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Offshore Matka Gambling

Ban on Goan Matka Upends Life As We Know It

The recent announcement by the Congress-led Central Government, order regarding Matka, has led to many reactions and groupings here in Goa. It may be recalled that a Supreme Court Ruling ordered that Matka Betting in Goa had to be stopped immediately. Matka is a betting game that originated in Mumbai, run by numerous smalltime bookies in Maharashtra and other states. A tiny slip with the bet number written on it is the only proof of the bet, which runs on an underground implicit trust. An ‘open’ single digit number can fetch 8 times the bet amount, and a ‘closed’ 2-digit brings a windfall of 80 times.

The ruling Goa BJP government has announced immediate stoppage of Lucky Star Matka, which is Goa based. Said the party spokesman, “Main and Kalyan Matka are Mumbai based and it is only the earnings that are being routed locally. We can’t just ‘dump’ all Matka Betting overnight. Who will provide a livelihood to the thousands of Matka bookies all over the state? They have no saleable skills, except for clear handwriting, and we have to consider the impact on the economy. It is all very well for some Commission in Delhi to say all Matka is illegal. What about all the major Matka bookies in Goa who now hold powerful political positions? How will they sustain their hold on the electorate without these earnings?”

Addressing the matter in the ongoing Legislative Assembly Session, the BJP Government has announced a relief package to the Matka Affected Bookies. The BJP spokesman clarified, “We know the Central Government wants to ban Matka so that the Casinos, run by rich Delhi businessmen, will make more money. But we will effectively take care of those affected by the ban – effective immediately.” A monthly dole of Rs. 15,000/- per Single Matka Table (maximum three bookies) has been proposed.

The Top Rung Matka Bookies Union (TRMBU) spokesman said, “We don’t need the Government to pay our employees. We can take care of them ourselves. Keep your money. We made, and continue to make, enough money for many generations. Just allow us to carry on our business, which we have been doing for decades. Thousands of families in Goa are dependent on Matka?and that does not even include the beneficiaries in the Police Department.”

On the other hand a spokeswoman for the Bailancho Saad (BS) said, “Matka has always been illegal and immoral. Why should tax-payer’s money be used as dole for criminals? They have been breaking the law with impunity for so many years. It is time they were stopped. Provide them with alternative gambling jobs?maybe selling lotteries or online housie tickets.”

The spokesman for the Government also added, “Since gambling on boats has already been legalized we intend allowing Matka Betting on cruise boats, fishing trawlers, ferry boats, etc, which will come under the Offshore Gambling Act. We will even allow Matka Betting on canoes, surfboards, inflatable mattresses, life buoys etc. Basically anything that floats is a legal place to bet and gamble in Goa.”

Some Lower Rung Matka Affected Bookies are protesting at Azad Maidan. They have set up tiny tables on the Maidan grounds and are handing out small informational paper slips to interested members of the public?except on Saturday and Sunday. A large generic ‘open’ section of the protestors remain present till 9 pm and only a core ‘closed’ team remains around till 12 midnight everyday?except Saturdays and Sundays.

Their placards largely consist of boards with three single digit numbers written vertically on both sides and a double digit number dominating the centre of the board. The placards change daily, one presumes the numbers represent the number of families affected by the ban?but the fluctuation is rather random.

As expected, the All Goa Motorcycle Pilots Association (AGMPA) has protested. “For so many years we carried the Matka Bets and results from the villages to the cities and to and fro. With cellphones and the Internet we are facing competition, and now with this ban on Matka Betting how will we feed our families? All Motorcycle Pilots should be declared Matka Affected and be given Rs. 9,000/- a month till Matka Betting is resumed.” The All Goa Private Bus Owners Association (AGPBOA) is expected to jump on the bandwagon as usual. They claim to be affected by just anything?the ban on mining, the price of diesel, the cashew crop, global warning… anything is good enough excuse for them to raise their rates and still provide lousy service.

The Minister for People Affected by Bans has promised a solution by 7th July. When asked why that particular day was chosen he responded, “On my way to the Assembly I saw a man with a leg in a cast stamping on a snake on the side of the road. In Matka numerology this is a Double Seven (satte pe satko) and 7th July is 07/07. Of course it could also mean 27 unless I see an owl tonight in which case…”

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Disclaimer: The article on this page is a satire and is not in anyway factual. It is only a humorous and satirical take on the events unfolding around us. We do not in anyway intend to offend any individual or institution through our satires and regret any offense caused inadvertently.

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