Charitable Casino Plan for Empty Grocery Store Moves Forward in Conway, N.H.
Posted on: February 3, 2023, 05:01h.
Last updated on: February 3, 2023, 03:55h.
The town of Conway is the latest community in New Hampshire to approve a building permit for a charitable casino. The permit was approved last month, the Conway Daily Sun, a local newspaper, reported this week.
The local permit is required to place a gambling venue at the planned location, a former grocery store called Shurfine.
The permit allows A.W. Rose Construction of Manchester, N.H. to “renovate the former grocery store and adjoining suite into (a) sports pub with charitable gaming,” the report said.
Shurfine Plaza was purchased for about $5 million by Manchester, N.H. developer Dick Anagnost last November. Anagnost is the manager of A.W. Rose Realty.
In 2019, Anagnost was given a charitable casino license from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission for the Conway site. The business is called the “Conway Poker Room and Casino, LLC.,” the report said.
Developer Runs Four Casinos
Anagnost currently runs charitable casinos in the New Hampshire towns of Keene, Manchester, Dover, and Lebanon. The operations raised $3,876,284 for New Hampshire nonprofits in 2022, the Sun said.
Under state law, a charitable casino must donate 35% of proceeds to charitable nonprofits under New Hampshire requirements.
“The business can only open if it has a charitable organization each night that is vetted by the state Attorney General’s office as a nonprofit 501 (3)-c,” John Eastman, Conway town manager, told the Sun.
The plan would be to be open three to four nights a week and each night to have a charitable operation they are gaming for.”
There’s a limit on what games are offered at the casino. In New Hampshire, local voters must approve sports betting or keno operations. Such forms of gambling were rejected four times in previous Conway town meetings.
In 2021, Anagnost said he wanted to open a Greek restaurant that included a sports bar and charitable gaming in the 12,000-square-foot space, the Sun said. The new building permit doesn’t mention anything about a Greek restaurant, the report added. This week, a spokesperson for the project said some kind of restaurant is proposed as part of the project.
Los Angeles-based gaming company Peninsula Pacific Entertainment is also involved in the project, the Sun reported.
The Conway Board of Selectmen will discuss the casino on February 21. Conway is located near the Maine-New Hampshire border.
Other Casino Projects
Other New Hampshire communities are also considering charitable casino proposals. In Lebanon, a gaming property was proposed at the site formerly housing Gerrish Honda.
The gaming floor would have 111 electronic gaming devices and 90 gaming tables, according to the proposal. As envisioned, it would include 17,335 square feet on the first floor. There also would be a 1,360-square-foot mezzanine.
A new charitable casino in Concord, N.H. was given conditional approval last month. The town’s Planning Board conditionally approved the project’s initial phase, which includes a 24,000-square-foot gaming room, and an 8,500-square-foot restaurant and brewpub.
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