The Concord Casino, owned by Andy Sanborn, a former state senator accused of misusing funds from a COVID-19 relief grant, will be shutting down on January 1st, with the potential to reopen under new ownership after 6 months, as announced by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission on December 28th.
The Commission had previously attempted to revoke Sanborn’s gaming license in August, citing his wrongful use of federal funds, false statements, and failure to maintain accurate records. Despite the former senator appealing the decision and requesting a hearing, the final decision was made on December 27th, effectively canceling his gaming operator’s license.
Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, had plans to open a larger charitable gaming property just a few miles away from his current casino located in The Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord. However, the Commission insisted on canceling his existing license due to his unethical actions.
An investigation found that Sanborn had deceitfully obtained $844,000 in funding from the Small Business Administration by omitting his casino’s name from the application and misrepresenting his business activity. He was also accused of using the funds to purchase expensive cars and pay himself substantial amounts in rent.
The hearing inspector, Michael King, stated that the submission of false information on the credit application was enough to justify revoking Sanborn’s license. Additionally, he dismissed Sanborn’s claims that the cars were not purchased with credit and pointed out that all three cars were American-made, in violation of the conditions of the credit.
Despite the decision, Sanborn was not present at the hearing and did not respond immediately when requested for comment. His attorney argued that the state’s case was based on a flawed investigation and baseless charges related to the COVID-19 relief credit.
Following the announcement of the charges in August, federal authorities were notified, and a criminal inquiry was officially opened by the state. The closure of the casino and the revocation of Sanborn’s gaming license mark the culmination of the legal proceedings against him.