Sauber not concerned about Stake investigation by Swiss Authorities

The Sauber Formula 1 team says it is not concerned by a report that it could potentially face a fine in Switzerland over its sponsorship deal with online gambling company Stake.

Swiss broadcaster SRF reported Tuesday that the national gambling regulator had opened proceedings against Sauber. The team is based in Switzerland, where gambling advertising by foreign companies is restricted. SRF reported a fine of up to 500,000 Swiss francs ($573,000) was possible.

In an e-mailed statement to The Associated Press, the regulator, known as the ESBK, said it would not comment on any proceedings. It said Stake’s online gambling website was not approved to operate in Switzerland and had been on a blocked list since 2021.

“Sauber Motorsport AG have always complied and continue to comply with all existing regulations, both Swiss and of whichever country we race in,” Sauber said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. “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.”

Stake became a sponsor of the team last year and took on a more prominent role this season after previous title sponsor Alfa Romeo left. Sauber has previously removed Stake branding from its cars for some races where local laws ban or restrict its advertising.

Stake logos were prominent on the new Sauber car, the C44, when it launched Monday. The team is branding itself as the Stake F1 Team for most races this year and plans to use the name of another sponsor, Kick, for others where gambling advertising is not allowed.

Stake’s logo was not visible on the Sauber Group website’s list of partners as of Wednesday. Later the same day, the list was not accessible on the site.

Stake did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The AP. (The Associated Press)

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