Date set for hearing on Andy Sanborn’s charitable gaming eligibility   

  • Laurie and Andy Sanborn own The Draft Sports Bar and Grill and Concord Casino located on South Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 9/19/2023 3:08:55 PM
Modified: 9/19/2023 3:08:14 PM

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 3 to determine if Andy Sanborn, the operator and owner of the Concord Casino, should have his facility and game operator licenses revoked following an investigation that revealed his misuse of COVID-19 relief funds.

The panel will include members from the Lottery Commission and the state Attorney General’s Office, the two agencies that investigated Sanborn for 8 months this year and determined he was unsuitable to be involved with charitable gaming in the state.

During the hearing, Sanborn will have the opportunity to present his defense while the panel deliberates on three crucial issues: his suitability for involvement in charitable gaming, the potential revocation of his casino’s license and game operator license, and the imposition of a period of time barring him from participating in charitable gaming activities.

The investigation by the Attorney General and Lottery Commission revealed that Sanborn had received a COVID-19 relief loan meant for small businesses and not casinos. Instead, he used the funds to support his extravagant lifestyle, which included buying two Porsches for himself and a Ferrari for his wife, State Rep. Laurie Sanborn.

“This case highlights the importance of law enforcement’s role in keeping illegal activity out of New Hampshire’s charitable gaming industry,” Attorney General John Formella said in a statement. “Our obligation to protect the public demands that we take action against any person who is found to have used their regulated casino to enrich themselves with fraudulently obtained taxpayer funds.”

But, in an email to other media outlets, Sanborn said he’s innocent of all wrongdoing.

“Throughout the process, we did our due diligence to ensure compliance with all application requirements and standards,” he said. “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 of the law.”

The Sanborns have also received approval from the Concord Planning Board to build another larger casino on Break O’ Day Drive off Loudon Road. However, it is being challenged in court by residents who say the public was deprived of its due process rights when the board passed the project without adequate notice.

The Lottery Commission hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, located at 21 Fruit St., Suite 10 in Concord.

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan covers environmental and energy stories in Bow, Hopkinton, Dunbarton and Warner for the Concord Monitor. In 2022, she graduated from Northwestern University with a master's degree in journalism, specializing in investigative reporting. She also has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering and is always looking for new ways to incorporate data and visual elements into her stories. Her work has appeared in Energy News Network, Prism Reports and Crain's Chicago Business.

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