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Tue Jul 15, 2008 6:10pm BST
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada and the United States should legalize and regulate online gambling to contain its potentially harmful effects because players tend to bet more frequently and aggressively than they do in casinos, a study released on Tuesday says.
The study -- conducted jointly by academics of the University of Western Ontario in Canada and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas -- found that online gambling is readily accessible via the Internet even though it is outlawed or in a "legal grey area" in United States and Canada.
Online gambling is big business, the study said, estimating worldwide spending at more than C$10 billion (5 billion pounds) a year.
Betting online is a problem, the study says, because it has the potential to be more addictive than casino gambling. Online gamblers can hide their activity more easily than casino gamblers, and betting can quickly become a routine part of their daily lives.
"It brings out the gamblers' more competitive side," said ...