Lottery king Martin owned Future Gaming top donor through electoral bonds with Rs. 1300+ crores

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The Election Commission of India today uploaded the data on electoral bonds on its website as received from the State Bank of India, in line with an order from the Supreme Court earlier this week.

The list released includes the donations made through the bond between April 2019 and January 2024.

Interestingly, of all the businesses across the sectors that donated to political parties using electoral bonds, Coimbatore based Future Gaming And Hotel Services Limited turned out to be the highest donor with Rs. 1,368 crores. Future Gaming is owned and controlled by Santiago Martin also known as Lottery King controls major share of lottery distribution in the country.

Martin is said to maintain close links with TMC, the ruling party of West Bengal which is biggest market for Future Gaming. He is also said to have links with other political parties in his home state Tamil Nadu. In 2021, we reported about possible links of Martin with national expansion plans of TMC.

In run up to 2014 general elections, Martin’s wife also joined BJP and shared stage with now Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, political links and donations appears cannot save Future Gaming from legal woes as Enforcement Directorate is often seen attaching the properties of the lottery distributor in various cases. Future Gaming is also a major donor of political parties through Prudential Electoral Trust.

Another gaming related entity we found in the list released today by ECI is High Street Cruises and Entertainment Private Limited a group entity of Delta Corp which donated Rs. 30 lakh in 3 bonds of Rs. 10 lakh each.

Other large buyers include Hyderabad-based infrastructure giant Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited, a Reliance-linked company Qwik Supply Chain, mining conglomerate Vedanta and a subsidiary of the Kolkata-based Sanjiv Goenka group are all unrelated to gaming.