Laurie Sanborn resigns  as chair of state gambling commission

By JAMIE L. COSTA

Monitor staff

Published: 09-05-2023 4:57 PM

State Rep. Laurie Sanborn resigned Friday from her position as chair of a state gambling commission one day after state officials said her husband Andy Sanborn defrauded taxpayers by illegally obtaining and spending COVID relief money.

House Speaker Sherman Packard announced the acceptance of her resignation as chairman of the Commission to Study the Effect of Recent Changes Made to the Charitable Gaming Laws, Including the Newly Authorized Historical Horse Races, in an email.

“Given its importance, we feel it was appropriate for Rep. Sanborn to resign as chair at this time, so there will be no distractions from the good work they intend to do,” Speaker Packard said.

It’s unclear if Sanborn will keep a seat on the commission given the criminal investigation into her husband, who owns and runs the Concord Casino on South Main Street. Packard did not respond to questions on the matter.

Sanborn was appointed to lead the 13-person commission last month, which looks into gaming laws in the state, including whether charities are getting a fair share of the revenue and if casinos are operating within the laws.

Her initial appointment sparked accusations of potential conflicts of interest, which were exacerbated following the allegations of her husband.

On Thursday, the Attorney General’s Office said that Andy Sanborn, former state Senator and local business owner, used an $844,000 COVID small business loan to support his lavish lifestyle, including cash payments disguised as rent, the purchase of two Porches for himself and a Ferrari for Laurie Sanborn. Casinos are ineligible to obtain Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Association.

To get around that, Sanborn left out the registered trade name for his business “Concord Casino” on his loan application and characterized the business activity as “miscellaneous,” according to the Lottery Commission and Attorney General.

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As a result, he is under criminal investigation and was declared unsuitable to be associated with chari table gaming in the state.

The Lottery Commission is moving to immediately revoke Sanborn’s facility license and game operator employer license at the Concord Casino.

Losing those licenses could also strike a fatal blow to Sanborn’s plans to open a new, larger casino in Concord, which was granted conditional approval in June.

The city is evaluating the impact of the Attorney General’s findings on the Planning Board’s decision, which was appealed last month by residents of Concord in a lawsuit against the city.

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