* August revenue drops 6 percent to $3.6 billion
* VIP revenue hit by corruption campaign, falling house
(Adds details on new developments, labour strife, share
MACAU, Sept 1 Gambling revenue in the world's
biggest gaming hub Macau fell 6.1 percent in August on an annual
basis, the third consecutive monthly decline this year as a
stepped up campaign against corruption and falling housing
prices in China sapped demand from high-rolling VIP customers.
Gambling revenue from Macau's 35 casinos fell to 28.9
billion patacas in August ($3.6 billion) from 30.7 billion
patacas a year earlier according to data released by the Macau
government on Monday. Analysts were expecting a decline of 2-6
The southern Chinese territory of Macau, a special
administrative region like neighbouring Hong Kong, is the only
place in the country where casino gambling is legal. Gambling
revenues have been turbo charged for the past two years, raking
in $45 billion last year. In the past three months however,
growth has plummeted to lows not seen since 2009.
As the former Portuguese colony races to build eight new
resorts in the next three years, labour strains look set to
intensify. Workers are demanding higher pay and threatening
strikes at a time when operators face a labour shortage.
On Aug. 30 casino dealers started an industrial action for
the first time, pausing and slowing activity on the baccarat
tables at one of Macau's most popular casinos, the Grand Lisboa.
While the decline in gaming revenues in August was the third
consecutive drop in over five years, analysts expect stronger
demand in the coming months from so-called "mass market"
visitors who come in larger numbers directly to the casino
compared to high rollers who are typically brought in by junket
companies or middle-men who take a hefty commission.
A smoking ban due to be implemented in October may crimp
revenues initially, but analysts say Macau's fundamentals remain
strong due to the lack of penetration in mainland China and
increasing infrastructure developments like high-speed trains
and the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge that will ease travel
Hong Kong-listed casino and gaming stocks have dropped 17-28
percent in the year to Sept. 1, underperforming the benchmark
Hang Seng Index .HSI, which has risen 7 percent in the period.
Macau's gaming revenues still far out perform rival casino
hubs with the month of August raking in more than half what the
Las Vegas strip earns in one year.
($1 = 7.9860 Macau patacas)
(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Matt Driskill)