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New Hampshire Lottery Closes, Fines Charity Poker Room

Fledgling Poker Room Faces Challenges From State


A charity poker room that was forced to close earlier this month after being open just five months is facing more trouble from the state of New Hampshire.

According to a report from The Eagle-Tribune, the Cheers Poker Room and Casino in Salem, New Hampshire is looking at a $12,500 fine and a $125,000 increase to its state bond, thanks to allegations from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission.

The lottery claims that the poker room didn’t submit the necessary financial reports and also deleted surveillance video that was less than 45 days old, among other claims. The Lottery Commission shuttered the room on June 2, per the report. Altogether, the room has been accused of violating six state rules pertaining to charity gambling.

The owner of the poker room, Dan Dandreo, reportedly denied the lottery’s claims. Dandreo reportedly has until June 23 to request a hearing on the matter.

The poker room has 25 tables, according to the room’s website. Additionally, it offered 10 Las Vegas-style table games such as blackjack and roulette, according to the website.

When the room closed, the maximum big blind allowed in New Hampshire was $4, so the biggest poker game it was offering was $2-$4 no-limit hold’em, according to the website. As of June 14, the maximum blind for the New Hampshire charity poker industry was increased to $10 thanks to the governor’s signature on House Bill 169.

Cheers, one of about 10 poker rooms statewide, opened on Dec. 30, 2017. According to Rick Newman, a lobbyist for the state’s Charitable Gaming Operators Association, Cheers isn’t among the seven poker rooms that make up the group.

The New Hampshire Lottery is worth more than $300 million in sales per year, according to its website. It says it’s the oldest legal lottery in the United States.

The lotto is also challenging poker in the state of Oregon. In Portland, the Oregon Lottery is questioning the legality of what are known as social poker clubs that don’t take a rake.