New Hampshire’s Rep. Laurie Sanborn has resigned as the chairwoman of a legislative commission tasked with exploring the impact of new charitable gaming laws, including online casino.

She remains Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, where New Hampshire’s online casino bill was killed earlier this year. She resigned as the head of the aforementioned commission after the state gaming regulator alleged her husband has misused $844,000 in pandemic relief funds. He also owns a charitable gaming destination, Concord Casino.

The bill, SB 104, submitted by Senator Timothy P Lang, was ‘indefinitely postponed’ in the house in which Sanborn heads. Reasons given for the objection to online casino include: the cannibalization of charitable gaming revenue and others suggested they would wait for the results of the commission’s study: the one run by Sanborn.

In a 17 page letter sent by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission to Anthony Sanborn, Rep. Sanborn’s husband, a wide range of misnomers are pointed out, and allegations made. The NH Lottery Commission and the Attorney General ultimately decided that “neither the Licensee, nor Mr. Sanborn is suitable to be associated with charitable gaming in New Hampshire.” It adds that it found “credible evidence” that Mr. Sanborn had unlawfully obtained $844,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

A brief summary of the letter’s allegations are as follows:

  • Purchased two Porsche 987 Cayman S race cars for $181,250 for personal use
  • Purchased an $80,000 2008 F430 Ferrari as a gift for Rep. Laurie Sanborn
  • $45,000 on race car parts
  • Distributed $183,500 in cash disguised as rent payments to two Concord affiliates, which are both wholly owned and controlled by Mr. Sanborn. This amounted to 27 years of rent.
  • $28,800 on engineering and geotechnical services for a prospective new casino and entertainment complex.

All three race car purchases were recorded as a transaction on Concord Casino’s books as necessary equipment purchases made in the ordinary course of charitable gaming.

Mr Sanborn has been given 10 days from the issuance of the letter to respond, and per New Hampshire Bulletin reports, he will exercise the right to.

The NH Bulletin says he wrote ““Like so many businesses and organizations, we applied for federal relief to assist in meeting the operational challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the process, we did our due diligence to ensure compliance with all application requirements and standards. While I strongly disagree with the (Lottery) Commission’s statements, I welcome the examination ahead as I have full confidence our actions were transparent and in complete accordance of the law.”

There is precedence for jail sentences for similar offenses, should he prove guilty. Should he be found guilty, one would assume pressure will mount on Rep. Sanborn to step down from all duties after her seven year tenure and position atop the House partially responsible for the rules surrounding charitable gaming and potential New Hampshire mobile casino.