Page last updated at 19:20 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Town mourns demise of bingo hall

A seaside resort in Kent has lost part of its history with the closure of its seafront bingo hall.

The Regent in Deal was converted into a bingo hall in the early 1960s after several decades as a cinema.

Its closure, which has been blamed in part on the smoking ban and more liberal gambling laws, has left 14 people out of work.

Managing director and owner Robin Bloom said: "A lot of our customers do enjoy a cigarette, many have stopped coming."

He added: "So heavy is the taxation on bingo, whilst we will be losing between 100,000 and 150,000 each year, the government actually will make between 250,000 and 300,000 in taxes."

Mr Bloom had run the family-owned business since 1965.

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