- Stake is an online betting and gambling platform sponsoring Alfa Romeo
- The company is not in Switzerland but Curacao
- Yet it has its logo displayed on the new C43 against Swiss advertising laws
Days after Alfa Romeo unveiled its new 2023 design of the C43, the Formula One team could be staring at a criminal lawsuit courtesy of one of its sponsors, Stake.
Stake is an online betting and gambling platform sponsoring the Switzerland headquartered team. Alfa Romeo has a three-year sponsorship deal with Stake.
According to Matthew Dubach, a Blick journalist, Stake displays its logo on the new C43, which will be the official 2023 racing car.
In retrospect, online casinos in Switzerland are only permitted to advertise if their corporate headquarters are there and they pay taxes to Switzerland. It is not the case with Stake because it is a company headquartered in Curaçao.
That means a criminal case could be prosecuted, according to Switzerland’s deputy chairman of the Federal Gaming Board (ESBK) Ruedi Schneider.
Schneider told Blick once ESBK gets wind of the case, it will commence a probe that would end up with criminal consequences.
In a rejoinder, Alfa Romeo quickly brushed these ideas aside. The team asserted that it complies with all relevant local legislation and FIA rules.
“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,” Alfa Romeo told Blick.
Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo improved from ninth in the 2021 championship to sixth last season.
They entered their final year operating under the Alfa Romeo brand. The new design has a stunning rear end, and improved aerodynamics.
Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Botas said that the new C43 design was engineered for success, which is all they want and improved performance.
Botas and teammate Zhou Guanyu introduced a display vehicle that was a replica of the 2023 model. This season’s new design of the Alpha Romeo will be tested for the first time at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday and Saturday.
Alfa Romeo’s Jan Monchaux, the technical director, said they focused mainly on the back of the car. This allowed them to make a lot of additional advancements that were not available in the 2022 season.
The team’s engineers worked tirelessly on solving a dozen reliability problems that its drivers grappled with last season.
“We concentrated mainly on the rear part of the car, which opened the door to a lot of other developments we could not use last season. It was also clear we had a lot of reliability issues, so there is a lot of things we changed on the car to address that topic,” BBC quotes Monchaux.
Botas is upbeat that this will be a good season for him as most issued that dogged the team last season are now resolved.