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Q&A: Blackjack at Tampa casino still a no-go

Blackjack is played at the tribe’s casino in Hollywood, Fla., but not in Tampa.

Associated Press

Blackjack is played at the tribe’s casino in Hollywood, Fla., but not in Tampa.

No deal yet for blackjack

When will I be able to play blackjack at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa?

No specific date has been set for blackjack to begin at the Tampa Hard Rock, says Seminole Tribe of Florida spokesman Gary Bitner. He said the tribe is closely watching political and legal developments.

Bitner is referring to the July 3 Florida Supreme Court decision that said Gov. Charlie Crist overstepped his authority when he signed an agreement with the Seminoles authorizing blackjack, baccarat and other table games at the tribe's casinos. "The governor does not have authority to legalize in some parts of the state, or for some persons, conduct that is otherwise illegal throughout the state," the opinion said.

Crist signed the deal Nov. 15. It gave the tribe exclusive rights to the table games, with the state receiving $50-million, plus $175-million over the next two years, $150-million in year 3 and $100-million a year for the rest of the 25-year deal.

Five days later the agreement was challenged in court by House Speaker Marco Rubio, who was joined later by Senate President Ken Pruitt.

The table games are still being played at the tribe's casino in Hollywood, Fla.

55 mph limit slow on uptake

Why aren't the candidates and commentators pushing the idea of a nationwide 55 mph speed limit?

Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama has suggested returning to the national 55 mph speed limit that was imposed in 1974 in response to an oil shortage and repealed in 1995. The simple fact is that most people didn't like it then, and it hasn't shown any sign of political appeal today.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., recently suggested that Congress look at the idea again, saying it would save both gasoline and lives. He hasn't had much response.

John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA, said motorists are slowing down to conserve fuel because of high gas prices, but they don't want to be saddled by a 55 mph limit everywhere — especially on long, rural interstate highways.

"There's no clamor for it," Townsend said. "Drivers remember what it was like."

Earth 911 helps with used oil

I change my own oil. Are there any auto part stores that collect the used motor oil?

Yes, there are. Go to the Web site and search motor oil in your ZIP code or city. Be sure to call first to determine if the store is still accepting oil. offers recycling drop-off locations for paper, plastic, paint and other products. According to its Web site, Earth 911's free public service is made possible by partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state and local governments, and private companies including Monsanto, Staples and BP also sponsor this free public service.

Q&A: Blackjack at Tampa casino still a no-go 08/25/08 [Last modified: Monday, August 25, 2008 3:37pm]
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