New Hampshire Casino Owner Must Sell Gaming Property, License Held

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The embattled owner of New Hampshire’s Concord Casino was ordered by state officials Wednesday to sell the operation following fraud allegations.

Andy Sanborn, pictured above. The casino owner must sell his New Hampshire casino. (Image: WMUR)

The charitable casino further was ordered to close on Monday and must not be reopened for at least six months under a new owner.

If current owner Andy Sanborn fails to sell the gaming property, he will lose his license for two years, according to the New Hampshire Bulletin.

At the very least, Sanborn’s license will be suspended for six months.

If a new buyer is named, the person or entity must be approved by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission before the sale is made final.

The ruling by the state Department of Safety came after Sanborn, a former state senator, and his wife, state Rep. Laurie Sanborn, R., allegedly improperly applied for and misspent money from a federal COVID relief loan.

They allegedly used some of the $844K loan on a Ferrari and two Porsche race cars that were earmarked for personal use. Other funds were spent on what was described as rent.

The Sanborns failed to say in the loan application they owned a casino. Casinos were not eligible for COVID relief loans.

This week’s rulings were issued in a nine-page decision released Thursday by Department of Safety hearing officer Michael King.

False, Misleading Info

King chose not to rule on whether there were fraudulent statements in the loan application. But he did conclude there was “clear false and/or misleading information,” according to the NESN TV network.

Earlier this year, the Lottery Commission revealed it wanted gaming licenses held by Sanborn and Concord Casino to be revoked “indefinitely,” the Bulletin reported.

Instead of following the commission’s argument, King ordered the suspension of the licenses and directed Sanborn to sell the casino.

Appeal Is Possible

If Sanborn wants to challenge King’s ruling, he must file a request with the Lottery Commission within 15 days.

The Concord Casino is located inside The Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord.

The Sanborns are in the process of opening a second charitable casino elsewhere in Concord. It’s uncertain what the future of that property will be.

Andy Sanborn didn’t provide an immediate comment on this week’s ruling. He has been receiving medical treatment and has missed many recent proceedings on the license issue.

During December’s hearing before King, Sanborn’s attorney, Mark Knights, who specializes in government investigations, said the Lottery Commission failed to fully understand what the relief payments were being used for, and he tore apart the government’s allegations.

“It’s an incomplete story that has yawning gaps in the evidence that are the result of an incomplete, and  frankly, sloppy investigation,” Knights said during the hearing, according to the Associated Press.

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