By GARRY RAYNO, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD — A hearing requested by Concord Casino owner and former state Sen. Andy Sanborn to halt the Lottery Commission’s move to revoke his charity gambling license has been postponed again.
The hearing on Sanborn’s request for an injunction against the commission to give him and his attorneys more time to fight the state’s finding, was scheduled for today (Friday), but Thursday another hearing order was issued setting the court hearing for 11 a.m. Monday in Merrimack County Superior Court.
Sanborn’s attorneys claim the state has denied Sanborn his due process rights by failing to make information from the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office available, and also seek greater time to review investigation documents, to hire a forensic auditor and locate witnesses.
His attorney told commission officials last month Sanborn was very ill, preventing him from fully engaging in his defense.
The attorneys sought a two-month delay in the administrative hearing.
Earlier this month a temporary injunction was granted to delay the hearing until more evidence could be presented to the court.
The investigation alleges Sanborn committed COVID-19 relief fraud by accepting an $844,000 federal COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan and buying three race cars with the money, paying the casino’s rent to the building he owns for more than three years in advance and other allegations.
Casinos were prohibited from accepting COVID loans under the economic injury program, but Sanborn’s application omitted the casino’s name and changed the business description to “Miscellaneous Services.”
Investigators also allude to complaints filed against the Concord Casino that prizes were lowered during games, there were discrepancies in donations to charities, some earned less than the 35 percent of gross revenue state law requires, there was a sliding scale for rent charges to charities, surveillance cameras were inoperable at times or had wrong time stamps and table game dealers made errors.
In light of the allegations, Attorney General John Formella found Sanborn was not suitable to hold a charitable gaming license nor a license to hire employees at his casino, which is in the same building as The Draft restaurant and bar, he owns with his wife Rep. Laurie Sanborn.
Rep. Laurie Sanborn, the Bedford Republican, is House Speaker Pro Tem, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and was chair of a commission studying the effects of changes in charitable gambling laws but she resigned after regulators announced her husband was unfit to hold a casino license.
Andy Sanborn proposed a larger charity gambling facility on Loudon Road in Concord which was recently approved by the Concord Planning Board, but the decision is being litigated by neighbors of the proposed facility.
Andy Sanborn, a Bedford Republican, served in the state Senate for five terms, and left to run unsuccessfully for Congress in 2018.
Garry Rayno may be reached at email@example.com.