THE Argus has been inside a casino construction site set to become a huge 24/7 seafront “entertainment hub”.

A far-reaching £5.2 million refurbishment will see the Grosvenor Casino in Grand Junction Road, Brighton, redeveloped into a multi-storey complex called Pier Nine.

Wearing a hard hat on the building site, general manager Bob Bowry said the development would be so large the current casino will be housed inside it.

It will contain bars, two casinos, a betting games arcade, a private cinema and a karaoke room, all set over three floors.

It is scheduled to open in January next year.

But now, it is still being built.

The place smells of paint. Workers in high vis jackets lug steel beams from floor to floor, and electricians are busy with tangles of cables.

The Government relaxed restrictions on gambling in 2007 and ministers at the time raised concerns about the risks of addiction. But the industry has since boomed.

Mr Bowry said: “This is a major investment in a well-loved building on the sea front, creating new jobs in the local leisure and entertainment sector as well as a destination for the changing habits of those in search of memorable experiences under one roof.

“Pier Nine will be a 24/7 venue for work, rest and play.

“The variety of fantastic food and drink on offer, as well as retro gaming and the excitement of traditional casino games will make Pier Nine a leisure and entertainment destination for all to enjoy.”