Sauber issue response after concerns raised about Stake branding displayed during C43 launch

Michelle Foster
Alfa Romeo's new sponsor

Alfa Romeo's new sponsor

Sauber has responded to claims they could face “criminal consequences” for displaying the Stake brand during their presentation of the C43, insisting they adhered to all local laws.

According to a report in Switzerland, the team could be in hot water with Swiss authorities, “criminal consequences” level of hot water, after showing off the Stake branding during Tuesday’s presentation.

The Hinwil team announced last month a new multi-year partnership with Stake, an online casino and sports betting platform. In the team’s press release, though, they referred to the company as a “sports and entertainment brand”.

Stake signed a multi-year deal that runs from 2023 to 2025, a deal said to be worth $100m.

But it’s also causing a few headaches for the team.

Given that Stake is an online casino and sports betting platform, Blick journalist Matthew Dubach reports the Stake logo will only be visible at some grands prix given different laws around the world banning gambling advertising.

Switzerland is one such country with regulations in place.

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Under Swiss regulations, online casinos and the likes are only allowed to advertise if there is the company headquarters are in Switzerland and they pay taxes there.

Stake doesn’t fall into the category, which could put Alfa Romeo in hot water with Swiss authorities as the logo was prominently displayed during the launch which took place in Zurich.

Ruedi Schneider, deputy head of the Federal Gaming Board (ESBK), told Blick: “If the ESBK becomes aware of the case and initiates an investigation, it could have criminal consequences.”

The Sauber Group, though, has been quick to deny they’ve done anything wrong.

Sauber told the publication: “Stake confirmed to us that the company is not targeting the Swiss market with its games of chance.

“The domain is blocked in Switzerland and further measures are being taken to prevent Swiss users from accessing Stake services.

“As a team, we always comply with all applicable local laws and FIA regulations.”