20, 2003Steve Brandstetter, James DevlinCoin counter and ticket dispenser for a game machine
    EP-2012279-A3November 03, 2010Innovative Technology LimitedBills and/or card validator and storage apparatus
    US-6712191-B2March 30, 2004Jcm American CorporationEnhanced bezel for currency acceptor
    GB-2406204-AMarch 23, 2005Wms Gaming IncGaming machine with common top box substructure
    US-9633508-B2April 25, 2017IgtEnhanced video gaming machine
    US-8303420-B2November 06, 2012Wms Gaming Inc.Wagering game machines with universal mounting base for light and marquee assemblies
    US-2005176492-A1August 11, 2005Jesse PierceReel slot machine and rotator
    US-2005006198-A1January 13, 2005Aruze Corp.Money validating machine
    US-6896180-B2May 24, 2005Alliance Gaming CorporationSystem and method for securely storing and controlling the dispensing of a payout
    US-9437076-B2September 06, 2016Western Gaming PropertiesMethod and apparatus for modifying gaming machines to provide supplemental or modified functionality
    US-6923306-B2August 02, 2005Jcm American CorporationEnhanced bezel for currency acceptor
    US-9033794-B2May 19, 2015Stanley P. DabrowskiMethod and apparatus for providing secure and anonymous cash-out and cash-in values in a gaming system
    US-2006113162-A1June 01, 2006Kenneth Ottesen, Thomas CostanzoValidator guide