terne Agee said that amounts to a 6.3% rise in revenue compared to the previous month, beating the eight-year average of 5.8%. The brokerage said one reason for the revenue pop is that the August 2012 calendar contained an additional Friday vs. last year, and Fridays typically draw more gamblers than other days of the week.
Also, Typhoon Vicente in late July pushed some travel plans into August, driving revenue for that month higher.
However, Sterne Agee expects China's specially designated gambling region - the only legal casino gambling area in the country - to continue to grow despite the weak global economy. "We believe the (Chinese) government will continue to approve projects under its five-year plan, with local governments initiating multiyear investment projects to sustain and propel growth," Sterne Agee analyst David Bain said in the report.
The broker also noted that Sands, the biggest Vegas casino operator, lost share in Macau to rivals MGM, Wynn, Hong Kong-based Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) and others in August. Sands' share fell to 18.6% from 21.4% at the end of July.
Wynn's share rose to 12.4% from 11.3% and MGM's grew to 10.1% from 8.8%. Like Sands, Melco Crown also lost share, falling to 12.9% from 13.3%.
Sterne Agee noted that phase 2 of Sands new Cotai Central casino in Macau is slated to open Sept. 20, with 2,500 Sheraton hotel rooms and 1,300 slots. That could boost its share gain in months ahead. Sands and MGM shares edged up a few cents Wednesday. Wynn shares fell 1%. Melco Crown skidded 3%.