How to Succeed in the Lottery Business

The New York Times takes a look at the major corporate players in the state lottery game. The key to doing well in this business seems to be bribing state lottery officials. Getting caught doesn't even seem to be a big problem.

If we're going to have lotteries at all (I have mixed feelings about this) doesn't it seem like we really, really, really shouldn't make them state-licensed monopolies? After all, I imagine that if you had a whole bunch of different competing lottery firms they might need to start offering somewhat better odds in order to keep their customers.