Continued from page 1

The state currently pays for all gambling machines at the three operating slots casinos.

If the assembly passes gambling legislation next month, it would have to be approved in a November referendum.

Supporters are anxious to get the proposal on the ballot as their next chance wouldn’t be until 2016, but opponents worry the state could be rushing into gambling expansion without carefully researching its impact.

William Rickman, president of the Casino at Ocean Downs in Worcester County, said the study might prove unreliable and pointed out that state analysts overestimated first-year revenues at his casino by 50 percent.

He said his site would likely need at least half of slots revenues to remain healthy, as table games would require him to hire new employees and possibly build an expansion to his facility.

“I was the only game in town at the time,” said Mr. Rickman, whose casino was the second to open in the state in 2011. “Now it’s time to be there for me.”