Embattled New Hampshire Casino is Not Yet Sold, State Must Approve New Owner

Posted on: April 19, 2024, 12:23h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2024, 09:31h.

Concord Casino has yet to be acquired by another owner as the deadline for the New Hampshire property’s sale is just a few months away.

Concord Casino
Concord Casino, pictured above. The New Hampshire gaming property must be sold this year. (Image: New Hampshire Bulletin)

In January, the charitable casino’s owner, Andy Sanborn, was to start looking for a buyer to take over the business. There’s reportedly little progress so far. The transaction must be arranged before July 1, according to a ruling from New Hampshire officials.

There’s been no change in the status of the Concord facility,” Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, was quoted by the Concord Monitor earlier this week. “There has been no sale.”

If Sanborn, a former politician, doesn’t sell the casino within the time frame, the property may get its license revoked. Sanborn does have the option to request an extension of three months to find a buyer, according to the Monitor.

The new owner also must be approved by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission under a ruling announced in December.

License Suspended

The casino’s license is currently suspended.

The ruling came after Sanborn allegedly improperly received $844K in COVID funds. Casinos were among the ineligible businesses to receive relief money from the government.

But Sanborn’s representatives misled government officials on the loan application, according to New Hampshire regulators.

Sanborn is accused of using $181K of that money on two Porsche race cars, and $80K on a Ferrari for his wife, state Rep. Laurie Sanborn, R-Bedford, officials said. He also used more than $183K on rent, officials further claim.

The misrepresentations on the (COVID) application and the subsequent use of the proceeds for expenditures not allowed by that loan constitute conduct by the licensee that undermines the public confidence in charitable gaming,” Michael King, a hearing examiner, stated in his ruling, according to the Monitor.

King chose not to rule on whether there were fraudulent statements in the loan application but he did conclude there was “clear false and/or misleading information,” according to the NESN TV network.

During the hearing, officials claimed Sanborn didn’t deserve to continue as an owner of a charitable casino.

The Concord Casino is located inside The Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord. The Sanborns are also attempting to open a second casino in Concord.

Wife Resigned from Post

In response to the investigation, Laurie Sanborn last year stepped down as chair of a New Hampshire panel assigned to review regulations on charitable casinos.

She decided to leave the post after state and federal officials announced they launched an inquiry.