Top Electoral Bond Donor Santiago Martin – India’s Lottery King & Owner Of Future Gaming

Santiago Martin, also known as India’s Lottery King and the owner of Future Gaming and Hotel Services, a prominent player in the nation’s lottery industry in Coimbatore, is the top electoral bond donor.

Top Electoral Bond Donor Santiago Martin - India's Lottery King & Owner Of Future Gaming 1

Data on electoral bonds that the State Bank of India (SBI) shared with the Election Commission on March 12 was made public on Thursday. The information displays the companies and people who have bought bonds. With around Rs 1,368 crore donated to political parties between April 12, 2019, and January 24, 2024, Future Gaming and Hotel Services is the largest donor. The 59-year-old proprietor of the business, Santiago Martin, also known as the “Lottery King,” is a contentious individual with connections to political organizations.

Everything you ought to know about the proprietor of Future Gaming and Hotel Services is provided below.

Future Gaming and Hotel Services

Future Gaming and Hotel Services is a prominent player in the nation’s lottery industry in Coimbatore. It was formerly known as Martin Lottery Agencies Limited and has existed since 1991.

The yacht “Amadea,” owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, who is under sanctions, costs US taxpayers $1 million a month.

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Future Gaming made it possible for lottery draws to be televised live, which was a significant development for the lottery industry in India. The business has been accredited for its dedication to responsible gaming standards and is a member of both the World Lottery Association (WLA) and the Asia Pacific Lottery Association (APLA).

Who is Santiago Martin?

According to the Martin Foundation, a charitable organization he established, he worked as a laborer in Yangon, Myanmar. According to Martin’s profile, he began working in the lottery business when he was just 13 years old.

In 1988, Martin gained notoriety when he founded Martin Lottery Agencies Ltd. in Coimbatore. States such as Karnataka, Kerala, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Maharashtra were included in Martin’s lottery empire expansion.

In 2008, he gave Rs 2 crore to Deshabhimani, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s mouthpiece in Kerala. According to an Indian Express (IE) article, the money was returned since the party felt embarrassed by Martin’s contribution.

Martin’s luck changed as Tamil Nadu’s political climate shifted. Although Martin benefited from his tight relations to the DMK, the IE study stated that when the AIADMK came to power, Martin started to face legal issues.

Martin was detained on suspicion of stealing land and violating the Goondas Act. The Madras High Court intervened, resulting in Martin’s release on bond.

Leema Rose, his spouse, rose to prominence in both politics and business. In 2006, Leema Rose, a candidate for the Communist Party of India, was elected to the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly. She was chosen to represent the Thiruvattar constituency in the Kanyakumari district.

Martin expanded his commercial activities outside of the lottery industry despite the losses, going into media, real estate, and education.

Future Gaming: Legal challenges and ED raids

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) sequestered assets valued at more than Rs 409 crore in 2022 as part of a money laundering investigation involving Future Gaming. According to a Mint report, among the accusations were the unlawful diversion of lottery proceeds and the false claim of bonuses totaling almost Rs 400 crore from 2014 to 2017.

More recently, on March 9, 2024, the ED searched the home of Martin’s son-in-law, Aadhav Arjun, as part of an inquiry into money laundering connected to sand mining in Tamil Nadu.

Martin has been under investigation in another money laundering case as a result of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) investigation into alleged offenses in Sikkim relating to lotteries.

In the Indian lottery market, Future Gaming is still a major player despite these legal issues.

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