Bookmaker Ladbrokes has broken into the Australian market by buying the owner of online bookmaker Bookmaker.com.au and sports marketing firm Panda Gaming. Ladbrokes said yesterday it had agreed to pay an initial A$22.5m (£13m) for Gaming Investments, giving it a low cost entry into the regulated and growing Australian sports betting market. Launched in February 2012, Bookmaker.com.au achieved about A$400m in stakes for the year to 30 June 2013, Ladbrokes said. Chief executive Richard Glynn said the move was in line with the company’s strategy to extend its geographic reach to key regulated markets. UK retail accounts for 71 per cent of Ladbrokes group revenue.