I-Gaming No Longer in the Picture for Akamai

3 December 2002

Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai Technologies Inc. last week called for a halt to carrying Internet gambling-related advertising.

Jeff Young, a spokesman for Akamai, said the decision affected only a small number of the company's customers and had an even less significant impact on revenues. Gaming ads, he said, accounted for a fraction of 1 percent of revenues.

Akamai specializes in online content distribution and e-business infrastructure. Its long list of high-profile clients includes AOL and IBM. A few I-gaming companies were on the list as well.

"We had three legacy clients that, as a part of their business, ran online gaming sites,'' Young said. "We've taken steps to terminate these relationships.''

The decision, he said, was based on a change in focus for the entire company.

"Akamai is focusing its business on three markets: Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and the Web's top 250 pure-plays," he said. "We have streamlined our sales efforts to these specific markets. The online gaming industry is not part of our target market, and we are not pursuing additional business in that particular industry."

The decision comes less than two weeks after third-party payment processor PayPal cut relations with all I-gaming merchants.

Young insists, however, that it wasn't based on PayPal's policy or any other developments affecting the I-gaming business negatively and is adamant that the company wasn't singling out online casinos or sports books. He said other smaller sectors have been affected by the company's new focus as well.

Officials with Akamai are uncertain whether an improving climate for online gaming in the United States would result in the company reestablishing its relationships with I-gaming clients.

Young would not disclose the identity of the company's three I-gaming customers.