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LAN Parties: Revival and Evolution in 2023



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In the early 2000’s, LAN (Local Area Network) parties made up a large part of what some call the golden age of gaming. But as Wifi connections became stronger and cheaper, multiplayer gaming moved online, and LAN parties took a step back from the limelight.

Even though they may seem extinct to some, there’s still a strong LAN scene. With Insomnia the Gaming Festival taking place from the 7th to the 10th of September, domain and hosting experts, and event guest, Fasthosts, wanted to explore the current state of LAN parties in 2023, rounding up some of the biggest events taking place worldwide.

Originating in the 70s, it wasn’t until the turn of the millennium that LAN parties became the driving social gatherings of the gamer community. It was common to see teens transferring their heavy setups to friends’ houses to revel in hours worth of gameplay in bunker-like basements and dated living rooms. LAN parties were the first true form of multiplayer gaming and involved each player to BYOC (Bring our Own Computer), and gather together in the same physical location and connect their computers or consoles to play offline LAN-compatible games.

Nowadays, most game servers no longer support LAN connections. Nonetheless, informal small “friendly” events take place across the world alongside larger tournaments. Interestingly, they have witnessed a shift by partially merging with the competitive world of eSports. Many tournaments recognise the appeal and importance of keeping their novelty alive, and have incorporated social gaming, and BYOC areas where participants can enjoy more casual playing sessions with friends or acquaintances.

With their rich cultural history and nostalgia, they are still enjoyed by avid gamers worldwide and bridge the gap between the past and present world of gaming. In fact, there are plenty of events that promote LAN style gaming and casual play – here are some of the largest events that are reviving the classic spirit of gaming:

Insomnia the Gaming Festival (UK)

Insomnia is the biggest gaming festival in the UK. Each year it hosts eSport competitions, meet and greets, cosplay, and gaming-related events. Insomnia are hosting their i7i LAN party on the 10/09 where you can compete in tournaments or friendly battles.

QuakeCon (USA)

QuakeCon is an annual video game convention that takes place in Texas. It is primarily centred around id software’s game, especially the Quake series. It will be the first in-person event since 2019, and it is said that this year’s convention will bring greater emphasis to the BYOC side of the event.

LanTrek (Finland)

LanTrek is an annual gaming event that started in 2001. Aimed at all young people interested in computers, consoles, board games and gaming, it features competitive tournaments, exhibition areas, and a BYOC option where individuals can enjoy casual gaming with their friends.

The Gathering (Norway)

The gathering takes place in April of each year in the Viking Ship in Hamar. As Norway’s biggest computing event, they celebrate Easter with games, eSport competition, lectures, and concerts. It is also run entirely by volunteers and non-profit organisations.

Dreamhack (Worldwide)

Dreamhack is one of the largest LAN party and gaming festivals globally. It started in Sweden but soon popped up in various other locations, including the US, France, India, and Spain. Each event combines eSports, LAN gaming, concerts, meet and greets and more.

Gamers Assembly (France)

Unlike others on this list, Gamers Assembly is solely a LAN gaming event. Organised by the FutuoLAN association it attracts thousands of players each year looking to take part in the tournaments from popular eSport titles to more niche selections.

Assembly (Finland)

The biggest gaming convention in Finland, it attracts an average of 30,000 participants every event. Centred around gaming, eSports and digital culture, for the summer 23 edition, Assembly announced their largest ever LAN area to date.

PAX (USA & Australia)

PAX takes place in numerous locations around the US and Australia. Although primarily a gaming event it offers a BYOC/community playing option alongside other fun features such as talks, game demos, concerts, and tournaments.

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Aspire Global Facing Pair of Legal Battles



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Prominent online gaming software and platform provider Aspire Global has been named as the defendant in a pair of court cases that could potentially result in it being ordered to pay compensation totaling up to €101 million ($109 million).

In the first complaint, Aspire Global is being sued in the United Kingdom by the founders of sports betting software, solutions and services provider BtoBet, Alessandro Fried and Igor Lestar, for €36 million ($39 million). This pair inked a deal in 2020 to sell their company to the Malta-based defendant in exchange for an upfront payment of some €20 million ($21.6 million) as well as an earn-out consideration tied to future earnings before tax.

However, Fried and Lestar through their Sousa Enterprises Limited and Eltsar Limited entities are alleging Aspire Global, which was last year acquired by NeoGames as part of a deal worth some €402.3 million ($423.5 million), violated the terms of this share purchase agreement by spending too little and not charging enough so as to deliberately decrease revenues and the subsequent earn-out sum.

The complex case with its many intricacies is not expected to go to trial before 2025 but could well result in Aspire Global being ordered to pay more than the €36 million headline figure. The financial implications are even more concerning as the defendant’s NeoGames parent is currently in the process of being acquired by Aristocrat in an arrangement valued at north of €1 billion.

In the United States and Aspire Global has also been separately named as the offender in an action brought by Ebet Incorporated, which is the operator of the Karamba, Griffon Casino, Hopa, Generation VIP, Scratch2Cash, Gogawi, Dansk 777 and Bet Target iGaming brands. This Nevada action is seeking some €65 million ($70 million) embracing compensatory damages, punitive fines and other financial penalties to be proven at trial and moreover names AG Communications and other affiliated entities as defendants.

Ebet Incorporated acquired specific business-to-consumer (B2C) assets and associated websites from Aspire Global in 2021 and simultaneously entered into a ‘white-label’ operator agreement embracing collaborative efforts on the future running of the purchased assets. The plaintiff is claiming the defendants breached these deals by manipulating their books to falsify and overstate active player data and exaggerate the health of the acquired properties.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Aspire Global is furthermore being accused by Ebet Incorporated of violating the terms of the agreements by materially failing to maintain necessary operations in Germany, falsifying records and violating industry regulations. The allegations could potentially shape the future trajectories of these companies as they also run to reputational harm, fraud, breach of contract and other unnamed violations due to be proven during the course of the trial.

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Industry News

PIN-UP Global Launches New Business Line Named PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS



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The international ecosystem PIN-UP Global, representing a set of businesses in various segments of the gaming industry, has launched a new business line named PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS.

PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS was created to stimulate the development of technologies and products for the gambling market and related industries by providing financial and expert resources, high-value industry contacts, the opportunity to enter new markets and integrate into the ecosystem.

PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS invests in projects and products in gambling, traffic, software development, customer service, payment systems, advertising platforms, arbitrage teams, artificial intelligence based products.

INVESTMENTS provides funding, training and consulting opportunities through in-house ecosystem experts, practice on PIN-UP product and business model testing, accelerated product growth and entry into new markets, access to a network of industry contacts, strategic planning support and possible integration into the ecosystem.

“PIN-UP.INVESTMENTS is a logical step for our ecosystem, which always supports the passion and drive to succeed. Our new direction is aimed to help projects and teams both to develop independently and to successfully integrate into PIN-UP Global. We believe in daring solutions and new technologies that can be effective,” Marina Ilyina, CEO of PIN-UP Global, said.

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Industry News

Valley View Casino & Hotel Earns Prestigious Top Workplaces 2023 Award and Two National Awards by The San Diego Union-Tribune



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Valley View Casino & Hotel in San Diego has received the Annual Top Workplaces Award and national honours for “Employee Appreciation” and “Professional Development”, as presented by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The accolades are the result of an engagement survey. With a 62% response rate and an 82% satisfaction rating, Valley View Casino & Hotel’s team members echoed their positive experiences within the organisation.

Joe Navarro, President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Pasqual Casino Development Group, said: “Our tribe has worked hard to create a trusted environment for team members and guests, and we are proud to be recognized with this prestigious award, as well as recognized nationally.”

Judy Wright, Vice President of Human Resources at Valley View, said: “Being recognized with the Top Workplaces Award and the two national awards validate all the best practices and benefits we’ve put in place for our team members over the past 22 years. It truly is an honor to receive this award and a privilege to work for a company as great as Valley View Casino & Hotel.”

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