Co-Owner of New Hampshire Casino Resigns from Study Commission


Posted on: September 3, 2023, 08:52h. 

Last updated on: September 3, 2023, 08:52h.

State Rep. Laurie Sanborn resigns as New Hampshire panel chair amid allegations of misuse of federal funds

New Hampshire Rep. Laurie Sanborn
New Hampshire Rep. Laurie Sanborn, pictured above. She stepped down from a state panel after allegations of wrongdoing surfaced. (Image: Concord Monitor)

Laurie Sanborn, Republican state representative, has decided to step down from her position as chair of the New Hampshire panel responsible for reviewing regulations on charitable casinos. This decision follows an inquiry launched by state and federal officials into allegations that her husband, Andy Sanborn, misused $844,000 in federal COVID relief funds on personal expenses, including the purchase of a Ferrari for Laurie. The investigations could result in charges, administrative action, and the potential loss of the Sanborns’ casino license. Attorney General John M. Formella, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, and U.S. Attorney Jane Young are all involved in the ongoing investigations. According to Formella, Andy Sanborn obtained the federal relief loan by providing false information and omitting references to the casino on his application.

The Sanborns are co-owners of the Concord Casino in Concord, N.H., and are currently attempting to open a second casino in the city. While the local planning board has already approved the new casino, a lawsuit is now challenging its establishment.

Responses to the Controversy

New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard, a Republican, stated that Rep. Laurie Sanborn’s resignation from the panel was appropriate to allow the commission to focus on its work without distractions. However, House Minority Leader Matt Wilhelm, a Democrat, called for Laurie Sanborn to also be replaced as chairwoman of the legislature’s House Ways and Means Committee. Another Democratic member, Michael Strand, suggested that Laurie Sanborn may need to resign as a legislator if the allegations are true.

Andy Sanborn, in response to the allegations, expressed confidence in the transparency and compliance of their actions in obtaining federal relief funds. He emphasized the operational challenges faced by their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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