Charitable Casinos Proposed for Two New Hampshire Communities

By | January 1, 2023

A local planning board in New Hampshire on Monday will consider a proposal to build a charitable gaming casino. It will also include a restaurant.

A scenic site in Lebanon, N.H.
A scenic site in Lebanon, N.H., pictured above. The town is considering approving a charitable casino. (Image: Keene Sentinel)

Lebanon, N.H., planning board members will discuss the proposed gaming property at the site formerly housing Gerrish Honda.

The board must schedule a site visit, as well as hold a public hearing on the proposal.

Locally, the street is called Miracle Mile.

If the project is approved, it will include a gaming space and a 41-seat restaurant/bar, the Valley News, a New Hampshire news organization, reported.

The gaming floor will have 111 electronic gaming devices and 90 gaming tables, according to the proposal.

As envisioned, it would include 17,335-square feet on the first floor. There also would be a 1,360-square-foot mezzanine.

The project would use the existing building. It is currently vacant.

The casino would mean an increase in traffic in the area, Engineering Ventures, a Lebanon-based consultant, predicted.

Site Was Car Dealership

The property, a former Honda dealership, was sold in 2016 to Gengras Motor Cars, a Connecticut-based auto dealer.

Its principal is Jonathan Gengras. Gengras and Stefan Huba, a consultant who specializes in developing casinos, are the developers of the project.

Gengras will remain the owner of the Miracle Mile property. He will lease it to Huba, the report said.

If given approvals, the casino must donate 35% of proceeds to charitable nonprofits under New Hampshire law.

Games can include poker, bingo, lottery, keno, and raffles, the Valley News said. Also allowed are roulette, blackjack, and electronic slot machines, the report added.

The charitable organizations must be approved by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

The current list of permitted organizations includes over 12,000 non-profits.

Lebanon already has one charitable casino. It is called the Lebanon Poker Room & Casino. It opened in 2018. It offers poker, blackjack, roulette, and some 34 slot machines.

Lebanon is located near the New Hampshire-Vermont border.

Concord Proposal

Meanwhile, in Concord, N.H., some 58 miles southeast of Lebanon, a planned charitable gaming complex is likely to be reviewed by Concord Planning Board members next month, the Concord Monitor newspaper reported.

It will include a casino, hotel, and restaurant. It will feature a 24,000-square-foot gaming floor.

That will have 634 seats. Plans also call for an 8,500-square-foot restaurant and brew-pub. It would have seating for about 150.

A hotel and event center would be developed later, according to current plans.

The developer is Andy Sanborn who owns the Draft Sports Bar & Grill and the Concord Casino, a charitable casino in Concord. He is a former New Hampshire state senator. In the Senate, he was chair of the Commerce, Health/Human Services and Ways and Means committees. He also ran for Congress.

Sanborn predicts the new casino would lead to over 250 jobs. It will also increase local tourism.

But Bruce Carri, who lives near the site of the planned casino, has been worried about increased traffic, the Monitor said.

Given that this is a gateway from the east of the city, I’m not sure it’s the best use of the site to have a casino be the first thing people see when they come in from the Seacoast,” Carri was quoted by the Monitor.

“It’s not the best image for the Capital City that we should want to convey.”

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