Committee Head Who Helped Kill New Hampshire Online Casino Bill May Be Asked to Temporarily Step Aside

New Hampshire Rep. Laurie Sanborn, the chairwoman of the House committee that killed this year’s online casino bill, was absent on Sept. 19 from the House Ways and Means Committee meeting. Meanwhile, Democrats are asking her to step down from that role and her speaker pro-tem leadership positions while state and federal officials investigate her husband’s business activities related to Concord Casino.

So says state Sen. Timothy P. Lang Sr., R-Sanbornton, who introduced the now-dead online casino bill. He also told Bonus today that he doesn’t know of any representatives requesting Sanborn leave office.

Lang told Bonus today:

I expect that some may call for her resignation from the House. But for now, we have only heard from some legislators asking that she resign from all House leadership positions until it is settled.

However, the state and federal probes into former state Sen. Anthony M. Sanborn‘s business activities may take some time.

So, if Laurie Sanborn were to resign from her leadership positions until Andy Sanborn’s legal troubles are resolved, it could last for months.

Meanwhile, state Rep. John Janigian led yesterday’s committee meeting, Lang told Bonus. Janigian, R-Salem, who is the vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, became its acting chairman in Sanborn’s absence.

Laurie Sanborn didn’t respond to a request for comment from Bonus.

New Hampshire Democrats Opine

The comments below aren’t from House or Senate members.

On Sept. 2, Raymond Buckley – chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) – posted on X:

To be clear: Bedford’s Laurie Sanborn @RepSanbonrj has FOUR positions:

1. State Rep

2. Speaker Pro Temp

3. Ways & Mean Comm Chair

4. State Gambling Comm Chair

Despite the massive financial scandal she refuses to resign! She stepped down fromGambling Commission only. #NHPolitics

Below it, Buckley posted a red block with all-caps white lettering that said, “Resign, Laurie Sanborn!”

On Sept. 10, former NHDP Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan wrote an opinion piece published by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

She called out House Speaker Sherman Packard:

Even if Rep. Sanborn did not know about the source of money for those luxury cars suddenly popping up in her driveway, her continued legislative leadership positions show Speaker Packard’s lack of judgment. Not only has he failed to remove Sanborn as Speaker Pro Tem, but he is also keeping her on as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will be working on bills involving charitable gaming this month, another conflict of interest that he is ignoring.

It may be time for a House cleaning in Concord.

Investigations Take Time

On Oct. 3, “Andy” Sanborn’s hearing happens before the body that wants to take away the charitable gaming license for his casino. Andy Sanborn will plead his case before the New Hampshire Lottery Commission (NHLC), which accused him on Aug. 31 of misusing $844,000 in pandemic relief funds.

The NHLC letter says Andy Sanborn allegedly used the money on racecars, including one for Laurie Sanborn. Plus, it claims he poured most of the money into their business, Concord Casino.

Because of the findings from that NHLC investigation done in coordination with the Civil Law Bureau of the New Hampshire Department of Justice and the Attorney General, there’s now a federal probe into Andy Sanborn’s activities.

Lang told Bonus Jane E. Young, US Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, is deciding if Andy Sanborn will face criminal charges.

Lang told Bonus today:

My understanding is Rep. Sanborn is not part of the first since her husband, Andy, is the licensee. As for the second, no charges have been filed.

Laurie Sanborn Already Resigned From One Role

On Sept. 1, Laurie Sanborn resigned from a charitable gaming study commission she led.

The body examined “the effect of recent changes made to charitable gaming laws, including the newly authorized historical horse races.”

Meanwhile, it appears to be business as usual at Concord Casino. The gaming facility’s website and Facebook pages show it’s open and accepting bets.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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