Internet gambling is slowly winning over supporters in the United States and Canada, according to a report in Thursday's edition of the Toronto Sun.
According to the report, nearly half of Americans (49 percent) and a majority of Canadians (55 percent) say they would prefer to allow online gambling as long as it was regulated by their government.
Those numbers represent an increase in tolerance from just three years ago, when only 46 percent of Americans and 48 percent of Canadians approved of legalized Internet betting, the report said.
Two-thirds of Canadians (67 percent) and a majority of Americans (55 percent) say their federal governments should regulate online gambling. The other third of Canadians (33 percent) said it should be handled by their province while 45 percent of Americans said it should be regulated at the state level, the report said.
"We see that Americans are more concerned with regulation than Canadians," Paul Lauzon of Ipsos Reid, which conducted the survey, told the Tornto Sun. "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."
While the numbers of U.S. and Canadian citizens who support online gambling is going up, the numbers of those who are aware that Internet gambling is illegal in both countries is dwindling, the report said.
Thirty-seven percent of Americans and 23 percent of Canadians said they knew online gambling was illegal in the new survery, down from 41 percent of Americans and 28 percent of Canadians in 2007.