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Concord Casino brings in $50,000 for charity in first months

  • Casino signs at the Draft on South Main Street in Concord. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 12/1/2019 6:48:12 PM

Concord’s first charity gaming establishment has made about $50,000 for local charities, out of $123,400 total revenue after prizes, since its opening in July through the month of October.

The profit to Concord Casino has been about $61,500, after $12,340 in taxes taken by the State Lottery Commission, according to the Licensing and Enforcement division of the state Liquor Commission.

The numbers for November have not been released yet.

Within its first few months of business, the casino’s revenue has been low in comparison to the other 13 charity gambling establishments in the state. Boston Billiard Club & Casino in Nashua made more than $500,000 total revenue after prizes in the month of September alone.

However, its revenue has been on par with establishments of similar size. Profit has been steadily growing each month. In July, total revenue was $22,082. In August, it was $31, 195. In September, it was $31, 358.

In October, it was $38,765.

The casino, which hosts games in the basement of The Draft Sports Bar & Grill, opened a second room with games in October. Casino owner Andy Sanborn said he is toying with ways to expand the casino more in the future.

In addition, Concord Casino has been steadily hiring – Sanborn put out an advertisement for full-time and part-time dealing positions in late October.

The charity gambling site has Poker, Roulette, Blackjack, Spanish 21, New Hampshire Hold’em and other Vegas-style games. It also has 30 games on electronic Lucky 7 machines.

Casinos and betting on casino-style games are technically illegal in New Hampshire, but businesses are allowed to host gaming nights if 35 percent of all revenue goes to charity. Players can only make bets between $1 and $10.

The state of New Hampshire is the only state in the country that allows gambling through charity betting – and the business can be lucrative for charities that participate.

In 2018, people put down $26.1 million down on the table at charity betting establishments, according to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission. Charities saw $9.1 million of that money.

The state netted $2.7 million in taxes. However, numbers for charity gambling could be even higher since charitable gaming is a cash-dominated business that self-reports revenues to the state Charitable Gaming Division. The legislature has worked to put a stronger system of accountability in place during the past six years. Over the past 12 months, the gaming division of the New Hampshire Lottery has audited seven of the 12 charitable betting establishments in the state and is currently in the process of auditing two more. The division plans to audit the remaining charity gaming establishments over the next 12 months, according to a spokesman for New Hampshire Lottery.

Concord Casino is the only charity betting establishment that exists in Concord – the next nearest charity gaming establishments are in Manchester and Belmont – and Sanborn said he’s hoping it can bring a lot more funding to Concord charities in the future.

“If you’re going to ask a community to embrace something, the promise has to be, ‘You embrace it and we give back,’ ” Sanborn said in October. “Our goal is to truly give back to those who are giving. An operation that is embraced by the community can literally give millions of dollars to charity – that’s real help.”

Concord Casino is hosting a “Ladies Learn to Play Poker” night featuring Truly Hard Seltzer on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

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