Chris O'Keeffe: died at hospital after suffering a heart attackPICTURE: Flame Photos
Popular Ibas chief Chris O'Keeffe dies aged 56
BRITAIN'S gambling industry has lost one of its most popular and respected figures following the sudden death of Chris O'Keeffe, chief executive of the Independent Betting Arbitration Service, at the age of 56.
O'Keeffe died at Basildon Hospital in Essex on Friday, where he was admitted 24 hours earlier after suffering a heart attack.
A father-of-three who lived in nearby Wickford, O'Keeffe worked for The Sporting Life before proving an inspiredchoice to head Ibas, steering the organisation from its launch in 1998, when taking over the role as arbitrator and adjudicator on betting disputes previously provided by the Green Seal Service of The Sporting Life, to the point where it is widely acknowledged by punters and bookmakers alike to be an effective and authoritative body.
Much of that respect was garnered by O'Keeffe's quiet but purposeful way of ensuring bookmakers and their clients received a modern, efficient and fair method of dealing with betting disputes.