South America - Carraibean - Central America

Apart from Trinidad and Tobaggo, Jamaica and Cuba, I am not sure if the game was played in other countries.
In Nicaragua, and other countries, "Duquí" is said to be a lottery of Chinese origin, but I have found no description so I don't know which kind of lottery it is.
Peek-a-pow, the ancestor of Keno, was or is played in some countries.
The "Jogo do Bicho" of Brazil, introduced by Baron Drumond is said to be of Chinese Origin... but it has only 25 animals.

Reasons of state Alejo Carpentier - 1976 - 309 pages

... the business of pornographic films sold in Quaker Oats tins; the business of the Chinese Charade ("jeux des trente-six betes", as it was called by Baron Drummond who introduced the Cantonese lottery of numbered animals to America), ...

The Chinese in the Caribbean By Andrew R. Wilson

The candywine development John Morris - 1970 - 287 pages

Peaka pow is a South Chinese gambling game based on number series which are changed every week. It is so complicated that only a Chinese can manage to keep track of its weekly permutations and


The Chinese Creoles of Nicaragua: Identity, Economy, and Revolution in a Caribbean Port City By Pineda, Baron.
Journal of Asian American Studies - Volume 4, Number 3, October 2001, pp. 209-233

The Chinese introduced a popular lottery known locally as the "duqui." The community established a Chinese organization that, among other activities, celebrated the founding of Sun Yat Sen's revolutionary party in 1912. He concluded that the Jamaican Chinese population remained relatively culturally distinct in comparison to the highly creolized Chinese population of Guyana. Some of the prominent Chinese merchant families of Bluefields established successful businesses in Port that were able to compete with the company

Oral history of Bluefields By Hugo Sujo Wilson

The Chinese.
From the ending of the past century the Chinese began arriving in Bluefields, and by the nineteen twenties, they had in their hands nearly all the commercial activities of the city. One of them by the name of Chow Wing Sing, even had coins minted with his own name on them.
From what parts of China, and how did they come ? The older Chinese themselves said that almost all of them were from Canton. The older Creoles said that they came in all possible ways: legal and illegal. Some of the old folks of Bluefields still remember how they used to bring the Chinese as contraband. They claim that some of the Chinese came in barrels, and that sometimes they were even dumped overboard whenever there was the possibility of the ship getting searched by the wrong people. After arriving and settling down, they went into nearly everything that produced money: exportation, importation, wholesale, retail, restaurants, bars, laundry, clothes factories, soap factories, photo studios, candy factories, biscuit factories, transportation and gambling.

They were first to introduce into Bluefields the Mini lottery that is known today as «duqui». Only they didn't depend on the national lottery or anything of that sort: they had their own home made equipment. A lot of them also had installed in their shops the gambling slot-machine. This was a machine looking like some kind of hand mill, with a slot the size enough to accommodate coins. The gambler would put in his coin and pull a lever. If he is lucky, a big amount of money would pour out of the machine. The majority of times that did not happen. A few of the members of the Chinese community became well known and popular for certain special reasons. In that sense, there was the remarkable Mr. John Fong. Jack -as his Bluefieldsians friends called him- was a complete all around athlete. He played every game that was played in the Bluefields and was outstanding in all. He played tennis, baseball, basket ball, volley ball, and when he was too old to play, he patronized different teams. On the main street of Bluefields -now called "Neysi Rios"- in thecenter of the city, there was Pim Poy in his cook shop. He sold very good cheap food: chopped meat and rice, rice and beans, bread and coffee, biscuits and a lot more. For the working people who had no where else to eat, and anybody else who wanted to, Pim Poy's was the place. He is still remembered by a great many people. In the well known swamps of Old Bank, at the edge of the lagoon, Mantalong established himself. At Cotton Tree, also near the swamps and the lagoon, Chow Ping and Cua Ho settled down. All three of them were farmers. They provided Bluefields with enough and the best of vegetables of all kinds. They also raised the best of pigs. They formed a part of the scenery of Bluefields. It was a familiar sight in the neighborhoods of Old Bank and Cotton Tree to see them walking with their load of whatever it was, in two square five - gallons tin cans suspended one at each end of a wooden pole balanced on their shoulders. The first generations of Chinese kept to themselves. They did not mix much with the local people. As immigrants in a strange land they were very united. All disputes were settled among themselves. They never resorted to the local authorities for matters concerning a country man. Some of the local boys made some of these first comers passed some very unpleasant moments. They made fun out of the way they ate, the way they talked. They teased them, they jeered them and they played all kinds of pranks on them. They would do anything to get them angry, because for them it was the greatest joke to hear the Chinese curse and pronounce some of the local obscenities which were among the first things that some of them learned after arriving.

For example, as some of the new comers did not understand much Creole English, some of the boys would walk into one of their stores and ask for some of the strangest things, such as a tin of American mud, a box of rocks, a round square, or any other absurdity that came to their minds at the moment. The Chinese would in those cases go through his wares, showing them item after item, asking each time if that's what they wanted, until he got tired, then they would explode with laughter in his face.

The older Chinese, after settling down, whenever they could afford it would send back to China for wives they had left behind, or they would order wives by mail. This was done by -among other things- sending photos of themselves with their orders.

But some of the most pragmatic ones just simply took one of the local women with or without marriage. The majority of younger generation -both men and women- began marrying local people, even sometimes against the will of their parents.

From the commercially predominant flourishing days of the Chinese in Bluefields, the older people still remember the big public yearly celebrations of the Kuo Ming Tang, the republican political party founded by Dr. Sun Yat Sen on the 11th of October 1912.

On these occasions, they would hand out at their club house packages of sweets to all the children who attended the event. They would also display an impressive amount of fireworks. They would make an enormous artificial dragon swallow Chinese lady. That was most impressive to those that saw it. For the days when practically the whole commercial central area of Bluefields belonged to the Chinese, all the stores remained open at nights until 8:00 RM. from Monday to Friday, and until 9:00 RM. on Saturday. This continued up until the late nineteen sixties when the local labor union began to make the stores pay their clerks the legal overtime.

In those days the city presented a lively sight with all the lights from the stores and the streets crowded with people: some shopping and some just strolling aroung. Wing Sang was the most popular street corner at night. There the men would meet to gossip and to put each other up to date with the news. The popularity of this corner reached to such an extent that its name was carried out of Bluefields and out of Nicaragua by migrating Bluefieldians. During the nineteen forties and fifties after an exodus of young Bluefields men to Colón, Panama, there was a corner on eight street and Bolivar Avenue in the city of Colón, on which there immigrants from Bluefields used to meet and they called "Wing Sang" corner. And during the late nineteen fifties and early sixties after a lot of Bluefields boys went to Managua, the corner on the 15th of September street just before you reached the Cine Luciérnaga going to the East, was also called «Wing Sang», because you could always find some of the Bluefields boys standing here.

Others Beliefs and Superstitions
The old folks were as superstitious as any people could possibly be and most of their superstitions survive up to this day. As will be noted, a good number of these beliefs are not exclusive of Bluefields. Here are some of those strange superstitious beliefs that have come down through generations. First of all, there are those that have to do with luck. It is bad luck to do the following things : to walk over salt; to break a looking glass; to walk under a ladder; to rum down a hat on a bed; to put green fruits on a bed; to hold an umbrella over your head in a house; and to put on your left shoe first.

Besides those having to do with luck, there is a great diversity of other interesting ones, such as:

If you killed a spider, you could accidently break some crystal or china ware.
If you indicated on your own body the spot where someone else was wounded, you had to say: «God bless the mark». If you did not, you would be equally wounded.
Whenever you saw a shooting star, you had to say: «God bless my eye sight». If you did not, something would happen to your eyes.
Whenever you had a bad dream, if you did not tell it to someone, it could come true.
Don't let a pregnant woman look at young turkeys, because that could kill them. If a pregnant woman looks at the full moon, her baby could born with a defect.
If on Good Friday you whipped an undersize boy that grows too slowly, he would grow faster.
If a person broke an egg and put in the afternoon sun on Good Friday, it would take the shape of a church or a tomb. If it takes the shape of a church, it mean a wedding for the person. If it takes the shape of a tomb, it means death.
If on Good Friday you cut a certain tree known locally as physic nut, it would bleed human blood.
If you swept the feet of a person with a broom, the person would never get married.
If a bigger person stepped over a child, the child would grow much slower than normal.
When the palm of one of your hands itches, it means that you are going to receive money.
Whenever a butterfly or another flying insects entered someone's house, it meant that they were going to get a visitor.
If the doryman turned down the calabash in the dory, it would cause bad weather.
To get a visitor who is unwanted, or who is overstaying his time, to leave your house, you put a broom up side down in a corner, then you put some salt on it. That would make the visitor leave.
Whenever a galley wasp bites you, if it reaches water to drink before you, you will die. So therefore whenever bitten by one, you have to put up a good run to get water before it does.

For playing the little local lottery illegal known as "duqui", every accident, every event, every special occasion and every dream means the winning number. So most people buy their numbers according to those beliefs. The above are but a few of the superstitions beliefs and practices that came down from the past generations to the present.


Para jugar la pequeña lotería local conocida como “duquí”, cada accidente, cada evento, cada ocasión especial y cada sueño, simbolizan el número ganador. Así que la mayoría de la gente compra sus números de acuerdo con esas creencias.

Los yanquis en Nicaragua By Guillermo Suárez Zambrana

Hay una especie de lotería local (Duquí) que se corre con la Lotería Nacional, la de Costa Rica y Panamá El día de pago vimos alrededor, de veinticinco mujeres vendiendo esta lotería que muchos mineros compran al par que se privan de cumplir con necesidades urgentes personales y familiares. También hay muchas personas que prestan al 10%


Durante nuestra niñez conocimos a Doña Cristina y dice que desde los 27 años empezó a vender el famoso "duquí", una especie de lotería costeña semanal, dejando esta actividad a los 42 años de edad por enfermedad.

DECRETO No. 40. Aprobado el 17 de Abril de 1918

Source Prohíbase en la República el juego que se ha conocido con el nombre de Lotería China.



duquí: Un juego de azar prohibido que se juega con la lotería nacional de Panamá.

Génesis de la ciudad republicana By Damaris Díaz Szmirnov : Panama

Hing quien organizó los juegos de azar chinos: la lotería china, la rifa china y la charada china. Estos juegos prontamente calaron en gran parte de la población; algunos se entregaron desenfrenadamente a esta diversión y hasta los estadounidenses compraban con avidez estos billetes. Unos veían en ella una posibilidad de mejorar su mísera condición; a otros, el tedio y aburrimiento les guiaba a esta afición en busca de aventura y ganancias. La tradición conserva un ejemplo de este comportamiento, en la narración acerca del origen del nombre de Salsipuedes.83 Ante todo, es importante aclarar que la Ca- Sorteo de Lotería en la casa del Obispo. lie de Salsipuedes tiene ese nombre desde la época colonial. En España hubo arterias y barrios denominados así. Se encontraban en esa calle, "...grandes barracas oscuras, sucias y malolientes... [que] se transformaban por la noche en centros de jue- Mulford, Juana Oller de: Tradiciones y Cuentos panameños ...

...La prensa de la época informaba sobre casos de homicidios, suicidios y riñas, los cuales con frecuencia eran provocados tanto por el alcohol, como por los juegos de azar. Así fue el caso de una "mujer de color" quien perdió en la lotería china de Calidonia todos los centavos que su marido le había dejado para el alimento de su familia. En su desesperación intentó suicidarse cortándose el cuello...

Revista cultural lotería: L., Issues 452-456 / Lotería Nacional de Beneficencia (Panama) (2004)

En 1906, según Ley 25, el Estado prohibió los juegos de azar: juegos de dados, naipes, ruletas, charadas y lotería china; el único juego que se mantuvo fue la Lotería de Panamá, la que fue convertida en una entidad del Estado en 1919, bajo la administración del presidente Belisario Porras.



marineros, vendedores y vendedoras de loterías populares (bólido, charada y duqui), también es la zona bananera de Guatemala

El proletariado rural en el agro guatemalteco By Carlos Figueroa Ibarra

Estas loterías que reciben varios nombres: "bólido", "charada", "barril", etc., hacen que éstos se mantengan interpretando sueños, viendo "números de la suerte" en alas de mariposas y hojas de plantas, etc. Obviamente este nivel de vida —que es independiente de la tasa de explotación— tiene que ser respaldado con un ingreso más elevado que el de cualquiera de los otros asalariados rurales permanentes del país: el ingreso medio familiar anual para los proletarios agrícolas de las plantaciones bananeras fue calculado alrededor de los 1035 quetzales anuales, lo que representó un ingreso per cápita de más de 178 quetzales al año.

Los brutos by Blanca Luz de Rodríguez - 1969

Solamente el negro Cliff parecía satisfecho de la travesía y de los dólares que tenía en los bolsillos.

Apenas de regreso a la población de Guanaja, en cuanto divisó el cayo en el cual atracó la embarcación en el pequeño y rústico muelle municipal, el fornido caimanero se dirigió al centro del poblado sin ocuparse de ningún otro detalle más que amarrar sólidamente el cayuco. Sus grandes pies descalzos saltaban de dos en dos las tablas disparejas de los puentes que comunicaban entre sí las humildes casas sostenidas sobre el mar por largos pilotes de madera en los cuales se enredaban las algas y la basura.

Un gallo muerto flotaba entre las aguas y lentamente se iba mar adentro

La única preocupación del negro era dedicarse de inmediato, sin perder un sólo segundo, al juego de la lotería como lo hacían los demás habitantes de las islas al igual que los de Belice, o los de Izabal y Zacapa en Guatemala; así mataban el ocio y hacían ricos a ciertos vendedores.

Con la tradicional superstición de su raza, embebido en la creencia de la numeración que habían hecho del esqueleto humano y en la clasificación de los huesos para efectuar las más complicadas combinaciones numéricas, el caimanero pensaba con inmensa complacencia en el número del Duky que esta vez compraría para pegar centro.

Había soñado con el esternón y claro, sabía de antemano cual era la cifra certera que.....

Costa Rica

Limón, 1880-1940: un estudio de la industria bananera en Costa Rica Jeffrey Casey Gaspar - 1979 - 324 pages

El tipo más frecuente de juego de azar ilegal en la provincia de Limón, era el de la lotería "china" o lo que se llamaba ocasionalmente, la lotería de "Panamá". En general, los billetes eran de bajo precio, pero esto no significaba que no podía convertirse en un gasto oneroso para los trabajadores. Tal es lo que nos informa un artículo del Limón Weekly News, aparecido en 1903: "Un hombre que trabaja para la United Fruit Company recibió su pago el martes y le dio a su esposa, esa misma tarde, diecisiete colones para cubrir las raciones de las dos semanas subsiguientes. Al día siguiente descubrió que la mujer había malgastado toda la cantidad en la lotería china." (106) Buena parte del juego ilegal en la provincia, estaba en manos de la reducida colonia china. En el censo comercial realizado en 1915, Limón poseía diez "salas de dominó", todas regentadas por chinos. (107) Es muy dudoso que ese juego gozara de semejante popularidad entre los habitantes, a menos que los locales no fueran en realidad empleados en actividades de este tipo. Seguramente contribuyó a la persistencia de los juegos de azar en la provincia, la creencia popular de que los billetes de la Lotería Nacional, vendidos en Limón, nunca eran incluidos en los sorteos semanales. Muchos de los aficionados a la lotería afirmaban que con frecuencia, pasaban muchísimas semanas sin que un sólo premio "cayera" en la región del Atlántico. (108) La característica más manifiesta de la fuerza laboral de la industria bananera fue la ausencia casi total de la organización obrera y de disturbios salvo unos pocos choques, cronológicamente aislados, entre los trabajadores y la administración de la United o los propietarios de las fincas privadas. Con todo, es necesario destacar un hecho, aun con ia frecuencia tan limitada de conflictos obreros: la mayoría de las discrepancias se originó entre los elementos de extracción hispánica y no entre los más numerosos jamaicanos que integraban la fuerza laboral.


De Surinamers By Joan M. Ferrier

De Chinezen.
In 1930 werd de in 1880 opgerichte Chinese vereniging Kong Ngie Tong van haar rechtspersoonlijkheid vervallen verklaard door de rechter, omdat zij gelegenheid gaf om op haar terrein piauw te spelen. Na het vonnis werd het gebouw door de politie ontruimd, waarbij vooral de dupe werden de ouden van dagen die in het gebouw waren ondergebracht. Later in het jaar werd de vereniging heropgericht. "Gesloten is nu Kong Ngie Tong Het is ... De eerste Chinese immigranten werden in 1853 uit Java aangevoerd. Tussen 1858 en 1870 werden Chinese immigranten aangevoerd uit Zuid-China. Ze kwamen uit de in Kwantoeng levende Hakka-Chinezen (thans de belangrijkste groep onder de Surinaamse Chinezen) en de Hoklo-Chinezen uit Foetjien. Na de komst van de contract-abei-ders voor de plantage ontwikkekle zich een vrije immigratie.
De grote meerderheid ging in de handel, vooral in de distributie; op vrijwel ek-ke straathoek in Paramibo stond een 'Chinese winkel' , en overal in de districten kon men er een vinden, soms op de meest eenzame plaatsen.
Later gingen de Chinezen zich met de groothandel bezig houden (als importeur) en deden ze hun intrede ook in andere beroe-pen (zoals goudsmid,) en id de overheidsdienst.
Reeds omstreeks 1890 liet de succesvolle winkelier familieleden uit China overkomen, om hem in zijn zaak te assisteren. Na enige tijd begonnen deze dan hun eigen zaak.
Later kwamen dan ook echtgenote en/of kinderen naar Suriname.
Het meisje blijft gedurende haar hele leven tussen de vrouwen wonen, in hetzelfde dorp. De moeder heeft over haar dochter nog meer gezag dan over haar zoon. Zonder moeders toestemming mag ze niet huwen.
Trouwt ze - dat wil zeggen de uit een ander dorp afkomstige man wordt door de familiegroep van haar dorp aanvaard en mag haar komen bezoeken, na voor haar kostgrondje, hut, enzovoort te hebben gezorgd, - dan komt haar huis vlak bij dat van de moeder, die toezicht op haar blijft houden.
Van haar moeder of verzorgster heeft ze al de taken, die ze als vrouw moet beheersen, geleerd.
Deze zijn onder meer: het wassen van de kleren, bereiden van voedsel, beplanten en verzorgen van het kostgrondje, het vlechten van haar haar.
De kinderen zijn over het algemeen gevormd in westers-culturele zin en volgen onderwijs op vooral de RK scholen. Ze zijn thans te vinden in alle vrije beroepen, en als werknemer bij banken, verzekeringsmaatschappijen, de overheid en in het onderwijs. De grote Chinese feesten worden vaak samen met de andere bevolkingsgroepen gevierd.
De Oud-en-Nieuw viering is een feestelijk samenzijn met Chinees vuurwerk, eten en 'dans van de draak.
De Chinese vechtsporten als karate en tai kwan do worden vanuit de Chinese verenigingen uitgedragen.
Veel van de Chinese loterij- en kansspelen zijn popular bij de andere bevolkingsgroepen.
"Mah jong" en "Mah-Thok" worden in veel Surinaamse gezinnen gespeeld.
Door hun handelspositie vormen de Chinezen een krachtige groepering binnen de samenleving.
De in China geborenen (in 1966 was 70% van de Chinese winkeliers in China geboren) stuurden vóór de machtsovername van Mao Ze Dong hun kinderen - vooral de zoons - voor hun opvoeding naar China. Sommigen keerden later terug om in vaders zaak of in een voor hem bestemde winkel te werken.
Ze vormen een sterk gesloten gemeenschap, hebben hun eigen verenigingen.
De jongeren hebben ook hun eigen vereniging, namelijk de Tsang Ngen Foei. Zij voeden hun kinderen op binnen de oorspronkelijke Chinese traditie.
In dit milieu wordt Chinees gesproken en wordt het eigen Chinese dagblad gelezen. Jongens en meisjes krijgen een gescheiden opvoeding. De jongens helpen al vroeg de vader in de winkel.
De meisjes helpen zowel in de winkel als in het ...

Verbonden: Suriname en DSB, 1865-1990 By André Loor, Edmund Kowsoleea, A. Jozef Brahim (1990)

In 1930 werd de in 1880 opgerichte Chinese vereniging Kong Ngie Tong van haar rechtspersoonlijkheid vervallen verklaard door de rechter, omdat zij gelegenheid gaf om op haar terrein piauw te spelen. Na het vonnis werd het gebouw door de politie ontruimd, waarbij vooral de dupe werden de ouden van dagen die in het gebouw waren ondergebracht. Later in het jaar werd de vereniging heropgericht. "Gesloten is nu Kong Ngie Tong Het is niet zedelijk meer Het is nu dus onzedelijk Dat volgens onze leer Wat vreemds zien wij niet in dit land En alles door de piauw Een Kong Ngie Tong van Vijftig jaar Ineens ijau nja mi, mau (bis) Piauw, san j'doe mi so Piauw, san j'doe mi so Mi tap' joe a tapoe, joe opo na ondro Mi tap' joe a se, joe boro a .....

De speler maakt daarvan negen zwart, waarna hij het lot teruggeeft aan den agent die hem het lot verkocht. Deze stipt op zijn lijst de zwart gemaakte nummers, noteert op het lot dag en uur van trekking, waarna de gelukkige bezitter zijn lot terugkrijgt. Men betaalt op een lot vijftig cent of veelvouden daarvan. Bij de trekking worden 120 papiertjes gemaakt, elk met een letter of cijfer. Deze papiertjes worden verdeeld over vier bussen Een vijfde bus, met glazen deksel, bevat drie dobbelsteentjes. De dobbelsteenen worden geschud en telkens voor een bus geplaatst. De bus voor welke de dobbelsteenen het hoogste aantal oogen aanwijzen, is de winnende bus. De letters of cijfers uit die bus worden voorgelezen en genoteerd. Wanneer men het geluk heeft dat vijf letters overeenkomen met die welke men heeft zwart gemaakt, dan is men winner. Hoe meer letters overeenkomen met de zwart gemaakte, hoe grooter de winst. De winst begint bij vijf letters en bedraagt (bij een inleg van 50 cent):
bij vijf letters, 3 maal 80 cent;
bij zes letters, 3 maal f 7,20;
bij zeven letters, 3 maal f54,00;
bij acht letters, 3 maal f200,00;
bij negen letters, drie maal f360,00.

De Chinees die als tusschenpersoon optreedt voor den verkoop der loten, krijgt tien percent van de winst; dit houdt hij af uit het bedrag dat hij uitkeert aan den winner. " In de jaren 30 trachtte het Gouvernement tegemoet te komen aan de gokver langens van het volk en gaf aan Stephan een vergunning om een loterij op te zetten, die echter niet lang heeft bestaan. Reeds eerder was over piauw een liedje ontstaan, dat in de jaren twintig algemeen gezongen werd.

Chinese New Migrants in Suriname: The Inevitability of Ethnic Performing By P. Tjon Sie Fat (2009)

Piauw (piauw or piao, from Kejia: piao 'ticket'; an abbreviation of the Kejia name of the lottery: pak hap piao, 'White dove tickets' full name of the piauw lotto, popular in Suriname between 1912 and 1947.

Puerto Rico

The people of Puerto Rico: a study in social anthropology

Bolita (literally, "little ball") was introduced into Poyal in 1937. The writer was unable to discover which persons in the barrio first made contact with outside game operators, but the games have always been managed and financed by outside sources, and the tickets sold by local ticket sellers. Several times since 1937, local people have attempted to start games of their own, but such games have always failed for want of sufficient capital. Bolita has remained popular in Poyal even though its odds are against the individual better and it regularly drains remarkable sums of money away from its players. Three factors seem important in evaluating the game's popularity. First, it is a source of excitement to local people, who follow the betting with great interest and await the announcements of the winning numbers with suspense. Second, the game provides a means of additional livelihood to the sellers, who either get 15 per cent of the winnings on any prize-winning numbers they sell or earn a flat five cents on every twenty cents' worth of tickets sold. Third, the winnings provide one of the few ways in which local people can accumulate substantial sums of money. These factors do not explain, however, why the game is more attractive to barrio people than the legal lottery operated by the government of Puerto Rico. Certain features of bolita are described below, and these are followed by a comparison with corresponding ones of the legal lottery in an attempt to suggest why bolita is preferred. Each bolita game is limited to 999 numbers (001 to 999), and nearly all the numbers for a given game are likely to be sold within the barrio. Accordingly, few weeks go by when there is not a winner known to most of the other players. Each bolita number is represented by a ticket divided into five portions attached to a stub. A full ticket sells regularly for twenty cents, or four cents per portion. Sellers may divide a ticket among a number of buyers so that an individual can bet as little as four cents on a game. It is not unusual for the first prize (normally one hundred dollars for a twenty-cent ticket) to be divided among five players because the ticket has been sold in portions. There are a first, second, and third prize — one hundred dollars, forty dollars, and ten dollars respectively — two consolation prizes of two dollars each for the numbers just above and below the first prize number, and nine one-dollar for each ticket ending in the same last two digits as the first-prize ticket. The winning numbers are the last three digits of each of the three winning numbers of the Santo Domingo legal lottery which is announced over the local radio every Sunday morning.

In some games, the betters are allowed to raise the ante, to pay as much as four dollars for what is normally a twenty-cent ticket. A first prize winning number costing four dollars will pay two thousand dollars to the winner. Bolita thus allows the better to play anything from four cents to four dollars on the same single number. Also important is the fact that it is usually possible to get any specific three-digit number one desires in bolita. Sellers will take bets on any number or part of a number not covered by other betters, and also will hold numbers in reserve for a regular better. There are quite a few individuals in Barrio Poyal who have bet on the same number weekly (and on occasions when games were held twice a week, then twice-weekly) for seven years or more. Bolita games are operated by more than one combine, and although the same winning numbers hold for all games on a given day, there are olten two, three, or more games running simultaneously; 52 also, some games have more than one series of numbers. Accordingly, a better may raise the ante for his bet on a given number not only by increasing the amount he bets on that number in a single game (if this is permitted), but also by betting on the same number in several games. Another important characteristic of bolita is the fact that sellers are usually willing to give the better credit up to the day of the drawing. Since credit buying is a preferred pattern in Poyal life, this custom fits in well with the usual form of cash transactions. Lastly, bolita tickets are invariably sold by local people on a face-to-face basis. This practice gives a special personal quality to bolita. Seller and buyer are known to each other and carry on their business in a situation of mutual trust and confidence. The seller can be depended on to pay off winning numbers promptly and honestly, for if he fails to do this, he will lose his clientele. The player also must fulfill his commitments to the seller, for if he fails to pay up by the eve of the drawing, his bet will be cancelled. There are no full-time bolita sellers in Barrio Poyal: all sellers are workingmen or housewives using this means to supplement the family income. Nor is there any class difference between sellers and buyers. Bolita, therefore, because of the fewer numbers sold, the prevailingly local character of the betting and the likelihood that winners will be local people, the small amounts of money required for a bet, the opportunity to choose specific numbers, the availability of credit (fia'o) arrangements, and the personal character of the relationship between seller and buyer is admirably fitted to meet local needs.

The legal lottery, sponsored by the government of Puerto Rico, is island-wide. Its numbers run up through five digits. Although the number of prizes is considerable, the first prize very large, and the redistribution of money wagered greater proportionately than in the case of bolita, the likelihood of there being a winner in more than just a few of the hundreds ofrural barrios is relatively slight. Legal lottery tickets are sold at twenty cents a ticket. Several persons may combine to share in the purchase of a single ticket, but the ticket is not divisible and the seller cannot sell it in fractions of its total price. A better on the legal lottery, therefore, either must have twenty cents or an arrangement with one or more persons who will com- " Each game is known by the name of a bird, such as La Mucara, La Paloma, etc. bine with him in the purchase of a ticket. It is not possible to raise the ante on a legal lottery ticket, not can one usually be bought on credit. The individual better is rarely able to choose a specific number he wishes to play; he must choose the number or numbers available from the seller's board. A seller usually carries a stock of different numbers; for instance, some in the 10,000 series and some in the 35,000 series. While he may have as many different numbers as the bolita salesman to sell, they do not run in a consecutive series, and only a fraction of the numbers in the legal lottery run below 1,000. 53 Legal lottery salesmen are to be found in the towns and cities, rather than in the rural villages, and their customers usually are of a higher than working class status; during the period of the writer's field work in Barrio Poyal, he witnessed the sale of legal lottery tickets to local people on only two occasions. Legal lottery salesmen are a special occupational group in Puerto Rican society. They hold licenses which they purchase from a government agency, and the demand for such licenses, particularly in the urban centers, far exceeds the number of licenses issued. Many license holders sell blocks of tickets to other persons, who then resell them. But most of this buying and selling activity does not involve people living in rural areas. While the legal lottery is sold full-time by lower middle-class persons aspiring to respectability and economic independence and is bought by customers who usually are either the social equals or superiors of the salesmen, bolita is sold part-time by working people, mainly rural, and bought by other working people. The two patterns of sale and the two markets appear to be largely separate and tend to perpetuate themselves without much overlapping.

Mention has been made of the fact that Poyal people, although they know it is illegal, do not consider bolita an immoral game; it would be hard for them to think so in view of the government-supported legal lottery. Despite the fact that most of them are loyal supporters of the political party in power, they resent the strict anti-bolita laws of 1948. These laws, which make buyer and seller of bolita liable to imprisonment for terms up to six months, have reduced the bolita market, although they have by no means destroyed it. Since people know their favorite numbers by memory, since they usually buy the same number week after week, and since bolita salesmen are able to memorize the betters and the amount bet, it is possible for betting to go on continuously without the use of tickets, which are the best evidence of illegal betting. The writer has seen bets totaling several hundreds of dollars collected in broad daylight and in view of scores of people without a word being spoken by salesman or betters. The winning numbers are announced on a Puerto Rican station on Sunday morning; bets are paid off that night or the following night. At the time the writer left Barrio Poyal, the new laws had caused a drop in bolita sales, but there was no indication that the money had been shifted to the legal game and there was considerable ill-will about the laws. One old woman in the barrio had been convicted for selling tickets and had been sentenced to three months' imprisonment; her conviction coincided with newspaper announcements of the opening of a new luxury hotel in San Juan, with pictures of its elegant gaming rooms. Barrio people continue to feel that bolita is their game and to regard the legal lottery and other more elaborate gambling systems as the proper concern of people of other classes. One barrio informant, speaking of the new laws against bolita, said : "How can it be bad when so many people like it?" This would appear to be nearly everyone's attitude. The Pentecostal church members in Barrio Poyal frown on bolita and all other forms of gambling, but they are in the minority. A majority of barrio residents were still playing bolita when the writer ended his field work there.

It is impossible to say how many people in Poyal sell bolita, what their earnings are, or how great the sales are at any time. A trustworthy informant claimed to have sold as much as four hundred dollars' worth of bolita during each of many successive weeks of the harvest while holding a regular job in the cane fields during the day. Before the new anti-bolita laws, which use imprisonment rather than fines as a threat, went into effect, many women sold bolita. The number of saleswomen dropped after the new laws were passed. Said one man: "Imagine my wife in jail and me saddled with the responsibilities of nine children !" Several local women can tell of narrow escapes from the police, of running between houses and hiding the incriminating tickets while the police were in hot pursuit. Such tales are told with a mixture of defiant pride and amusement, and take on the character of exploits. Estimates of the earnings of bolita salesmen vary with the season, but their earnings seem to have fallen since the new laws were passed. To be seen realistically earnings of the salesmen must be compared to no earnings at all. People forced out of bolita selling rarely can find any economic alternative. Since bolita is operated from outside the local community, it is necessary to have intermediaries between the salesmen and the game operators. These intermediaries operate by car, visiting the barrio usually on the eve of the drawing to collect the bet money, and returning in a day or two to pay off winnings. The relationships between intermediaries and local salesmen must be marked by the same kind of trustfulness which characterizes relationships between salesmen and betters. If the salesman cannot pay off his betters, he loses his clientele. The game operators understand fully the need to keep the game operating on a face-to-face basis and to meet commitments promptly and honestly. The writer was told of only one instance where the game failed to pay off promptly, and this was due to trouble with the police. The winnings were paid a week later. From the point of view of most of the local people, bolita is less important in terms of the income it affords salesmen than it is in terms of the winnings it provides. When the game was in full swing in Oriente and Vieja, every week was marked by several $100 or S200 winnings. The writer witnessed one occasion on which one number brought $1200 and another when one number brought $1500. A prize of $100 is not substantial enough to make a significant difference in a cane worker's way of life, but it can be a big step toward its material improvement. Such a prize will permit the winner to square up his debts, to re-equip his family with clothes, and to provide the household with new conveniences; or the money may be used to buy several pigs and a cow, to build a partition in the ....



Indeed, we have had so many cases in which this has been established that we can almost take judicial notice that in Puerto Rico bolita is generally played by betting on the numbers from 000 to 999, keyed to the last three numbers of the lotteries of Puerto Rico or Santo Domingo, and the local racetrack pool, and that bolita lists consist of a series of three figure numbers, followed by a dash and the amount bet on the respective numbers.'