Newport Grand Backers Say Anti-Casino Donor Failed to Disclose Ties to Caesars

Monday, October 27, 2014


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A major donor to the anti-casino lobbyist group, Citizens Concerned About Casino Gambling, Inc. (CCACG), Patricia Bilden of Hong Kong, China, has maintained previously undisclosed ties to international gaming interests.

These allegations were made by the Jobs for Newport group.  

Bilden, who contributed $8,500 to CCACG’s anti-casino campaign on September 15, 2014, is the wife of Philip Bilden, a senior advisor at a firm that is currently invested in Caesars Entertainment, the world’s largest gaming company.

The firm has previously invested in European betting and gaming company Gala Coral Group Ltd and a cash access provider specializing in the gaming industry, Global Cash Access.

“These new allegations about CCACG’s ties to a Hong Kong donor aligned with the world’s largest gaming organization are deeply troubling,” said Will Farrell, Jobs for Newport campaign manager. “Newporters deserve the truth, and the CCACG is using campaign funds from associates of Caesars Entertainment in an attempt to shut down a major local business that employs local residents and provides millions in local and state revenue.”

State law requires CCACG to disclose the international and domestic gambling ties of its donors, but the CCACG did not disclose Bilden’s indirect affiliation with a person employed by an entity that has an ownership stake in gambling facilities or entities.

“I call on CCACG to return this $8,500 donation from Hong Kong and commit themselves to greater transparency and accountability in their campaign finance filings,” Farrell added. “There is a reason why state law requires this type of disclosure.  Newporters deserve the truth.”


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