Just how much money could a tribal gambling facility in Aquinnah hope to generate?

According to a study done for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), a class II casino — essentially, an electronic bingo facility — would net more than $4.5 million per year, a document filed in federal court this week shows.

Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, chairman of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Gaming Corp., said the projections came from a marketing study that looked at the viability of a Class II gambling facility on tribal land. Details about the projections and the firm that compiled them have not been made public at the request of the tribe, which claims the information is proprietary.

But the study projects tribal governmental net revenue of $4.54 million in the first year of operation, $4.73 million in the second year and $4.93 million in the third, Mrs. Andrews-Maltais said in the court filing. On average, the gambling operation could provide net revenue of about $395,000 per month, she said.

Information about the Aquinnah facility’s target patrons and what could they expect to find at a class II facility was not provided in the court documents. But a former University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth professor who has studied the gambling landscape in New England says the tribe probably could not expect many day-trippers, patrons visiting for the day to gamble, given the casino’s proposed location at the far western end of the Vineyard.

More likely, many patrons would be on the Island at least for overnight visits or for the weekend, people “who’ve already been to the beach, seen the lighthouses, etc.,” said Dr. Clyde W. Barrow, now chairman of the political science department at the University of Texas-Pan American, in a phone interview earlier this month.

“There will be some occasional tourists who’ll drift over there, but they’re not going to travel to Martha’s Vineyard especially for the purpose of visiting a class II gaming facility, when they find something much better all over the United States,” Mr. Barrow said. “If you’re a gambler, you have so many options.”

He continued: “Will it bring more tourism? No. Will there be spinoff industries? No. Will it generate income for the tribe to develop economically? Yes, it will.”

Mr. Barrow said electronic bingo machines found in class II facilities are quite sophisticated and nearly indistinguishable from electronic slot machines, but they operate on the principle that the gamblers are playing against each other and not the house, as is the case at class III facilities. Payouts are smaller through the class II machines, “but for the average slot machine players, the payouts are fine,” he said.

Casino revenue information from the tribe was filed as part of its opposition to a motion by the town of Aquinnah to temporarily halt work converting a community center into a gambling hall. The information was an effort to show how delays would have economic consequences. Nevertheless, U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor 4th on Tuesday enjoined the tribe from performing any further work at the building site for now.

In a separate document, tribal chairman Tobias Vanderhoop said that since the tribe was rebuffed in its efforts to develop a casino on the mainland, the Aquinnah bingo facility is the most promising economic development option available. With no economic base of its own, the tribe is almost entirely dependent on the federal government for support, Mr. Vanderhoop said.

“As tribal chairman, I swore an oath of office and am charged with the fiduciary duty of expanding our limited economic power for the good of all members,” he said in the document. “The development of a gaming operation is the best option we currently have to create a revenue stream outside of federal funding.”

Gambling revenue would help expand “elders programs, youth programs, court system, law enforcement, education, health care, cultural activities, housing, historic preservation, and environmental protection and will create others such as Head Start programs, language reclamation classes, and additional economic development opportunities,” Mr. Vanderhoop said.

The facility would create jobs for both tribe members and members of the community, both at the casino itself and in “ancillary businesses that will support the operation such as shuttles, laundry, food vendors and others,” Mr. Vanderhoop said. No specific estimate of new jobs was provided.

Mr. Barrow said because much of the casino operations are automated, the tribe should not expect dramatic job creation, especially in ancillary business “other than [at] the corner gas station.”