Long before any glittering resort casino opens in Massachusetts, gamblers could be pulling handles on slot machines at a less ambitious slots parlor.

The state gambling commission has decided to award the single slots-only license allowed under the state's casino law before it approves any of the three resort casino licenses. A tentative timetable would have the slots license issued in late 2013, as opposed to early 2014 for the full-fledged casinos.Because the slots-only facility would be smaller and likely cheaper to develop, it could conceivably be open for business years before any of the resort casinos. The Plainridge harness racing track in Plainville and Raynham Park, a former dog racing track, both plan to compete for the slots-only license.