New Hampshire gamblers will have to wait six months to gamble at Concord Casino.
The New Hampshire Lottery, the organization that oversees NH casino gaming, announced it has suspended Concord Casino’s gaming license for six months based on the findings of an investigation into the casino and its owner, Andy Sanborn. The suspension is largely based on Sanborn’s application for an $844,000 economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) from the Small Business Administration during the pandemic.
Sanborn’s wife and casino co-owner is Laurie Sanborn, a member of the state’s House of Representatives.
Sanborn used EIDL money for sports cars, cash payments to self
The attorney general’s investigation into Sanborn’s business dealings in 2021 and 2022 revealed a string of misrepresentations and unsanctioned spending.
The investigation found that, in 2021, Sanborn applied for an EIDL loan under a business name (Win Win Win LLC). And used a type (miscellaneous services instead of charity gaming facility) that was different than what Concord Casino used on its tax forms.
“Concord Casino’s and Mr. Sanborn’s misconduct in applying for, obtaining, spending, and improperly accounting for $844,000 of EIDL proceeds constitutes participation in illegal activities, serves a criminal interest, and undermines the public’s confidence in the integrity of charitable gaming in New Hampshire,” the state’s attorney general wrote in a report about its investigation.
Using Concord Casino as the applicant and charity gaming facility as the business type would’ve had a “negative impact on the chances of obtaining the funding and that it was intentionally omitted,” the investigation noted.
The Small Business Administration awarded Sanborn’s company $844,000 based on that application. According to the EIDL program’s rules, Sanborn was allowed to use the money “solely as working capital to alleviate economic injury caused by” the pandemic.
However, the investigation revealed that Sanborn used the money to alleviate hankering for luxury cars and self-enrichment. According to state documents, Sanborn used the funds to:
- Spend $181,250 on two Porsche 987 Cayman S’s for himself and a 2008 Ferrari F430 for his wife
- Buy $45,000 in parts for his two cars
- Channel $183,500 to himself by using two of his other companies to raise rent on the casino he owns
- Pay $28,800 for services he used as part of proposing a new casino in Concord
Sanborn raised rent by 4,000%
Regarding rent, the attorney general found that Concord Casino’s annual rent was $6,000 a month in 2018, payable to a company that Sanborn owns. In 2021, the casino made rent payments to Sanborn’s company totaling $37,500.
In 2022, Sanborn increased rent to $240,000 a year for five years.
The report indicates that Sanborn raised the rent so he could justify (on paper) his use of the EIDL funds. Sanborn contended he increased the rent because the casino expanded.
However, the attorney general noted that the casino’s floor space increased by about 650%, while rent payments increased by 4,000%.
Other errors doomed New Hampshire’s Concord Casino
In addition to Sanborn’s use of EIDL funds for non-capital purposes, the attorney general’s office noted the suspension was also based on:
- “Multiple false entries” in Concord Casino’s accounting records
- Not providing regulators the information required to show the casino was financially stable
“For all or any of the preceding reasons, Concord Casino’s games of chance facility license and game operator employer license should be revoked for good cause shown,” the investigation concluded.