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The Matka King Series

by Bollywood Society
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Siddharth Roy Kapur

Filmmaker Nagraj Manjule and producer Siddharth Roy Kapur are coming together to create a highly anticipated, real-life story of Ratan Khatri during the 1960s through the 1990s. Often referred to as the founding father of gambling in India or affectionately called “Matka King”, Kapur fits either description.

Khatri controlled an illegal and nationwide gambling network. His global connection involved several lakh bettors with crores of rupees. The series captures the lives of the working class and the betting syndicate through this time. It is a fascinating story which is a must-see event.

While many talented actors are being considered for this series, the final cast has not been announced yet.

Before we begin

We do not want to cause confusion. Matka originated as a legal, land-based game. We will explain all of this below. However, Matka is played online today. Matka can be played at Lottoland. Playing Matka online is very much like the original, except it is online. Of course, it is an easy game to play, but it has many variations. Their site gives you step-by-step instructions for playing the game, betting, and playing each variation. They also have a list of FAQs if you get confused, and they have online customer service agents available via chat and email.

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How Matka Began

In India, Satta Matka is usually called Matka. Matka is a lottery game that came about with betting on the numbers of on the opening and closing numbers of the New York Cotton Exchange. This started around 1947 to 1950 in India when cotton was transported between Bombay and New York. The rate of cotton changed fast and dramatically. Even people with much experience in the industry could not predict how much the rate would fluctuate from the morning numbers to the evening numbers. It was to be a guessing game. Bets were placed via teleprinters from the New York Cotton Exchange to the Bombay Cotton Exchange. This process was brought to an end around 1961.

Ratan Khatri then helped the people adapt by introducing a variant to the game. Everything remained the same, but with the opening and closing rates of “made-up” products. The numbers would be written on small bits of paper, placed into a clay Matka. Then a specific person would select a chit, and the winning number was called.

Bookies often set up shop around the towns. Though Matka evolved over the years, with slight variations, it remained popular through the generations. This is still true.

The government passed laws against it. But the people of India loved the game. They enjoyed it so much; that they continued playing even if they did so without wagering money.

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The Movie

The show begins in Bombay in the 1960s. This is when Khatri took the first steps to change the world of Matka gambling, which originated in Mumbai. The movie continues through the 1990s when Ratan Khatri’s gambling empire spreads nationwide. He reigned unchallenged until then. It is popular with a wide range of players. In today’s market, everyone from the new adults to senior citizens takes advantage of this easy and inexpensive game.

Matka is a very easy game. Anyone can do it. India owes a debt to Khatri for transforming the world of gambling. He further transformed this form of gambling. It no longer was the game of the poorer classes. It is now acceptable for the rich upper class of Mumbai. With this game, you can bet one rupee, and if luck shines upon it, you win significantly more.

Conclusion

Many actors are being considered for the leading role in this exciting series. At this time, the cast has not been announced. The popularity of the Matka game has never wavered. It is a much-loved tradition that is part of Indian culture. It provides a rare treat to look back to a simple joy of life in the past. As Nagraj Manjule said, “This show will depict the reality of our world seen through the lives of the working classes whose lives depend on these everyday games of chance. Given the widespread popularity of Matka and the enigmatic and powerful personality of our protagonist, we hope that ‘Matka King’ will provide a window into an exciting and transformational time in India, previously unexplored on screen before.”

Matka has stood the test of time. The price has been paid, and the national spotlight is upon India. Time will tell where this will go. The series is expected to bring the online play of the game to the public eye and renew interest in the game. This may be what it takes to carry the past into the future of the country. Watch for this show. You do not want to miss it.

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