The Matka Kings
The Worli Matka was first started in 1962 by Kalyanji Bhagat. The rules of the same game underwent some slight modifications in 1964, when the New Worli matka was introduced by Ratan Khatri. The matka game introduced by Kalyanji Bhagat ran for all the days in a week while that of Ratan Khatri ran from Monday to Friday every week. With the flourishing textile mills of Mumbai, the mill workers started playing the matka game which ultimately resulted in the bookies to open their own shops around the areas of the mills. With the growing business of the Satta Matka Game, Central Mumbai became the center for it.
The matka business reached its zenith in the decades of 1980s and 90s. The massive crackdown of the Mumbai Police on the dens of the matka games forced all the dealers and the bookies to shift their business at the outskirts of the city. Many of the bookies also moved to Rajasthan, Gujarat and all the other states spreading the matka game of gambling all throughout India. Meanwhile, many of the bookies primarily involved in the matka game began to experience the betting opportunities on the cricket matches. In 1995, there were more than 2000 bookies in the city along with the neighboring towns but the numbers drastically declined to 300 since then. The average turnover of the business per month is Rs. 100 crore. Today, the modern business of matka is centered in and around Maharashtra.
The Kalyan Matka has also become a famous game of the matka gambling for the people of today. This name of the betting game has been named after the Matka King Kalyanji Bhagat who arrived in Bombay as a migrant in the year 1941. Primarily he was a sort of spice seller and managed a grocery store. He started pioneering in the game of the matka gambling by the mode of accepting the bets given on the opening and the closing rates of the cotton that was traded in the wholesale market of New York. After the death of Kalyanji Bhagat, the whole business was managed by Suresh Bhagat, his son and Suresh’s wife, Jaya Bhagat. Suresh Bhagat was killed in a plot which was planned by his son Hitesh Bhagat and Jaya Bhagat.
Rattan Khatri is the other Matka King who successfully controlled a network of illegal gambling throughout the nation from the 1960s to the mid 90s. He also had international connections with almost a several lakh of bookies from all over the world and dealt and played with crores of the Indian currency. The matka game introduced by Khatri started in the Dhanji Street in Mumbai and today it has become the greatest hub for gambling. Khatri was also put behind the bars during the emergency period of India and he served the jail for over 19 months. The world of Bollywood has also been influenced by the matka business along with the lives of the famous matka king’s. Khatri is also known to have ventured in the financing of the Bollywood movies.