Posted on: February 6, 2024, 07:48h.
Last updated on: February 6, 2024, 07:48h.
Formula One racing team Sauber will be identified as “Stake” or “Kick,” depending on the gambling regulations in each location, this season.
At an unveiling event in London of its latest C44, Sauber Group managing director Alessandro Bravi explained that the team’s identity would change in regions where its primary sponsor, online crypto casino Stake.com, might not be acceptable.
Particularly in its native Switzerland, the team faces legal action by the Federal Casino Commission (FCC) due to the unlicensed status of Stake.com.
Sauber, competing as Alfa Romeo since 2018, is transitioning to become the Audi factory team in 2016. This allowed Australia-based Stake.com to secure the naming rights for the following two seasons.
Stake.com’s Rapid Growth
Established in 2017, Stake.com has grown to become the largest crypto gambling platform globally. Alongside securing the Sauber sponsorship, it is the official sponsor of English Premier League club Everton, with singer Drake as its brand ambassador. Edward Craven, its founder, is reported to have a net worth exceeding $1 billion.
Stake.com operates predominantly within gray markets – licensed in some jurisdictions, but continuing to operate in others that have not explicitly banned online gambling.
Stake.com is licensed in Curacao and authorized to operate with various URLs in countries such as Mexico or the UK, although not always for cryptocurrency.
Online gambling in Switzerland is heavily regulated, including a framework for operators, explicit ban on unlicensed gambling, and strict laws regarding gambling advertising. Sauber could face significant penalties due to FCC litigation.
Kick Into Gear
Despite the legal challenges, Bravi expressed optimism about the Stake.com partnership and its impact in London this week.
“We will have also this year two different team names according to the different countries where we are going to race in order to comply with applicable laws,” Bravi explained.
“Where Stake is prohibited due to gambling advertising restrictions, we will use Kick within our team name,” he added.
Kick.com, a subsidiary of Stake.com’s parent company Easygo Entertainment, is an online live-streaming platform.