Stake’s F1 Sauber Deal put Under Microscope by Swiss Gambling Watchdog 

According to reports from media outlet SRF, the Swiss Federal Gambling Board Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK) is looking into the latest deal between crypto casino Stake and the Sauber Formula 1 team for potentially breaching the country’s advertising regulations. 

Earlier this week, Sauber revealed its latest C44 car that will feature in the new season which starts at the end of February. The Stake logo was prominently visible not only on the car itself but also on the team’s uniforms.

This comes after the crypto casino significantly increased its investment into Sauber, with the team even adopting the name Stake F1 Team ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix on 29 February and all subsequent races before Audi takes the wheel in 2026.

However, this has apparently caused a conundrum for Sauber, particularly in its homeland of Switzerland where gambling advertisements are strictly monitored by the ESBK.

Switzerland’s Federal Act on Money Games (AMG) heavily limits the promotion of all real money games and online gambling by foreign companies, requiring organisers to first obtain a Swiss licence – something that Stake does not currently possess.

Therefore, access to the crypto casino from within Switzerland is restricted for users, with Sauber even taking additional steps to completely remove the Stake branding from its website, despite the size of the sponsorship deal. 

However, Sauber has a card up its sleeve that it will play to avoid troubles with EKBA and other international regulators that also limit the advertising of gambling. The team has hinted at switching its name to feature the branding of its other major sponsor – video streaming platform Kick – to become Kick F1 Team when necessary. 

Alunni Bravi, Managing Director of Sauber, commented: “As we did last year, we will comply with all applicable laws. And if Stake is banned, we will have an alternative team name. Depending on the country, we work with Stake or Kick.”

Regardless, if Sauber finds itself in hot water with the ESBK, the following fine could reach up to 500,000 Swiss Francs (£453,000). 

Still, the team at Sauber remains calm, with Bravi adding: “We always comply with all applicable laws, including in Switzerland. We took all measures to comply with them.”

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