Gambling is as old as humanity. Man has always liked to gamble. There have ben instances in the pre-historic times that men have indulged in gambling. The various scriptures such as Mahabharata in Hindu mythology are replete with instances of gambling where the Pandava prince Yudhistra lost everything, his money, kingdom, brothers, wife, as well as himself to gambling. They used to play with dice in those days. Subsequently, the games have changed, but the intention is still the same. Today, we have gambling in the form of online lotteries. Satta Matka, a traditional form of lottery has also evolved into an online one.
Let us trace the origins of this game. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Mumbai was a place of great unrest because of the great divide between the rich and the poor. Naturally, the poor mill and dock workers envied the rich and wished to become like them. They were illiterate and did not have access to money. But, there was a burning desire to get rich at any cost. Rattan Khatri, a well-known punter at that time sensed that the time was right to introduce gambling in the form of Satta in India. In fact, Satta means gambling in colloquial Hindi.
In those days, The New York Cotton Exchange used to decide the rates at which cotton was to be traded all over the world. Bombay Cotton Exchange used to follow these rates. Rattan Khatri devised a game whereby people had a change to place bets on what the next day’s rates would be. He also earmarked winning amounts from the contributions received from those participating in the game. This was the origin of Satta.
In 1961, the NY Cotton Exchange closed down following which Rattan Khatri started placing bets on various other commodities. However, the scope was very limited. There was a small range of numbers to choose from and hence, the deals were not very attractive to the people placing bets. Rattan Khatri modified the game to include a set of numbers that people could place their bets on. He used to draw the winning number from a pot. This enabled the winner to earn a substantial sum of money. The game was further modified to a set of 3 numbers. This game became very popular as Satta Matka.
Looking to its popularity, many variants of the game started doing the rounds. One of the variants was Kalyan Matka introduced by Kalyanji Bhagat. This game was similar to the game launched by Rattan Khatri. Kalyan Matka was played in the Mumbai mill stronghold areas of Worli and Prabhadevi. This game was played every day as against the original Satta Matka which was not held on the weekends.
People began to bet heavily and list heavily as well. However, there are people who made a living out of it as well. This game has now evolved to become an online betting game with the results also being decided online. The game of Matka is thus not new to the world.