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New Hampshire Casino Owner Continues to Stall License Hearing

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Andy Sanborn, the former state senator and owner of Concord Casino in New Hampshire, persistently evades additional scrutiny as he faces fraud charges related to the misappropriation of COVID-19 funds. His cunning efforts to sidestep legal consequences remain evident, as he secures yet another delay in his defense against the state Lottery Commission.

Delaying the Inevitable

The commission wants to revoke his gambling licenses, having cited his alleged unsuitability for involvement in charity gaming. Despite the mounting allegations against him, Sanborn continues to maneuver his way out of accountability.

Sanborn's attorneys have continuously cited his health as one of the reasons for the delay in the hearing initially scheduled on October 3 and later postponed to October 13. This decision came after the release of the investigation's findings on August 31, prompting Sanborn to request a hearing extension to adequately analyze documents and prepare for the proceedings.

After the commission and the Attorney General's Office launched legal proceedings against the ex-state senator, a delay request was filed by Sanborn. Last week, Judge Amy Ignatius approved the request, shifting the hearing to a date sometime after December 11, which is around three and a half months from the start of the legal proceedings.

The Lottery Commission's suitability report raises significant alarm regarding Concord Casino's continued involvement in gambling activities in New Hampshire. The report indicates that Sanborn, the owner of the casino, has consistently shown a lack of adherence to legal requirements, regulations and established procedures throughout the five years of operating with a license. The commission's legal representative expressed doubt and suspicion, suggesting that the delay in proceedings may be a deliberate tactic to draw out the process and potentially manipulate a favorable settlement.

The court ruling is a result of a hearing on October 23, where Sanborn's lawyers claimed that the Lottery Commission's way of conducting the process was inconsistent, and it failed to comply with discovery requests. Moreover, the commission insisted on appointing a new presiding officer for the upcoming hearing, which raised concerns. The court recognized that the hearing's focus had shifted and highlighted the possibility of violating due process if it was based on prior notice.

The upcoming hearing witnessed the appointment of an experienced hearings examiner, chosen from an undisclosed state agency, to serve as the presiding judge. This individual took over the role previously held by Debra Douglas, the chairperson of the lottery commission, who was previously leading the panel.

Scamming the Government

Sanborn found himself ensnared in a web of legal trouble that sprouted from a collaborative probe led by the Attorney General and the Lottery Commission. This comprehensive investigation concluded that Sanborn was ill-suited for engaging in charitable gaming activities.

The investigation revealed that Sanborn had allegedly obtained $844,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds through fraudulent means. Then, rather than using this money for its intended purpose, he misdirected it to finance a flamboyant lifestyle for both himself and his wife, New Hampshire Representative Laurie Sanborn.

Sanborn is accused of maneuvering around the regulations set forth for relief funds dedicated to small businesses facing difficulties. Despite explicitly excluding casinos from receiving these funds, Sanborn apparently found a way to bypass this restriction.

This involved masking the true identity of Concord Casino on the application by utilizing the trade name Win Win Win LLC. Furthermore, Sanborn deceitfully represented the nature of the business as "miscellaneous" in order to qualify for the funds.

Sanborn is currently facing close examination from both state and federal authorities through two ongoing criminal investigations. Despite being the owner and operator of the Draft Sports Bar and Concord Casino located in Concord, he is encountering legal hurdles regarding his ambitions of establishing a larger gaming and entertainment establishment on Loudon Road. Furthermore, his casino license is scheduled to expire on December 31.

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