Mississippi Casino Loser Allegedly Beat Girlfriend, Gets 15 Years in Prison

Posted on: August 17, 2022, 11:46h. 

Last updated on: August 18, 2022, 03:25h.

A man who allegedly attacked his girlfriend at a casino after suffering multiple gambling losses was sentenced to 15 years in prison this week.

Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson
Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson, pictured above. She sentenced a man who lost money at casinos twice and then allegedly assaulted his girlfriend. (Image: Sun Herald)

Christopher Neal McAlister, 45, of Hattiesburg, Miss., was sentenced to 45 years for the crime by Hancock County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson. Thirty years of the sentence was suspended if he successfully completes the 15-year term.

Instead of the prison term, McAlister asked to become a patient at an alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation facility. But Dodson was skeptical he would complete the extended program.

“I think you got off lightly today,” Dodson said to McAlister about the 15-year term in prison before he is put on probation. “I’m not going to take a chance on you.”

Criminal Record

Two years ago, McAlister assaulted and choked his then-girlfriend following the casino losses. He was previously convicted three times for domestic violence in 2008, the newspaper reported.

In May 2020, he lost the money at the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville, Miss. McAlister then attacked the woman with him. He was charged with domestic violence and aggravated assault, the Sun Herald, a Biloxi, Miss. newspaper, said.

A few months later, in November 2020, he lost money from the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis. He allegedly struck his female companion while in a vehicle traveling away from the gaming venue. McAlister also threatened to injure her if she left the car while it was at a gas station, the Sun Herald said. But she escaped and located a police officer.

McAlister was later charged with domestic violence, simple assault, and kidnapping, the report added.

Mississippi Casino Revenue

Earlier this month, Casino.org reported that Mississippi casino revenue in 2021 totaled $2.669 billion. That represents the state gaming industry’s highest haul in over a decade.

The state’s casinos last year generated more gross gaming revenue (GGR) than they had since 2008. Mississippi has 26 casinos. Nearly half of the state’s casinos are along the Gulf Coast. More than 20 million visitors came to the state’s casinos in 2021. More half of these visitors came from out of state.

But the state’s gambling sector is now showing signs of a slowdown. Record inflation has caused unrest in US markets. It could impact the pent-up demand for travel and entertainment, which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first six months of 2021, GGR totaled $1.318 billion. Through the first six months of 2021, casino win totaled $1.369 billion.

The state’s tourism sector also has not seen foreign visitors return to the state for casino visits. About 185,000 foreigners visited Mississippi in 2019. That was the last full year before the pandemic hit.