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No Decision on Sanborn’s Casino License 

Andy Sanborn still had a casino license Tuesday, though that could change by the end of the month.

After two days of hearings in Concord on allegations that Sanborn fraudulently misused $844,000 in COVID relief money for his Concord Casino, a decision on his gaming license is expected by Dec. 31.

Sanborn denies any wrongdoing after a New Hampshire Lottery Commission audit found several concerning payments in Concord Casino’s 2022 financial statements. The commission oversees New Hampshire’s charitable gaming casinos.

Sanborn fought to delay the hearing, which took place Monday and Tuesday, to give his attorneys adequate time to mount a defense. The hearing was originally set to happen in October.

Lottery Commission auditor Leila McDonough testified about finding the purchase of two Porsches and a Ferrari listed in the statements as business expenses. The Ferrari was reportedly a gift for Sanborn’s wife and business partner, Rep. Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford). Concord Casino also reported spending tens of thousands of dollars on car parts, again as business expenses. 

According to the financial statement, Sanborn also paid $163,500 for rent between January and August 2022, averaging about $20,000 a month. But, all that money was going to Sanborn.

Sanborn’s casino business is organized as the Win, Win, Win LLC, which pays rent to The Best Revenge LLC, the Sanborn business entity that owns the Main Street building in Concord. According to court records, the 2018 lease agreement on file between Win, Win, Win LLC and The Best Revenge LLC calls for $500 a month in rent, or about $6,000 a year.

Neither Andy Sanborn nor Laurie Sanborn testified during the license hearing. Andy Sanborn is reportedly dealing with a serious illness and was getting medical treatment in Boston on Monday. 

Sanborn Gambles with Casino Hearing

Casino operator Andy Sanborn wants to take his chances in front of the state Lottery Commission, but his odds aren’t looking good.

The former GOP state senator has decided to publicly challenge charges that he stole COVID relief money and used the cash for sports carts and other luxuries.

Sanborn is set to appear before the New Hampshire Lottery Commission on Oct. 3 to appeal Executive Director Charlie McIntyre’s decision that he is too corrupt to own and operate a casino in the Granite State. Concord recently approved a second casino and a microbrewery, which were part of a planned Sanborn development.

But now the scandal-plagued Republican may lose his license to operate a gambling business altogether.

Sanborn is accused of misappropriating $844,000 in pandemic relief tax dollars while operating a casino at his Draft Sports Bar and Grill, which he owns along with his wife, state Rep. Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford). The allegations against her business partner forced her to give up her position as chair of the state’s new commission reviewing practices in the charitable gaming industry.

McIntyre sent Sanborn a letter on Aug. 31 laying out the findings of the commission’s investigation. According to a statement released by Attorney General John Formella, Sanborn “fraudulently applied for and received at least one Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), with loan proceeds of $844,000. Further, investigators obtained evidence indicating that after receiving those taxpayer dollars, Mr. Sanborn used them to purchase at least three race cars: two Porsche 987 Cayman S racers for his personal use, and a Ferrari F430 challenge racer as a gift for his wife, Rep. Laurie Sanborn.”

Sanborn also allegedly used COVID money to make 27 years’ worth of prepaid rent payments on another business he owns.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are now looking into Sanborn’s practices. According to Formella’s statement, that includes “a review by the Public Integrity Unit of the actions of all of the individuals and entities involved.” That would presumably include Laurie Sanborn.

Andy Sanborn’s checkered political career includes a bribery investigation after he allegedly made a “crude joke” to a Senate intern in 2013. After the joke was made, the exact nature of which has never been revealed, the intern was given a full-time job in the Senate and an envelope with $200 in cash.

Five years later, an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office did not result in any charges, and Sanborn denied any wrongdoing.

“No one in the room was offended by the joke,” Sanborn said in 2018. “No complaint was filed. Case closed. If that’s news, so be it.”

Sanborn threatened a college student in 2014 via email after the student, one of Sanborn’s constituents, sent an email asking Sanborn to support marijuana legalization. A clearly irked Sanborn called the student “a college freshman who just wants to get high at any cost” and implied he would get the student’s scholarship revoked.

“I’m thinking if I call the [organization you received a scholarship from] and ask their opinion on legalization, they may have a different opinion (not to mention may be asking you for their scholarship money back…).” Sanborn wrote.

Sanborn made a failed bid for Congress in 2018 after serving in the state Senate for eight years.