Slots plan riles Andover next door

A plan for a slot machine parlor in Tewksbury (artist’s rendering, left) includes a partnership with Doug Flutie (right) for an eponymous sports bar.
A plan for a slot machine parlor in Tewksbury (artist’s rendering, left) includes a partnership with Doug Flutie (right) for an eponymous sports bar.Penn National

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The $200 million Merrimack Valley Casino proposed for 30 acres of woods in Tewksbury has the look of a New England ski lodge.

But just a few hundred feet across the border in Andover, a slots parlor is the last thing resident Holly Gilmartin wants to see built behind her home on Jordyn Lane, which abuts the Tewksbury property.

“It’s my house,” Gilmartin said at a public forum with state gambling officials that drew about 100 Andover residents to the town library on Tuesday.

Gilmartin said she thinks the host agreement signed recently between Penn National and the town of Tewksbury contains a “backdoor clause” for the project to expand.

“This is, potentially in two years, a full-blown casino, which scares the hell out of me,” she said.

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