New study positive on internet gambling in North America

But respondents prefer their online gambling well regulated

A new independent survey on Internet gambling in Canada and the United States, conducted by Ipsos Reid, shows that respondents were less clear on the legality issue than before. In 2007, 41 percent of Americans and 28 percent of Canadians said they knew online gambling was illegal. In 2010, that dropped to 37 percent of Americans and 23 percent of Canadians.

The online survey, which was conducted between January 4 and 7 this year and surveyed 1 006 people in the U.S. and 1 032 Canadians, has an estimated margin of error of 3.05 to 3.09 percentage points.

Half of Americans (49 percent) and slightly more than half of Canadians (55 percent) are willing to permit Internet gambling as long as government regulations are in place. This represents a slight increase in tolerance when compared to the 2007 study, where 46 percent of Americans and 48 percent of Canadians shared this view.

Most Canadians (67 percent) and Americans (55 percent) agree their respective federal governments should be in charge of regulating online gambling.

Just a third of Canadians (33 percent) said it should be dealt with by individual provinces while 45 percent of Americans said individual states should regulate it.

"We see that Americans are more concerned with regulation than Canadians," said Paul Lauzon of Ipsos Reid. "Comparing a number of legally permitted gambling options, Canadian interest in playing remains almost unchanged based on regulation or no regulation. But Americans feel more comfortable in playing betting games and gambling when there is a system of government regulation in place."

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