Macau's gambling revenue soared 57 percent in August to a record high, official data show, thanks to wealthy mainland Chinese gamblers who continue to flood into the world's biggest gaming hub. The former Portuguese colony -- which has six licensed casino operators -- has seen a sharp increase in revenue since mid-2009, when the global financial crisis dented business at the city's tables. Gambling revenue hit 24.77 billion patacas ($3.09 billion) in August, up from 15.77 billion patacas a year earlier, according to data posted on the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau website late Thursday. Accumulated gross revenue for the first eight months stood at 173.1 billion patacas, up 46.8 percent from 117.9 billion patacas during the same period last year. Since the city's gaming sector was opened up to foreign competition in 2002, Macau has leapfrogged Las Vegas in gaming revenue and continues to post record-breaking growth, as high-rollers from China fuel growth. Asia's strong growth in the gaming industry stands in sharp contrast to US venues such as the Las Vegas Strip, previously a byword for gambling but which is now suffering the effects of the global downturn. Vegas-based gaming companies have flooded into the southern Chinese city. The territory, which was handed back to China in 1999, is the only Chinese city where casino gambling is allowed.