Fourteen years ago I gave a speech to the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries at their annual meeting, held that year in Minneapolis. They gave me a hand-carved wooden duck decoy that’s on my bookshelf today. My topic was this thing called the Internet and what it would mean to state lotteries and organized gambling in general. I told them it would rock their world. And it has. But thanks to a ruling last week from the U.S. Department of Justice, the lotteries may finally be in a position to fight back.

What amazed me back in 1998 was that the lottery folks weren’t Las Vegas-type gambling executives but more like the people down […]