TEWKSBURY — After 90 minutes of debate Tuesday night, Tewksbury slammed the door on plans to build a $200 million Merrimack Valley Casino on 30 acres of commercial land off Route 133 near the Andover town line.
The vote at a Special Town Meeting was 1,568 no to 995 yes for allowing zoning changes that would allow Penn National Gaming to build a 24-hour slot machine parlor on land now zoned for commercial and research use. The measured required a two-thirds majority, or 1,709 votes to be adopted.
The slots parlor in Tewksbury is not the first casino project to fail in Massachusetts, but it is the first formal proposal directly killed by the voters, under a state law that gives local residents absolute power to block gambling companies from their community. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.