Matka also Satta is essentially is a formof lottery which in its current form began
in Mumbai in 1960s. It has been in existencesince pre Indian independence era when it was known as Ankada Jugar a.k.a. Figures gambling.Kalyanji Bhagat and Rattan Khatri were theones who pioneered and controlled the matka
syndicate in Mumbai.History In 1962, Kalyanji Bhagat began the Worli matka.Rattan Khatri introduced the New Worli matka
in 1964, with slight modifications to the rules of the game. Kalyanji Bhagat’s matka
ran for all days of the week, whereas Rattan Khatri’s matka ran only five days a week,
from Monday to Friday The flourishing of textile mills in Mumbai,
saw many mill workers getting attracted to matka which resulted in bookies opening their
shops in and around the mill areas which were predominantly located in Central Mumbai. This satta matka
resulted in Central Mumbai becoming the hub of the matka business in Mumbai.
The decades of 1980s and 1990s saw the matka business reach its peak. Betting volumes in
excess of Rs. 500 crore would be laid every month. The Mumbai police’s massive crackdown
on the matka dens forced dealers to shift their base to the city’s outskirts. Many
of them moved to Gujarat, Rajasthan and other states. With no major source of betting in
the city, the punters got attracted to other sources of gambling such as online and zhatpat
lotteries. Meanwhile, the rich punters began to explore betting on cricket matches.
Till 1995, there were more than 2,000 big and medium-time bookies in the city and neighboring
towns, but since then the numbers have declined substantially to less than 300. Off late,
the average monthly turnover has remained around Rs. 100 crore.
Matka Kings Kalyanji Bhagat
Kalyanji Bhagat was born a farmer in the village of Ratadia, Ganesh Wala in Kutch, Gujarat.
Kalyanji’s family name was Gala and the name Bhagat, a modification of bhakt, was a title
given to their family by the King of Kutch for their religiousness satta
He arrived as a migrant in Bombay in 1941 and initially did odd jobs such as masala
ferriwala to managing a grocery store. In the 1960s, when Kalyanji Bhagat was running
a grocery shop in Worli, he pioneered matka gambling by accepting bets based on the opening
and closing rates of cotton traded on the New York wholesale market. He used to operate
from the compound of his building Vinod Mahal, in Worli.
After Kalyanji Bhagat, his son Suresh Bhagat managed the business along with his wife Jaya
Bhagat who he married in 1979. Suresh Bhagat murder conspiracy
On June 11, 2008, a truck rammed into a Mahindra Scorpio in which Suresh Bhagat and six others,
including his lawyer and bodyguards were travelling, killing all of them. They were returning from
an Alibaug court, where the hearing of a 1998 narcotics case had been held. During investigations
by the police it was revealed that Hitesh Bhagat and his mother Jaya Bhagat had hatched
the plot to kill Suresh Bhagat. Hitesh and nine others, including Jaya, were arrested
and were tried under the stringent act of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and subsequently convicted. Rattan Khatri
Rattan Khatri, known as the Matka King, from the early 1960s to mid-1990s controlled a
nationwide illegal gambling network with international connections which involved several lakh punters
and dealt with crores of rupess. Khatri’s matka started in the bustling business
area of Dhanji Street in Mumbadevi where idlers used to wager on the daily trickle of the
fluctuating cotton rates from the New York market. Gradually, it became a big gambling hub as the quantum of bets and betters increased.