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Crypto Gambling Giant Stake Faces Legal Battle in Australia

Stake.com, one of the world's largest online cryptocurrency casinos, is gearing up for a major legal battle in Australia that could determine its future growth plans in the lucrative market. The impending clash was sparked when local fintech startup HelloStake filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Stake.com, alleging the crypto gambling operator is violating consumer protection laws and infringing on its trademark by using the “Stake” name in Australia.

Home / News / Crypto Gambling Giant Stake Faces Legal Battle in Australia

Stake faces legal battle in Australia
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Local Company Says Stake.com is Deliberately Deceiving Aussies

Founded in 2017, HelloStake is a homegrown fintech that enables everyday Australians to invest in US stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) through its platform. In its explosive court filing, HelloStake argues that Stake.com is deliberately and systematically misleading Australian consumers by appropriating the exact same brand name as HelloStake tries cementing its position.

HelloStake claims Stake.com has already partially launched services in Australia without first securing an official gambling license from local regulators. It argues this demonstrates the crypto casino is unfairly benefiting from consumer confusion between the two extremely similarly-named Stake brands as it attempts to enter the market.

Stake.Com Leveraged Celebrity Connections to Drive Growth

Stake.com a trusted online casino is officially registered in the Caribbean island of Curaçao, a popular hub for online gambling operators. However, it is headquartered in Australia and was co-founded by local billionaires Ed Craven and Bijan Tehrani. Recenctly, there has been an update of Curaçao rules, with many speculating that there is a new dawn for Curaçao’s online gambling industry.

The platform has managed to achieve rapid global expansion over the past few years, partially fueled by inking sponsorship deals and partnerships with big-name celebrities like Canadian rap superstar Drake and controversial crypto influencer BitBoy.

These associations have helped drive Stake.com’s brand recognition worldwide. The enterprise, however, is no stranger to legal action behind the scenes. Last year, former partner Christopher Freeman sued Stake.com for a whopping $400 million in the United States, claiming he was unjustly ousted from the business after helping build it up. That precise case was ultimately dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. However, legal experts believe Freeman could still file a lawsuit against the platform in Australia where its operations and founders are based.

Stake.Com Hungry to Tap into Australia’s Thriving Online Gambling Market

Australia’s online gambling market has been expanding at a rapid clip, making it a highly sought-after prize for ambitious operators like Stake.com seeking new territories for growth.

Industry research demonstrates the proportion of Australians who participated in some form of online gambling doubled from a mere 7% in 2018 to double the amount in 2021. That equates to around 2.8 million Australian adults placing bets remotely last year, representing over $3 billion in collective gambling revenue.

Global internet wagering is forecast to balloon at an annualised rate of 12% through 2030 to reach $114 billion worldwide according to projections. Stake.com is keen to tap into Australia’s share of this boom. But first, it must overcome the looming court battle that threatens its local launch plans.

Crypto Gambling Risks Prompt Crackdowns by Regulators

However, cryptocurrency-based gambling represents a relatively new phenomenon that regulators are still coming to grips with. It has been linked to emerging player risks like gambling addiction and fraud.

Last year, popular streaming platform Twitch banned Stake.com and other crypto-gambling sites after a well-known streamer lost $200,000 of his viewers’ deposited funds while gambling extensively on air.

Twitch reported a 75% decrease in gambling content across its platform since introducing the ban on companies like Stake.com. But it continues updating its policies to protect users as new potential harms around crypto wagering come to light.

Now Stake.com faces a new regulatory threat in the form of HelloStake’s Australian lawsuit, which experts say represents a serious roadblock for its local expansion plans if successful. The crypto gambling giant is gearing up to vigorously defend its interests in court against the upstart local challenger.