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New Hampshire Charitable Casino Project Given Go-Ahead

Tiffany Burroughs
Updated: 4 August 2023
2 min to read

This week, the local planning board in New Hampshire granted its approval to a new charitable casino after a thorough review. Located on the east side of Concord, the capital of the state, the casino is scheduled to open soon.
Andy Sanborn

Andy Sanborn, the former New Hampshire state senator and comanaging partner of the recently approved casino development in Concord, was pictured above. It has been reported by the Concord Monitor newspaper that the complex will comprise a 26,000-square-foot gaming floor with 486 electronic games, 21 table games, and a poker room. Furthermore, the complex will feature dining and live music spaces, as well as a brewpub. Sanborn told the Monitor that the complex will be a place “where people go out to be entertained for the night”. The second phase of the project is set to involve the construction of a hotel, additional gaming space, a conference/event center, and more live music space. The project’s first phase was given conditional approval by the planning board in January, and the building is said to total about 44,000 square feet. As of now, the casino is named “Imagine Casino”.

It will likely take about 18 months for construction to begin as interior designs must be finished before hand. Additionally, The Monitor reported that 35% of gross revenue from the casino must be sent to approved charities on a 10-day interval due to the fact that it is a charitable gaming operation. This will involve a lengthy review.

Lengthy Review

Over six months, town officials went through a rigorous review of the casino plans. This was further delayed when town officials requested an impact report from local emergency services. Additionally, there was also a site plan review. In early 2020, various issues concerning the casino’s effects on the environment, increased traffic, and other potential negative outcomes were brought to attention, as reported by the Monitor. There were also claims that the small venue could be the cause for potential prostitution and illegal drugs related activities. In response, the Concord Greenspace Coalition, an environmental advocacy group that promotes limited growth of the community, gathered a petition with over 150 signatures in opposition of the casino. Despite these challenges, many local citizens continue to back the project.

Supporters Back Project

Supporters of the project expressed their joy upon gaining approval, as it would bring more than 250 jobs to the city and serve to attract visitors. In addition, charities will be able to benefit from the new gaming property. In a recent statement to the Monitor, Sanborn, a former Republican state senator from Bedford said, “We are excited to go to the moon and back, that we were finally able to get that approval, and now we are able to move forward with the next steps to begin construction. This is giving us the opportunity to actually build something from scratch. At the end of the day, this is all about charities helping people in our community.” The Sanborns have operated the Concord Casino since 2018, another charity casino in Concord, which is located some 58 miles southeast of Lebanon, where another New Hampshire casino proposal is under review.

A hearing open to the public was conducted concerning that proposal last month.

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Updated: 4 August 2023
2 min to read

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