‘Lottery king’ Santiago Martin’s company gave most electoral bonds to TMC, DMK & YSRCP

The latest Election Commission data reveals that Santiago Martin has given Rs 100 crore to BJP and Rs 50 crore to the Congress through Electoral Bonds.
‘Lottery king’ Santiago Martin’s company gave most electoral bonds to TMC, DMK & YSRCP
Designed Vignesh Manickam

‘Lottery king’ Santiago Martin’s company Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd has given the largest amount through electoral bonds to All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) -  Rs 542 crore, followed by Rs 509 crore to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Rs 154 crore to the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Rs 100 crore to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rs 50 crore to the Congress, according to the latest data released by the Election Commision of India (ECI).

Santiago’s company has given a total of Rs 1368 crore to seven political parties in various states by the way of bonds between April 2019 to January 2024. Future Gaming and Hotel Services Pvt Ltd has also given Rs 100 crore to Prudent Electoral Trust (PET) which in turn gave 76% of its total donations to the BJP. 

The Election Commission data further reveals that Future Gaming donated Rs 11 crore to Sikkim Krantikari Morcha which is the ruling party in Sikkim led by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang and Rs 5 crore to the Sikkim Democratic Front.

It is to be noted that complete details of donations through Electoral Bonds is known only for the DMK as the party had disclosed  its donors to the Supreme Court in November 2023 in a sealed cover. In the case of other parties, what is known is how much funds they got through the bond scheme since April 2019.

Also Read: 'Lottery King' Martin is DMK's biggest donor through Electoral Bonds

The lottery business is legal in 13 states in India including West Bengal, where TMC is the ruling party. It is however banned in states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where DMK and the YSRCP are in power.  

Santiago Martin’s connections with the DMK has been well-known for a while, especially after his music channel called SS Music produced ‘Ilaignan’, M Karunanidhi's 75th movie as a scriptwriter in 2011. He later funded M Karunanidhi’s film project called ‘Ponnar Shankar’, which had been on the backburner for many years. But despite his proximity with the DMK first family, he failed to persuade them to lift the ban on lottery in Tamil Nadu when the party came to power in 2006. 

The YSRCP’s connections with Santiago Martin however is unclear as neither is lottery allowed in the state nor has there been any overt business dealings with the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led party. 

Future Gaming was incorporated in December 1991 in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore. Over years, Santiago Martin’s businesses grew and currently he is the Director of 110 firms. 

Read: The bond between 'Lottery King' Santiago Martin, political parties and probe agencies

This report is part of a collaborative project involving three news organisations – Newslaundry, Scroll, The News Minute – and several independent journalists.

Project Electoral Bond includes Aban Usmani, Anand Mangnale, Anisha Sheth, Anjana Meenakshi, Ayush Tiwari, Azeefa Fathima, Basant Kumar, Dhanya Rajendran, Jayashree Arunachalam, Joyal George, M Rajshekhar, Maria Teresa Raju, Nandini Chandrashekhar, Neel Madhav, Nikita Saxena, Parth MN, Pooja Prasanna, Prajwal Bhat, Prateek Goyal, Pratyush Deep, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, Raman Kirpal, Ravi Nair, Sachi Hegde, Shabbir Ahmed, Shivnarayan Rajpurohit, Siddhartha Mishra, Sumedha Mittal, Supriya Sharma, Sudipto Mondal, Tabassum Barnagarwala and Vaishnavi Rathore.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute