Sauber F1 team break silence over controversial Stake sponsorship

Liam Corless
Sauber are being faced with legal action from Switzerland's gambling commission

Formula 1 team Sauber is facing legal action in Switzerland due to its partnership with online casino Stake, which is unlicensed in the country.

The development comes after the Zurich-based team agreed to make Stake its title sponsor for the 2024 season.

Swiss law dictates that only licensed casinos domiciled in Switzerland may offer gaming services to people in the country.

Stake is headquartered in Curacao and therefore unable to obtain a licence in Switzerland, prompting an investigation by the country’s Federal Gaming Commission.

Sauber spokesperson comments

A Sauber spokesperson said: “Sauber Motorsport have always complied and continue to comply with all existing regulations, both Swiss and of whichever country we race in.

“The report of an ongoing investigation by the Swiss Authorities does not concern us: this is a procedure that will highlight our compliance with all applicable regulations.”

It was reported on Wednesday morning that the Stake logo had been removed from the Sauber website, but it was later clarified that the change was due to routine website maintenance.

The Zurich-based team had already acknowledged that the car’s livery and even the team name would have to be changed at several races this season where gambling advertisements are banned.

In locations where gambling advertising is allowed, they will race under the Stake F1 name, while they will race under the name of another sponsor, streaming platform Kick, in race locations where gambling advertising is not permitted.

Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said: “We will be fully complying with all the local applicable laws and where Stake is prohibited, so where gambling advertising is prohibited, we will use a different name.

“As last year, we have Kick as one of our most important partners – our chassis name is a Kick Sauber – so where we are not going to race as Stake F1 Team, we will use a second team name.”

About The Author

Liam has 10 years' experience in journalism, having previously operated as the Manchester Evening News' associate football editor, and as an editor for the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express and the Daily Star.