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F1 Sauber cleared of unauthorized advertising, rules Swiss commission



Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland during the qualifying session at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Saturday, April 6, 2024, ahead of Sunday’s Japanese Formula One Grand Prix.

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The Sauber Formula 1 racing team is not engaging in unauthorized advertising for online gambling that is not licensed in Switzerland. This is the conclusion reached by the Swiss Federal Gaming Board, which has discontinued the relevant proceedings.

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The case concerned the logo of the online gaming provider “Stake”, as announced by the Federal Gaming Board (FGB) on Tuesday. Sauber displays the sponsor’s logo on its racing cars, racing suits, website, social networks and live broadcasts on Swiss public television, SRF.

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This gave rise to the suspicion that Sauber was advertising for the provider of online casino games, which is not licensed in Switzerland. The SFGB therefore initiated an administrative criminal investigation in 2023. It investigated whether there had been a violation of the Federal Gambling Act.

It came to the conclusion that the sponsorship agreement with “Stake” and Sauber’s appearance with the logo should generally be considered advertising. When examining the illegality, the SFGB took into account that Sauber mainly appears internationally and that no appearances with the “Stake” logo take place in Switzerland.

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Sauber also did not run any advertising explicitly aimed at Switzerland. Furthermore, according to the Commission, the “Stake” offering is not accessible in Switzerland. The platform took measures to prevent players from Switzerland from registering on it.

For these reasons, the SFGB is discontinuing the proceedings. However, it stated: “This decision is not a precedent”. It will continue to investigate every suspected case of advertising for unauthorized casino games.

Adapted from German by DeepL/amva

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