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Last week, SBI released the data of electoral bonds and corporate contributions. Future Gaming and Hotel Services emerged as the largest electoral bonds donor with Rs. 509 crores. In this blog, we will know what the company does and its history.

About Future Gaming and Hotel Services

Future Gaming and Hotel Services, a relatively lesser-known gaming company headquartered in Coimbatore, has recently garnered attention for its significant contributions to electoral bonds. Founded in 1991 by Santiago Martin, commonly referred to as the 'Lottery King' of India, the company has made substantial contributions totalling ₹1,368 crores in electoral bonds between April 12, 2019, and January 24, 2024. 

Martin’s journey through the legal maze

Martin's journey in the lottery sector commenced at a young age, and he has since built an extensive marketing network across India. In December 2021, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized his properties worth ₹19.5 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. According to a press release issued in May of the previous year, the ED alleged that Martin and his companies unlawfully profited, causing a loss of ₹910 crore to the government of Sikkim by inflating prize-winning ticket claims between April 1, 2009, and August 31, 2010.

Moreover, in 2015, ED officials confiscated ₹100 crore in cash discovered in a residence in Siliguri, located in North Bengal. The funds were purportedly intended for the Bihar elections.

Future Gaming apart from lotteries

Martin has also served as the Consul General for Liberia, where he established a thriving lottery industry. Presently, he holds the position of President within the All India Federation of Lottery Trade and Allied Industries, a coalition representing lottery distributors, stockists, and agents.

Operating through subsidiaries such as Martin Karnataka and Martin Sikkim Lottery, Future Gaming has established a presence in 13 states where lotteries are permissible. The company employs over 1,000 individuals and has pioneered live telecasts of lottery draws conducted by various governmental bodies for lotteries distributed through their platform, marking a first in the Indian lottery industry.

Aside from Future Gaming, the electoral bond data also highlights contributions from various prominent companies nationwide.

The State Bank of India, which facilitated the issuance of electoral bonds, disclosed data regarding the redemption of these bonds by political parties. The Election Commission of India has made both donor and recipient data available to the public, following a Supreme Court order setting a deadline of March 15 for disclosure.

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