FIRST AIRED: November 8, 2017

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>> After four years of a worsening economic crisis, Venezuelans who are struggling to put food on the table are turning to unconventional ways for making a quick buck. Many are turning to gambling, playing the lottery and betting on animal races amid the brutal recession. Caracas resident Orlando Malavi says gambling helps him buy necessary items.
>> There have been times when I won and that helps me to buy other necessary items. I've been playing for years and I come every weekend.>> Versa Torres recently lost her job at a pharmaceutical and now gambles everyday. She now supports her family through her winnings. The shirt her son is wearing was purchased from money won from playing a game called Los Animalitos, the most popular lottery game among Venezuelans where competitors bet on either the whale, the dog, or the zebra.
The game is hugely popular because it goes through various rounds, providing more chances to win than most traditional betting options. But gambling is still a risk, and players lose more often than they win.>>
> I play because I like to play, but it won't get you out of trouble.
With the lottery per day, you can win about 30,000 Bolivares. And with that, you can't even buy two kilos of rice.>> Venezuela's gambling ventures are run by mixture of private companies in local regional authorities and they claim that their business is booming because of the recession as a growing number of desperate Venezuelans are betting on a better life.