Gambling is a game of chance in which people stake money to win something of value. It requires risk and a prize, and it is designed to stimulate the brain’s reward system.

In addition to the obvious effects of gambling on individuals, it has been shown that it affects the community and society at large. Its negative impacts include increased social inequality, increased crime rates, decreased social isolation, and increased demand for public services.

Casinos have also been associated with an increase in driving while intoxicated. Studies have also shown an increase in violent crime. Problem gamblers are also more likely to be in poorer households.

The economic cost-benefit analysis approach is one that is commonly used in alcohol and drug research. It measures changes in well-being in common units, a group of individuals, and aims to find positive or negative effects. Gambling revenues can be directed to beneficial causes, but gambling also has negative impacts on the economy and on public services.

A major issue in gambling impact analyses is how to measure the social impacts of gambling. Unlike economic costs, social impacts are typically difficult to quantify. However, disability weights have been developed to assess the intangible social costs of gambling.

One pervasive harm of gambling is self-blame. When a significant other experiences feelings of self-blame, they are more likely to feel isolated and lonely.

Studies have also shown that the introduction of a casino can cause an increase in social deprivation. Others have found that gaming can affect seniors’ self-concepts.