Former State Senator and Concord Casino owner Andy Sanborn on September 8th requested a public hearing before the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to dispute the state’s findings that he is unsuitable for charitable gaming in New Hampshire due to the alleged fraudulent use of COVID-19 relief funds, and other grounds for proposing the revocation of Concord Casino’s licenses.
Sanborn, who operates the casino in his Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord and recently received approval from city officials to open a second establishment, could lose his state license to operate a casino indefinitely.
At the public hearing, Sanborn will defend both the casino’s license and his operator license in front of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, which consists of three members, along with the New Hampshire Attorney General, which investigated his uses of funds and casino operations from January to August.
As per Concord Monitor, both agencies found that Sanborn fraudulently obtained $844,00 in Covid relief funds, which casinos are ineligible to receive, to support his lifestyle. The report noted that Sanborn used the funds to make cash payments disguised as rent and purchase of luxury cars for himself and his wife, State Rep. Laurie Sanborn.
Sanborn, in an email to media outlets, denied the allegations and said that he is innocent of all wrongdoing. The New Hampshire Bulletin quoted Sanborn, who in his email wrote: “Like so many businesses and organizations, we applied for federal relief to assist in meeting the operational challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic."
He added: “Throughout the process, we did our due diligence to ensure compliance with all application requirements and standards. While I strongly disagree with the Commission’s statements, I welcome the examination ahead as I have full confidence our actions were transparent and in complete accordance with the law.”
Following the Lottery Commission’s announcement, Laurie Sanborn was asked to resign from her position as the chair of the 13-member committee tasked with examining the state’s charitable gaming laws and assessing the benefits to charities.
On August 31st, The Lottery Commission issued a notice of administrative action to revoke Concord Casino’s charitable gaming license due to suitability and compliance concerns. However, the casino has continued to operate as usual. Sanborn filed his request for a hearing on Friday.
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission is likely to schedule a public hearing within the next 30 days to determine whether Win Win Win, LLC, which functions as 'Concord Casino,' will retain its charitable gaming licenses.