|A Las Vegas judge ruled yesterday that all boxers can wear temporary tattoos advertising online casino GoldenPalace.com. In an argument that came to involve boxers’ First Amendment rights to free speech, District Court judge Valeria Vega ruled that the ban on temporary tattoos implemented by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) be overturned. The request for a preliminary injunction against the NAC, filed by GoldenPalace.com was granted.|
The Clark County District Court found no evidence that temporary body markings, including temporary tattoos, are distracting, or would be distracting to boxing judges during a bout, as had been argued by the NAC. The judge further indicated that the NAC's ban was a violation of the First Amendment rights of boxers and that there was no evidence that the ban would “materially advance the NAC's asserted interest.”
GoldenPalace.com pioneered this form of advertising nationwide by contracting with middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins to wear the tattoo during a bout earlier this year in New York.
The matter was brought to the attention of the Clark County District Court when another boxer Clarence ‘Bones’ Adams signed a contract to wear the online-casino’s tattoo in his televised Bantamweight title bout on February 23rd. Golden Palace and Adams won a temporary restraining order that allowed him to wear the tattoo.
Las Vegas attorney Paul Larsen who represents Adams and GoldenPalace.com said, “Justice has been served. My clients have the right under the First Amendment to wear any form of temporary body markings they desire in the ring. We felt we had a strong case from the beginning and today we are extremely happy to have the court validate our position.
“This is simply a new form of advertising. This is a valuable decision because the NAC’s ban violated the boxers’ rights. Now those rights are being protected.”
GoldenPalace.com intends to approach other fighters to have their URL tattoo hennaed on their backs.
Larsen hopes that this is the end of the issue. Until now, Nevada was the only state that voted to ban this form of advertising. “Let’s hope this is the end of the discussion on this issue and let boxers get back to what they do best,” he said.