Shuttered Concord Casino in New Hampshire Unable to Find Buyer

The once-thriving Concord Casino in New Hampshire now stands silent, its doors shuttered, awaiting a new proprietor to breathe life into its deserted gaming floors. The casino's closure came as a mandate from the state, following a series of legal entanglements involving its owner, former state senator Andy Sanborn.

The lights remain turned off at the Concord Casino in New Hampshire. (Source: New Hampshire Public Radio)

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Sanborn's legal issues arose from an investigation jointly conducted by the Attorney General's office and the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC). The investigation revealed that Sanborn had fraudulently obtained $844,000 in pandemic relief funds meant for struggling small businesses. He then used the money on lavish purchases, such as sports cars and trips.

Duping the System

Casinos were not eligible for financial assistance, but Sanborn circumvented this restriction by concealing the casino's name, "Concord Casino," in his application. Instead, he used the name "Win Win Win LLC" and labeled the business activity as "miscellaneous," according to a report by the Attorney General's Office and the Lottery Commission. The revelation led the NHLC to determine that he wasn't worthy of holding a charitable gaming license.

In December, a ruling was issued against Sanborn. He was instructed to shut down the casino and finalize its sale within six months, starting from January 1. Failure to comply could lead to a two-year license revocation. So far, no one has come forward to claim the license and less than two months remain to find someone.

According to local media, nearly 35 charities have felt the pinch, losing a significant source of donations they had come to rely on.

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Charities Catch a Break

In a significant move for nonprofit organizations, and in no small part due to the fallout from the Concord Casino scandal, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has approved HB 1203. The bill marks a pivotal change for charity casinos in the state and prohibits these establishments from charging rent to nonprofit organizations, a practice that previously cut into the funds raised for charitable causes.

By signing this bill into law, Governor Sununu has underscored the state's commitment to supporting nonprofit entities and their philanthropic efforts. The new law ensures that more of the proceeds from charity gaming can directly benefit the intended causes rather than being diminished by overhead costs such as rent.

The passage of HB1203 is a win for both charity casinos and the nonprofits they support. It reflects a broader understanding of the financial challenges faced by nonprofits and the need to maximize their fundraising capabilities.


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