January 1, 2024 2 min read


NH Concord Casino Shuts Down amid Owner’s COVID Funds Misuse

The Concord Casino located at the Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord, New Hampshire has shut down its operations as of today, January 1, 2024, amid an investigation into its owner

A former state senator, the owner of the casino, has been accused of misusing public COVID-19 relief funds to purchase luxury cars. The accusations have been vehemently denied by both former Rep. Senator Andy Sanborn and his legal representative who has accused the state of building its case on thin grounds and without substantiated evidence.

Looking into the Former Senator’s COVID Fund Spending

Although examiner Michael King, who oversaw the case, did not outright confirm the allegations – as it was beyond his remit, King still noted that the accusations were serious enough for the New Hampshire State Lottery Commission to consider revoking Sanborn’s gaming license.

Sanborn is accused of improperly obtaining federal funds and then misrepresenting their use. The commission and King argue that Sanborn paid himself large sums and failed to keep a detailed enough record-keeping to dispel doubt, prompting the regulator to order the casino shut. This undermined the public confidence, King noted.

The good news for the property is that it may reopen in six months, but only under the aegis of a new owner. This means that Sanborn would have to sell the business. As to the exact severity of the allegations against Sanborn, they pertain to an $844,000 fund that was handed down by the Small Business Administration.

According to investigators, when applying, Sanborn did not specify that he owned a casino business and was applying as a casino business for the loan. Such businesses were not eligible to obtain funding at the time.

Time Begins to Tick for Sanborn and the Concord Venue

 Yet, Sanborn is alleged to have secured the funding and then spent at least $181,000 on two Porsche race cars with another $80,000 on a Ferrari for his wife. He also paid himself $183,000 for “rent” for the Concord venue.

Interestingly, the loan was also spent on luxury goods – the cars – that were not American-made which was another violation of the terms of securing the funding and its subsequent spending.

The commission and King have agreed to wait until Sanborn has a chance to sell his business while suspending operations at the venue for the time being providing it’s done within six months. It’s yet not clear if he will continue challenging the commission and its conclusions.

Lead Editor

Mike made his mark on the industry at a young age as a consultant to companies that would grow to become regulators. Now he dedicates his weekdays to his new project a the lead editor of GamblingNews.com, aiming to educate the masses on the latest developments in the gambling circuit.

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