Former New Hampshire state senator’s charitable-games license suspended over pandemic-loan misrepresentation

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: January 4, 2024 2:08 pm EST

A New Hampshire poker room operating under the state’s charitable-gaming laws has been ordered shuttered by the state’s gaming commission after it found the club’s owner, former state Senator Andy Sanborn, had misrepesented the nature of his Concord Casino business in obtaining pandemic-related loans.

New Hampshire Department of Safety hearing officer Michael King suspended Sanborn’s charitable-gaming license and ordered him to sell the club within six months to new ownership. Should he fail to do so within that time, the club’s charitable-gaming license would then be revoked for all of 2024 and 2025, making the venue more difficult to sell. New Hampshire’s laws allow for such clubs to operate, with a portion of all proceeds mandated to go to one or more registered charities.

The small casino, which offers video slots and table games in addition to poker, has operated from a strip mall just a few blocks from the New Hampshire State House in downtown Concord, New Hampshire’s capital. Concord casino has offered both poker cash games and daily tournaments, all of which are now on indefinite hiatus. A handful of posters on the club’s Facebook page noted the club’s closing, at least for the time being.

New Hampshire Gaming Commission sought license revocation

The NHGC, in submitting its case against Sanborn, sought to have both Sanborn’s and the club’s charitable-gaming licenses revoked indefinitely. The state’s hearing officer instead chose a somewhat lesser punishment comparable to that handed out in other cases involving violations.

The Concord Casino matter involved Sanborn misrepresenting the gaming nature of the business in seeking and obtaining $844,000 in special Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which offered low-rate, 30-year funding. However, casinos and other gaming-based companies weren’t eligible for the loans. Among other issues, Sanborn omitted the business name, Concord Casino, where it was called for in loan applications, using only the casino’s parent-company name, Win Win Win, instead.

That and other mispresentations were only part of the story, however, The investigation also determined that Sanborn and his wife, current state Representative Laurie Sanborn, spent some of the low-cost funding on three race cars. The couple spent at least 181,250 on the cars, which included two Porsches and a Ferrari.

Sanborn is still within a 15-day window in which he could appeal his license suspension. Barring a reversal, Concord Casino will likely remain closed until a new buyer is found. The ruling also places a significant roadblock in front of Sanborn’s plans to open a second charitable-gaming casino in the Concord area.

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