New Jersey's plan to allow casino patrons to gamble while standing in line for dinner, in a lounge or beside a swimming pool is moving closer to approval.

A state Assembly committee approved the bill Monday, following similar action by the state Senate in February.

A proposal by state Sen. Jim Whelan, a former Atlantic City mayor, would let the casinos offer hand-held gambling devices to customers on casino property, as long as they are inoperable beyond the casino's boundaries.

Gamblers must establish an account with the casino, and winning bets must be paid off on casino property.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who sponsored the measure in that chamber, calls it "a smart 21st century adaptation" by the casinos.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)