Sanborn’s Gaming License Revoked, Concord Casino Closes

Andy Sanborn, former state senator and owner of Concord Casino, is facing major consequences for misappropriating COVID-19 relief funds. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has decided to shut down Concord Casino from January 1, with a possibility of reopening in six months under new ownership. This decision, revealed on December 28, is the outcome of Sanborn’s disputed conduct.

The Commission moved to revoke Sanborn’s license in August for federal fund misuse, leading to a hearing in December. The closure decision was finalized on December 27. Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, had planned to expand his gaming business in Concord. However, his license was revoked due to dishonest fund acquisition, false fund usage claims, inadequate record-keeping, and excessive self-payment as rent.

Investigations found Sanborn acquired $844,000 from the Small Business Administration between December 2021 and February 2022, excluding his casino from the application and misrepresenting his business activity. He allegedly spent heavily on luxury cars and claimed large sums as rent for his establishments.

Hearing inspector Michael King, while not judging the honesty of the application, found the false information sufficient for license revocation. He dismissed Sanborn’s defense regarding the car purchases and noted a violation of the credit terms.

Sanborn, absent from the hearing due to a medical appointment, has not responded to the allegations. His attorney criticized the state’s case as flawed and baseless. The casino’s closure marks a significant turn for Sanborn and New Hampshire’s charitable gaming sector, prompting a state criminal investigation following federal notification of the charges in August.

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