Aberdeen’s Soul Casino is to cease with operations, after owner Granite Rock Casino announced its decision with a statement on its website and across social media.

A change in drink-drive legislation, decline in footfall, high business rates and change in economic climate in the city have all been cited by the firm, with closure bringing an end to Scotland’s online independent family-owned entity.

First opened 12 years ago, a further issue was a recent change in Aberdeen’s alcohol licensing laws, with proposals passed last year allowing pubs to stay open to 3am when awarded the necessary approvals.

Business owners in the city, speaking to the Evening Express, slammed the decision, with one in particular stating that “the whole of the city centre is imploding”.

Furthermore, a call for decision makers to go back to the drawing board was made, amid a suggestion that Soul Casino will not be the last business to fall by the wayside.

In its statement announcing the closure, it was explained: “It is with a heavy heart that Granite Rock Casino Ltd can confirm it has made the decision to close the doors of Soul Casino. We are proud to have operated Scotland’s only independent, family-owned casino for over 12 years, and this decision was not made lightly.

“The closure comes following a shift in late night entertainment culture in the city, which has seen a significant drop in footfall to the casino. Notably, the changes in drink-drive legislation has led to increased caution in customers when drinking in a late night venue, as they may be over the limit the following morning, which has seen a steep decline in wet sales in the venue. In addition, the overall economic climate in Aberdeen, coupled with high business rates, has unfortunately made trading no longer sustainable.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the long serving management and staff for their hard work over the years, and for their recent efforts to keep Soul Casino trading.”