Matka gambling or Satta Matka
is a form of lottery which originally involved betting on the opening and closing rates of cotton transmitted from the New York Cotton Exchange. It originates from before the era of Indian independence when it was known as Ankada Jugar ("figures gambling"). In the 1960s, the system was replaced with other ways of generating random numbers, including pulling slips from a large earthenware pot known as a matka, or dealing playing cards.
In the original form of the game, betting would take place on the opening and closing rates of cotton as transmitted to the Bombay Cotton Exchange from the New York Cotton Exchange, via teleprinters.
In 1961, the New York Cotton Exchange stopped the practice, which caused the punters to look for alternative ways to keep the matka business alive. Rattan Khatri introduced the idea of declaring opening and closing rates of imaginary products. Numbers would be written on pieces of paper and put into a matka, a large earthen pitcher. One person would then draw a chit and declare the winning numbers. Over the years, the practice changed, so that three numbers were drawn from a pack of playing cards, but the name "matka" was kept
In 1962, Kalyanji Bhagat started 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
During the flourishing of textile mills in Mumbai, many mill workers played matka, resulting in bookies opening their shops in and around the mill areas, predominantly located in Central Mumbai. Central Mumbai became 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