There are few crypto casinos that are more involved in sports than Stake. The long list of partnerships include big names such as the UFC (including multiple individual fighters), Premier League football teams, Japanese boxing, Brazilian Rugby and they even work with Davis Cup Tennis.
Don’t forget the already well documented up and down partnership they have with Drake.
$100 Million Racing Deal
Another major sport that Stake is involved in is of course Formula One. It was around this time last year that Stake signed a 3-year partnership deal with the Alfa Romeo F1 team as a co-title partner, worth around $100 million.
Bye-Bye Alfa Romeo
The Sauber team has competed under the Alfa Romeo flag since 2018. However, at the end of last season, the Italian brand pulled out of the Formula One circuit. So what does this mean? Well, clearly there had to be some changes going forward.
Audi Takes Over in 2026
Audi actually purchased Sauber last year but the complete takeover won’t come into full effect until 2026. Because of the gap between Alfa Romeo’s late drop out and the Audi takeover, Stake saw an opportunity to step in. This is what led to the January 2024 announcement of the Stake F1 Team.
Stake Levels Up and Becomes Sole Title Partner
The Australia based crypto casino giant decided to level up the partnership and become the sole title partner, which included full naming rights of the operation.
So for the next two seasons, starting in March 2024, the Swiss team will operate under the Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber banner before being rebranded as Audi in 2026. When that happens, the team will become part of the German manufacturer’s work squad.
Casino Operating License Causes Problems
Formula One is a huge global brand with a circuit that includes races in all corners of the world. As you might know, Stake.com is ultimately licensed in Curacao and authorized to operate with different URLs in countries such as Mexico or the UK, although not always for cryptocurrency.
Online gambling is heavily regulated in Switzerland, which has a licensing framework for operators and has explicitly banned the unlicensed variety, which includes Stake.com. It also has very strict laws about online gambling advertising. That means Sauber could face a hefty fine due to FCC litigation.
Two Names Because of Gambling Regulations
Because of the various markets that are hosting all the races, the Formula One racing team Sauber will be known by two names this season, “Stake” or “Kick,” depending on country-specific gambling regulations.
At a recent unveiling event of its new-look C44 race car in London, Sauber Group managing director Alessandro Bravi said the team’s identity would be changed in locations where its main sponsor, online crypto casino Stake, might be unacceptable.
Not least of these is Sauber’s native Switzerland, whose Federal Casino Commission (FCC) has initiated legal proceedings against the team because of the unlicensed status of Stake.
Team Stake or Team Kick
In a statement, Bravi gave the following explanation behind the decision to use two names.
“We will have two different team names this year according to the different countries where we are going to race in order to comply with applicable local laws,” he explained.
“Where Stake is prohibited because there are restrictions on gambling advertising, we will use Kick within our team name,” he added.
Redefining the Way Live Streaming is Done
Bravi, who is also the Sauber Motorsport Team Representative, proceeded to speak highly about the new partnership.
“Sauber has always been about innovation, breaking the mold and defying convention. The partnership with Kick.com is the latest and boldest display of the philosophy that drives us.”
Kick.com is redefining the way live streaming is done and they will adopt the same disruptive approach in the world of Formula 1. With Kick.com, our goal is to take the next step in finding new and innovative ways to get closer to our fans.”
Let’s See What’s Next
I have to say that considering the complicated situation, due to market regulations, being able to switch between names is a clever solution. At the same time, I’m also a little surprised that the Formula One governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), will allow it.
With that said, I’m excited to see where Stake will take things and what they will do to promote themselves and activate the fans throughout the season. I’m sure there will be promotions with F1 prizes in the mix, which should be great fun for players all around.
We’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, you can find out all you need to know about sports betting and where to bet by clicking here. Also, most of the sports books already take bets for the upcoming Formula One season.