Concord Casino, owned by Andy Sanborn, the former state senator accused of using fraudulently obtained funds from a COVID-19 relief loan to purchase expensive cars, will be officially shut down on January 1st of next year. However, it has the option to reopen after 6 months if it is officially sold to a new owner, according to a decision made by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and made public on December 28th.
The commission had previously attempted to revoke Sanborn’s gaming license in August. Sanborn appealed this decision and requested a hearing in front of an independent inspector. The hearing took place in December and the final decision to revoke his license was officially issued on December 27th.
Sanborn, a Republican from Bedford, owns the casino located within The Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord. He has expressed his desire to open a larger charitable gambling establishment a few miles away from his current location. Despite this, the commission asserted that Sanborn’s gaming operator’s license must be canceled due to his misuse of federal funds, false statements, lack of record-keeping, and excessive self-payment through rent.
An investigation revealed that Sanborn obtained $844,000 in financing from the Small Business Administration between December 2021 and February 2022, falsely listing his business activity as “miscellaneous services” to sidestep the unsuitability of charitable gaming properties and casinos for such credits. He used the funds to buy a Ferrari for his spouse, two Porsche racing cars for himself, and paid over $183,000 in rent for his Concord establishments.
During the hearing, the inspector, Michael King, stated that filling out applications with false or misleading information is sufficient to justify revoking the license and undermines public confidence in charitable gaming. He also dismissed Sanborn’s claim that the cars were not bought with credit. King emphasized that all three cars are American-made, which violates the conditions of the credit.
Sanborn did not attend the hearing due to a medical appointment and did not immediately respond to requests for comment. His attorney alleged that the case against Sanborn was a result of a flawed investigation and baseless charges related to the COVID-19 relief credit.
Following the charges, federal authorities were notified and a criminal inquiry was opened by state officials. The closure of Concord Casino signals the consequences of misusing federal funds and the potential impact on an individual’s business operations.