Macau's casinos gained a record $1.5bn in August, their highest-ever monthly revenue and up 18% on the same month last year, local media reported on Thursday.

Analysts hailed the second consecutive month of year-on-year revenue growth in the world's largest casino market as the start of a recovery, the South China Morning Post said, after its 12.4% decline in the first half.

The August figure of 11.27 billion patacas ($1.5bn) was 17.8% higher than the previous month, and 33% more than the average monthly revenue during the 12 months to July, the report said.

The previous monthly record stood at 10.33 billion patacas in January 2008.

Morgan Stanley analyst Praveen Choudhary expects this month's casino revenue to grow 40% from a low of 7.09 billion patacas a year earlier, according to the Post.

Tourism has surged since Macau's casino industry was liberalized and billions of dollars of investment began pouring in.

With enormous casino complexes cropping up over the past few years, Macau has easily overtaken Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenue.

Macau's August figure was slightly more than triple the Las Vegas Strip's $471.25m average monthly casino revenue during the 12 months to June, the Post said.

The August rise comes despite a worsening economy, with Macau's GDP shrinking 13.7% in the second quarter of the year, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.

However, the Macau government has predicted a 10% drop in gross gaming revenues for the whole year.