I was at Lulu ‘Hyber’ this morning to get my grocery, just as I was about to get inside my car something took my attention. It was that ‘familiar’ piece of paper written in a strange language full of numbers and puzzles lying on the floor. It brought back nostalgia and memories of one ‘Anwar Bhai’ (RIP) who introduced me to the world of gambling in Kuwait. Wait…. did I just say gambling in Kuwait? Isn’t gambling banned in Kuwait like Booze?
Yeah right!! 😆
So back to the story, This piece of paper in the picture is what people from the sub-continent call ‘Matka’ which literally translates to ‘Pot’ as in Jackpot. It’s a form of gambling where the ‘player’ places small amount of money on 3 digits in return for a large sum. So how does it work?
- First you need to know your ‘agent’ whom you can trust. This agent works for some kingpin who runs this entire modus operandi from some place where you the agent submits / collects money. This entire operation runs on ‘trust’
- Now that you know your agent, you ‘study’ the matka paper for next 15 days or just in case you can’t read ‘Thailandi’ just randomly guess any 3 digit number or ask your 3-year-old child for a ‘magic number’ or in some cases extreme ‘dream’ of that winning number and place 0.250 against it.
For example if you ‘played’ 315 and it so happens that 315 is the winning number this fortnight your agent will give you KD100. WHAT ONE HUNDRED DINAR for just ‘ruba’ dinar??? Yeah baby, that’s how it works.
- But that’s one in a thousand chance right? You can also play ‘rumble’ to increase your chance of winning. What is rumble? Rumble is placing extra 0.250 against any number. For instance if you place rumble against 513 or 135, since the winning number is 315 you will get KD25 because your digits are similar to the winning digit. Cool right?
Not really, back in 95 I have seen people losing their entire moths salary on “Matka”. Anwar Bhai, a taxi driver by profession and also an agent of matka got into severe depression as he lost all his money and was neck-deep in debt. I knew some friends who wouldn’t send money home but rather throw it away on matka. That’s how addictive this gets even to the extent of starving families back home.
But then, this is not different from the ‘shoot’ football tickets which were ‘scratch and win’ coupons which had ‘fabulous’ cash prizes. I am not sure if ‘shoot’ still exists, I have also seen people from good families who knew squat about football lose their hard-earned money, but you can’t blame something that was/is ‘legal’ right?
So does gambling exist in Kuwait/Middle east? Yes it does and it is rampant, just like home-made liquor, just that you need to know your ‘agent’
RIP Anwar Bhai.