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In June, Stake.com announced plans to apply for a sports betting license in Australia. This came after the company announced its partnership with Chelsea of the English Premier League (EPL). However, the crypto casino’s plans have hit a snag.
Last week, investment site HelloStake.com filed a lawsuit against the crypto casino claiming that the company is confusing Aussies into believing the two companies are related. If successful, it could force Stake.com to operate under a different name in Australia, provided it gets a license.
On 11 August, Stakeshop Pty, operating as Stake, filed a lawsuit against Stake.com with the New South Wales Registry, a Federal Court of Australia division. The copyright infringement suit claims that the similarities between the name of the two companies will confuse Aussies.
Stake is a growing stock trading website based out of Sydney. Users can trade in a variety of US-based stocks. Stake.com is a cryptocurrency online casino established in Australia but is operated and licensed out of Curacao.
Stake believes that “the similarities in the names with Stake.com could negatively impact its brand reputation. In addition, it may cause unwarranted confusion among users.” Despite the companies having drastically different offerings, lawyers for HelloStake.com argue that the branding from Stake.com could lead people to think the two companies are connected.
Amongst the arguments, lawyers claim that there are false and misleading statements and a focus on the casino’s eCommerce store. The store also sells merchandise branded Stake rather than Stake.com.
This type of dispute is not uncommon in Australia or anywhere else. Generally, the results of the suits are determined based on how similar the names are, how much the companies overlap in services, and how likely it is that consumers will be confused.
Ultimately, HelloStake.com wants to prevent Stake.com from using its name in Australia. If Stake.com loses, it could have negative impacts on its business. For starters, the company has multiple high-profile sponsorship deals through its initial name.
One deal is with the Alfa Romero Formula One racing team. The brand is presently allowed to use its name in the Melbourne Grand Prix. If the lawsuit goes through, the company’s sponsorship deal may be in jeopardy or be forced to undergo changes.
Next, if the lawsuit is successful, the company will have to change its name to operate in Australia. While it is not uncommon for a casino to use multiple skins and thus different brands, it does come at an expense. If the new brand operates outside of Australia, the company would have to acquire a new license in Curacao for the new brand.
It is also common for a company to operate separate sports betting brands. A simple solution to the lawsuit would be to change the name to StakeSports or SportsStake. While the names are similar, it would likely be enough of a difference to satisfy lawyers.
Lawsuits are nothing new to Stake.com. In 2022, the company was embattled in a lawsuit from a former partner when he claimed the company unjustly ousted him from the company. The lawsuit was filed in the United States and subsequently dismissed because the US courts do not have jurisdiction.
The $580 million lawsuit would have been a massive hit to the company, but some feel the former business partner could try again in Australia.
Stake.com is an Australian-based company formed by Bijan Tehrani and Edward Craven. The company operates out of Curacao and is licensed there. Stake is hoping to acquire a sports betting license in Australia, and as such, the site could only offer sports betting products to Aussies.