Electoral Bonds: Future Gaming as the largest donor

The Election Commission posted the electoral bonds data on its website and Future Gaming and Hotel Services emerged as the top donor.
Santiago Martin founder of future gaming
Santiago Martin founder of future gaming

The electoral bonds data was published on the official website of the Election Commission of India on Thursday, March 14, and the list showed that a company named Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR was the firm that donated the most amount of money to political parties. According to the now-publicly available data, Coimbatore-based Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd donated ₹1,368 crore to political parties through electoral bonds.

All about the Biggest Donor:

Founded in December 1991, Future Gaming And Hotel Services Private Limited was registered in Coimbatore by Santiago Martin.

According to Santiago's website, he got into trading at the age of 13, and over the years, developed a network of lottery trading across the country. His business is spread across India, largely in the south. 

Future Gaming currently operates in 13 Indian states where the lottery is still legal - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, and West Bengal. In Nagaland and Sikkim.

"On his silver jubilee wedding anniversary, Mr Santiago Martin and his family received the personal apostolic blessing of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI," his website claimed.

Probes against Future Gaming

Future Gaming and Martin are currently being probed by several central agencies including the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department. Martin has also had CBI cases against him reportedly since 2007.

The ED has alleged that the firm has been illegally diverting lottery ticket sales proceeds to gifts and incentives, reported PTI.

In 2019, the ED launched a money laundering probe against Martin alleging that the company and its sub-distributors had "criminally conspired" to illegally retain unsold lottery tickets in Sikkim.

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