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The Cheers Poker Room and Casino in Salem, New Hampshire was forced to wait five months before state regulators would reinstate its license. The state suspended Cheers’ game operator employer license and its facility license in June. The poker room reopened roughly one week ago.
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission, which regulates state casinos and poker rooms, shut down Cheers over the summer due to multiple unresolved violations. Owner Dan Dandreo allegedly played at his own poker tables, was repeatedly late submitting financial reports, and allegedly deleted business surveillance videos.
Regulators say they sent multiple warnings and requests for compliance to Dandreo before finally placing a $12,500 fine on his licenses in July. During a meeting with the Lottery Commission, Dandreo and the regulators agreed to reduce the fines by 50 percent if he paid within a 10-day period.
Dandreo paid the fines within the allotted time. The most expensive offense was his failure to maintain 45 days of surveillance evidence. Once all the fines were paid, Dandreo had to submit a new application for his facility license with updated information. According to the Lottery Commission, his original application contained false information.
A representative of the Lottery Commission said Dandreo could have had his licenses reinstated in September, but regulators had to first sort out discrepancies. The Commission had to correct various underpayments made by the poker room to charities and the state.
New controls were put in place to assure Dandreo makes accurate payments on behalf of Cheers in the future. The business passed a site inspection and its licenses were reinstated on November 8.