The team around F1’s Sauber will use Stake or Kick labels to comply with local laws in the coming Formula 1 season. Alessandro Bravi, Sauber Group’s managing director, recently announced that the team’s name would change in certain countries.
Where their primary sponsor, the online crypto-gambling platform Stake.com, might be deemed inappropriate, they will switch it to Kick. This includes Switzerland, where the Federal Casino Commission (FCC) has taken legal action against Sauber due to the unlicensed status of Stake.com.
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Sauber ran as Alfa Romeo since 2018, but was now left without a primary sponsor when the luxury car manufacturer withdrew from Formula One at the end of the 2023 season. However, Sauber secured a deal to become the Audi Factory team until 2026, and Stake.com, based in Australia, has secured the naming rights for two seasons.
Stake.com, which launched in 2017, has achieved remarkable success over the years and is now the largest cryptocurrency gambling platform globally. In addition to securing a sponsorship deal with Everton, an English Premier League club, the platform has also acquired naming rights for Sauber in Formula One.
Moreover, the online platform has gained further recognition after they appointed singer Drake as its brand ambassador.
The site’s founder, Edward Craven, has an estimated net worth of over $1 billion, as reported by the Australian Financial Review’s “Rich List.”
It is worth mentioning that Stake.com operates mainly in the grey market. This means the platform has obtained licenses in certain jurisdictions.
In other regions, online gambling is not explicitly prohibited and no licensing is available.
Although Stake.com has a Curacao licence and can operate under different URLs in countries like the UK or Mexico. Cryptocurrency is not always accepted.
Switzerland has strict regulations on online gambling, with a licensing framework for gambling operators, and has strictly banned unlicensed operators such as Stake.com. Additionally, the country has stringent laws on advertisements related to online gambling. As a result, Sauber is at risk of facing significant fines due to the litigation initiated by the FCC.
During the event in London, Bravi tried to remain optimistic about the partnership with Stake.com despite the complex issues it raised. Bravi explained that they want to comply with the local laws. In countries where the team goes to race, Sauber will use two different team names this year. Which one will depend on the legislation.
In countries with strict regulations on gambling advertisements, they will switch. Based on local laws, where “Stake” is prohibited, the team will incorporate “Kick” in its name.
For context, Kick.com is a subsidiary of Easygo Entertainment, the parent company of Stake.com.