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Former State Senator Requests Public Hearing to Keep Casino License

Published Wednesday Sep 13, 2023

Author Sruthi Gopalakrishnan, Concord Monitor

Concord CasinoAndy Sanborn and his wife, current Rep. Laurie Sanborn, decided to open Concord Casino because they wanted to find a way to give back to the community. (GEOFF FORESTER)

Andy Sanborn, a former State Senator and owner of the Concord  Casino, has requested a public hearing before the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to challenge the state’s determination that he is unsuitable for charitable gaming due to the fraudulent use of COVID-19 relief funds.

At the public hearing, Sanborn will be defending both the casino’s license and his operator license in front of the three-member New Hampshire Lottery Commission and the state’s Attorney General, which investigated his uses of funds and casino operations from January to August.

Both agencies found that Sanborn fraudulently obtained $844,00 in COVID relief funds, which casinos are ineligible to receive, to support his lavish lifestyle.

He used the funds to make cash payments disguised as rent and purchase of luxury cars for himself and his wife, State Rep. Laurie Sanborn.

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

The Lottery Commission issued a notice of administrative action to revoke Concord Casino’s charitable gaming license due to suitability and compliance concerns on Aug. 31. But the casino has continued to operate as usual. Sanborn filed his request for a hearing on Friday.

The New Hampshire Lottery will schedule a public hearing within the next 30 days to determine whether Win Win Win, LLC, doing business as “Concord Casino,” will retain its charitable gaming licenses.

The Concord Casino is located at 67 South Main Street in Concord and is housed within the Draft Bar and Grill, another enterprise owned by the Sanborns. 

Following the Lottery Commission’s announcement, Laurie Sanborn resigned 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.

Michael Strand, a member of the Bedford Town Council, said the corruption allegations against the Bedford couple while serious are a betrayal to the people they were elected to serve.

“I believe in due process, and that the Sanborns are innocent until proven otherwise. However, if these allegations are true, Representative Sanborn must resign from her elected position immediately and retire from any active career in public service. Serious questions must now be asked about both her and her husband’s voting records during their time in the statehouse and Senate, and any conflicts of interest uncovered. The public trust must be restored,” said Strand in an email statement.

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