Betting firm Ladbrokes is expanding into Australia after acquiring Gaming Investments Pty Ltd (GIPL), a fast growing online sports betting business in the country, for A$22.5 million (£13 million).

The acquisition of GIPL's brands, including and Panda Gaming, operator of a racing and sports focused affiliate network in Australia, is expected to complete this week. The business will come under Ladbroke's newly formed unit, Ladbrokes Australia.

Ladbrokes will also take ownership of an independently developed betting software platform that was created specifically for the Australian market, integrated with a tailored affiliate platform, a mobile platform and a number of mobile apps.

The betting firm described as having a "skilled technology operation". It said that GIPL's founder and CEO Dean Shannon, who has extensive experience in the horseracing industry and has run online gambling related businesses since 2002, will continue to lead the division, based in Brisbane.

Ladbrokes Australia will be overseen by Damian Cope, Ladbrokes International and group strategy director, who reports to chief executive Richard Glynn. A new website,, will also launch today.

Earlier this year, Ladbrokes expressed hope that its investment in its digital strategy would pay off in 2013, after launching its delayed online and mobile platforms.

The betting company invested £50 million in digital platforms in 2011 and had intended to launch its new sportsbook online gambling platform last year, but was delayed due to technical problems.