After the Aug. 20 Special Town Meeting where Tewksbury residents voted down a $200 million slots-only casino proposed at 300 Ames Pond Drive, No Slots Tewksbury member Vinny Fratalia received a call from a Millbury resident requesting the help of Tewksbury's anti-slots group.
Fratalia said Darin Haig, a resident of Millbury for 10 years, contacted him the night of the vote, asking for any advice in campaigning against the proposed slots parlor in Millbury.
"The whole state was looking at Tewksbury," Fratalia said. "Once our decision was made by the townspeople, Millbury was looking to us for help."
According to Fratalia, the No Slots in Millbury Group also asked if it would be possible to reuse some of the signs No Slots Tewksbury had used in their campaign against the Merrimack Valley Casino proposed by Penn National Gaming.
Fratalia said No Slots Tewksbury was at first hesitant in agreeing to pass on their signs to No Slots in Millbury, as a Sept. 21 townwide referendum on casino gambling was still scheduled in Tewksbury.
However, once Selectmen voted to cancel the September special election, No Slots Tewksbury agreed to pass on their campaign signs to the Millbury group.
"Once the Selectmen cancelled the special election, that indication was all we needed to hear," Fratalia said. "We told the Millbury group we'd be more than willing to give them our signs, and that it would be important to get them up as soon as possible."
After agreeing to drive the signs down to the No Slots in Millbury group, Fratalia was asked to speak at a meeting of the group at the Millbury Public Library on Saturday, Aug. 24.
"It was like deja vu all over again," Fratalia said. "They asked us what the turning point in our campaign was. I told them it was the informational session at Tewksbury Country Club, having 300 people turn out and being able to get the information out. It was great two way communication. "
Fratalia said No Slots in Millbury is facing many of the same challenges the No Slots Tewksbury group did during their campaign against the proposed Merrimack Valley Casino, namely a narrow timeframe.
"Millbury is very similar to Tewksbury, smaller, but they are having it pushed down their throats just like Penn National did to us," Fratalia said. "It's a full campaign in a short period of time, just like we had in Tewksbury."
Millbury has a population of 13,261 to Tewksbury's 28,961.
Millbury signed a host community agreement with Mass Gaming and Entertainment in July for a proposed 1,250 machine slots parlor which residents will vote on at a Sept. 24 town referendum.
According to Fratalia, No Slots Tewksbury delivered more than 200 "No Slots" signs to No Slots in Millbury at their meeting last Saturday, and an additional 60 signs on Tuesday.
No Slots Tewksbury will hold a social and fundraiser at Tewksbury Country Club on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to thank supporters following their campaign and to help raise funds to offset the costs of the campaign.
Check out the flyer attached to this post to find out how to donate to No Slots Tewksbury.