More are in favor of legalizing online gambling with federal regulation

New research on Internet gambling in North America suggests that an increasing number of Canadians and Americans are in favor of legalizing online gambling under a system of federal regulation.

Also, interestingly enough, the majority of those surveyed in both countries believe the activity is already legal.

The survey was conducted by market research firm Ipsos Reid as part of a joint U.S.-Canada Lottery study taking in 1,006 U.S adults and 1,032 Canadian adults.

The findings showed that compared to two years ago, more adults on both sides of the border support regulation of online gambling, with 49 percent of Americans and 55 percent of Canadians in favor. On the question of the legality, 63 percent of American respondents said they believed the activity to be legal in their country, compared to 59 percent two years ago. In Canada the belief that online gaming is a legal activity is even higher, with 77 percent of respondents taking this view. Two years ago it was 72 percent.

“The idea of Internet gambling appears to be gaining acceptance in North America, with more people expressing an interest to see it legalized with proper regulation,” says Paul Lauzon, senior vice president and managing director of Ipsos Reid’s Lottery & Gaming Group.

The findings contradict those of a recent survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University in the United States. According to that random telephone poll of 1,001 adults earlier this year, 67 percent of respondents opposed the legalization of online gambling.