After practicing law for more than a decade at the Commission des droits de la personne, the Régie de l’assurance automobile du Québec, and in private practice, Lynne Roiter joined Loto-Québec in 1985 as Director of Legal Affairs.
Loto-Québec was still a relatively young company at the time, having been established as a Crown Corporation by the provincial government in December 1969. By 1985, Loto-Québec was beginning to develop into the mega-company that it is today. And the growth of Loto-Québec paralleled the remarkable rise of Lynne Roiter’s career.
Shortly after she joined Loto-Québec, Lynne faced her first major legal challenge, successfully defending the company against the National Hockey League when Loto-Québec began selling sports betting products. Up until this time, Loto-Québec had only been selling lottery games when they ventured into the realm of sports betting.
Always seeing the opportunity in a challenge, Lynne continued to grow professionally. With the complexity of the lottery industry and the continued expansion of Loto-Québec, Lynne had many opportunities to satisfy her ambitions. Within a few years, Loto-Québec went from a company that just offered traditional lottery games to having sports betting, casinos and construction affiliates, video lotteries, networked bingo, and joint ventures for hotels and casinos. Lynne has always been fascinated with finding legal solutions to business problems, and at Loto-Québec she found her life's calling.
With each step in Loto-Québec’s evolution, the legal needs of the company increased accordingly. When Loto-Québec expanded its business into casinos in 1993 and established a network of video lottery terminals throughout the province in 1994, Lynne helped draft the enabling legislation for these business forays.
In November 1996, Lynne was named Corporate Secretary and Vice President of Legal Affairs, heading a staff of 13 lawyers. By this time Loto-Québec had grown from a company of 400 people to over 5,000.
Through the years, Lynne witnessed an enormous change in the lottery business. When she started, lotteries were competing with packaged goods, fighting for counter space at the retailer. Today the competition comes from all forms of entertainment vying for the players’ attention and dollar. Back in 1985 it was said that lotteries were gaming and casinos were gambling. Today, the line of distinction between the two has blurred.
On December 1, 2010, Loto-Québec entered the world on online gaming launching espacejeux.com. The launch of Espace Jeux faced opposition from elements concerned about the social impact of online gaming. Loto-Québec successfully defended its position, pointing to the around 2,000 illegal gaming sites online at the time, each with practically no responsible gaming measures in place. Loto-Québec was able to prove that it could channel its trusted gaming offering online in a controlled and secure environment, in yet another milestone for Loto-Québec.
In August 2016 Lynne Roiter became interim President and CEO of
Loto-Québec when then-CEO, Mr. Simon Patenaude, was hospitalized with a
serious heart condition. Mr. Patenaude unfortunately passed away later
that year on October 28. She was subsequently confirmed as President and
CEO of Loto-Québec and became a member of the board in May 2017. With
that, Lynne became the first woman to head one of Québec's three main
provincial crown corporations, namely Loto-Québec, Société des alcools
du Québec, and Hydro-Québec.
Loto-Québec is the provincial crown corporation mandated to “conduct and administer lottery schemes and to operate businesses that are incidental to the operation of a State casino” in the province.
Société des alcools du Québec is the provincial crown corporation and monopoly in Quebec responsible for the trade of alcoholic beverages within the province.
Hydro-Québec is a public utility that manages the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the province of Quebec, as well as the export of power to portions of the Northeast United States.
In fact, diversity has played an important role in the growth of Loto-Québec. When Lynne started with Loto-Québec in 1985, there were only around ten professional women out of the then-400 employees. When she joined the senior management team in 1996 she was the only woman. Today women play an important role in the leadership of the company, with nine out of twelve members of the Board of Directors being women. More importantly, a significant percentage of Loto-Québec’s managerial and professional positions are today held by women. The conscious effort to diversify Loto-Québec will be among Lynne Roiter’s lasting legacies.
For many years there were two international organizations representing state lotteries, AILE (Association Internationale de Loteries d’Etat) and INTERTOTO (International Association of Toto and Lotto Organizations). Lynne Roiter, in addition to her duties at Loto-Québec, had already been serving two years as General Secretary of AILE when the association merged with INTERTOTO in 1999 to form the World Lottery Association (WLA).
With the merger, Lynne played a central role in the founding of the WLA, contributing greatly to the development of its by-laws and helping form the structure and direction of the new association. WLA headquarters were established in Basel, Switzerland under the direction of then-Executive Director, Yvonne Schnyder, and a North American office was established in Montreal, Canada, on the premises of Loto-Québec under the direction of Lynne Roiter.
Since the founding of the WLA, Lynne has remained an active member of the association’s Executive Committee. She served as the WLA’s legal advisor and figured prominently in the development and maintenance of the WLA Responsible Gaming Framework (WLA-RGF). Of the numerous talented professionals that founded the WLA in 1999, Lynne Roiter remains the only one who is still actively serving world lottery community.
During her tenure at Loto-Québec, the company has become a role model for the world lottery community. Loto-Québec was one of the first lotteries to receive WLA-RGF Level 4 certification, the highest level of excellence in responsible gaming. In this regard, the company has stayed on a course of continuous improvement, remaining at Level 4 of the WLA-RGF for over a decade. Loto-Québec has also contributed greatly to the development, evolution, and maintenance of the WLA Security Control Standard with members of their IT security staff actively engaged in the WLA Security and Risk Management Committee.
Under Lynne’s leadership, Loto-Québec hosted the WLA’s flagship event, the World Lottery Summit, in 2012. The World Lottery Summit 2012, held in cooperation with the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) in Montreal, proved to be one of the most successful conventions in the history of the WLA.
After a distinguished 36-year career at Loto-Québec, Lynne Roiter will retire on May 31, 2021. Although she will be leaving the lottery, she will continue serving the WLA through end of the next World Lottery Summit to take place from October 16-20, 2022, continuing to benefit both the association and the world lottery community by her experience and expertise. For this we are truly grateful. We congratulate Lynne on her extraordinary career and dedicated service to the global lottery sector, and wish her a contented and long and happy retirement.
Friends and colleagues pay tribute to Lynne.
(Click to view)
Founding President of the WLA
Lynne and I go way back. I first met Lynne when she was serving as General Secretary of AILE (the International Association of State Lotteries), one of two global lottery associations at that time. I got to know her best when AILE and Intertoto (the International Association of Toto and Lotto Organizations), AILE’s counterpart, began discussing the possibility of a merger in the late 1990s. Bringing the two organizations together required quite a feat of maneuvering and diplomacy on my part. Both association were steeped in their peculiar culture and rooted in decades of tradition. Egos, cultural differences, and years of distrust had caused a wide gap between AILE and Intertoto. I was impressed by how Lynne endeavored to make the best of the difficult situation, striving to achieve a merger that was mutually acceptable to both associations. When the merger finally occurred in December 1999, and the World Lottery Association was formed, Lynne played a key role laying the groundwork for the WLA as we know it today. I will always be thankful for the support that Lynne gave me during the merger. The world lottery community owes Lynne a debt of gratitude, for without her efforts, the merger might never have come to fruition. Through the years, I have remained in contact with Lynne. She is among the very few lottery veterans from the days of the merger that is still working in the industry. That speaks volumes about her commitment, fortitude, and will. I wish her all the best for a well-deserved retirement, and many years of joy and relaxation.
Rebecca Paul Hargrove
President and CEO of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation, USA and President of the WLA
The first time I met Lynne Roiter I had a Diet Coke in my hand. Lynne is the only person I know who might drink more Diet Coke than I do, so we knew we’d be friends.
That meeting was at a Public Gaming Research Institute conference in 1985, and we first worked together when she became Secretary General of AILE, one of the organizations that merged to become the World Lottery Association. She has contributed to the global lottery industry in numerous ways, and she has steered Loto-Québec brilliantly throughout her illustrious career.
There isn’t anyone as talented, strong and thorough as Lynne. She’s very quiet in how she goes about accomplishing her goals, but she will accomplish them without question. She is a gentle giant and an iron lady of the industry. Recruiting and retaining more women like Lynne in the lottery world was one of the unspoken goals of our collective efforts around the Women in Lottery Leadership initiative, and her unassuming fortitude will be sorely missed.
Lynne loves Canadians and lawyers – her husband being first on both of those lists. Also at the top of the list of her great loves are her children and her grandchildren, whom she spoils consistently.
She is such a value to our lottery community that I’ve asked her to stay on as Secretary General of WLA through the World Lottery Summit 2022 in Vancouver for continuity. To my great friend Lynne – I wish you all the best in your retirement – great skiing and lots of time with family. You will be missed!
CEO of Loterie Romande, Switzerland and Immediate Past President of the WLA
Lynne Roiter represents to me the best that our gaming and entertainment industry can do to lead it. She is a competent, committed, loyal person who has dedicated herself wholeheartedly to her work and to her contribution to the lottery community at the global level – as General Secretary of the WLA – and at the local level, in North America and Canada in particular. But above all, Lynne is a friend. A Friend with a capital F.
I really don’t know what the word “retirement” will mean to Lynne. She has been so committed to her professional activity through all her experience at Loto-Québec, through all our professional associations that, for me, it is a great mystery and I am looking forward to discovering with her what this retirement will be made of; I know in any case that one element will play a very big role in it, it is her family, her husband, her children and her grandchildren who are so important to her. And I hope in any case to have the opportunity, at some point, to welcome her in Switzerland. It would be a great pleasure and a joy for me to see her again, wherever this may be.
I could tell you many anecdotes, experiences, life stories that have linked my professional experience to Lynne’s, especially over the last ten years. But what I remember above all is how precious and rare Lynne’s professional and human qualities are.
With her retirement I/the entire lottery community loses a mentor and an exceptional personality but I know that our deep and sincere friendship will endure well beyond.
Lynne, I will miss you terribly but I also know that this is only a professional goodbye and by no means a farewell.
Former Director of the Irish National Lottery (retired) and former member of the WLA Executive Committee
Lynne was already a two-year “veteran” of the Lottery business when I began my lottery career in 1987. I would have met her for the first time in her role as Secretary General of AILE at one of the Congresses. I don’t know whether it was an Irish-Canadian thing, but we seemed to hit it off right from the beginning. I liked her no-nonsense approach to issues and problems and, possibly, she recognized a similar trait in me.
She was always ready to help this “new boy” with answers to, and patient explanations of, all things international. She also helped me set up visits by various stakeholders to Loto-Québec, which represented best practice in a number of dimensions of the business.
But, it was mostly on the international stage that I witnessed her set of “quiet skills” play out. Lynne is a mistress of the compromise and could always find and propose an acceptable place to land from a contentious situation, particularly if it involved the niceties of law or regulation.
I was genuinely pleased to see her appointed as well-deserved President and CEO of Loto-Québec in 2017.
I would never have described her as madly ambitious; perhaps I am wrong. I just felt she wanted to be the best at whatever her current position was. In the same way, I have never seen her make an issue of the fact that she is a woman in any of the positions she has held. Again, she was simply a manager doing the best job she could in the leadership role at the time.
I really believe what we share most – and what is so important –is a sense of humor based on our respective backgrounds which encourage a healthy dose of what, in Ireland, we call “slagging”, and what North Americans call “pulling one’s chain”.
Lynne, long may it continue to be so.
You will be sorely missed from the lottery community. I thank you for your friendship and I wish you many years of good health and energy to enjoy your new life with those you love..
Former member of the WLA Executive Committee and former President of the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (retired)
I had the honor and privilege of working and being associated with Lynne for more than 20 years at the Interprovincial Lottery Association, the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and the World Lottery Association. While each of these associations are comprised of members with commonalities they are also comprised of members with diverse cultures and priorities. Without doubt each of these organizations has benefitted enormously from Lynne’s extensive skills.
In every situation Lynne was the consummate professional, always meticulously prepared and deeply knowledgeable, always diplomatic and respectful with uncompromising ethics while acting in the best interests of the organizations she represented. Those who have worked with her are also aware of her legendary work habits, having received emails at all hours of the night. I am sure that I am not the only one who has benefited from seeking out Lynne’s thoughts and perspectives on difficult matters. Over the course of our association there were many occasions where Lynne provided calm unbiased leadership during complicated deliberations which ultimately resulted in the most optimal outcomes.
As accomplished as she is as a professional, she is an even better person, kind, caring and compassionate. Behind the scenes she would reach out to comfort and support colleagues experiencing personal hardships. She is also humble, not seeking recognition, but rather seeking to ensure that others were recognized for their efforts and contributions.
Every organization that Lynne has been a part of has been made better by all that Lynne is and has contributed. She will be missed.
Congratulations to Lynne for a distinguished career filled with achievements and for having accomplished it with style, grace and dignity. Best wishes for a richly deserved long, healthy, happy retirement filled with the best life has to offer and many wonderful adventures surrounded by the love of friends and family.
Executive Director of NASPL
I have known Lynne for more than two decades. She has not only always been a great supporter of NASPL’s, but also a great friend to me personally. We have shared happy stories, sad stories and even great stories, and we always landed on the same spot. We planned, coordinated and executed many world-wide events with not only great success, but with great style.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for you Lynne, and I hope you are always filled with wonderful times and lots of peace.
Love you, Lynne.
Former member of the WLA Executive Committee (1999 – 2010) and former CEO of Lotterywest (retired)
One of the many enduring memories and I have of Lynne, is her sitting at the many meetings of the Executive Committee of WLA with a large legal pad, scribbling furiously in her big looping handwriting, somehow capturing the essence of the often very complicated meeting discussion, made more complicated because of the many varieties of English and other languages being spoken around the table and turning our contributions – some more sensible and more coherent than others – into meticulous minutes.
I was always impressed with Lynne’s ability to stay calmy focussed during these long meetings, even during the most heated of debates and to extract the key points of the discussion while at the same time bringing her own expertise as a lawyer and as herself a senior Lottery Industry Executive to the issues.
That Lynne has decided after so many years at Loto-Québec in many roles since 1985 including in recent years, President and CEO and a Secretary General of AILE since 1997 and then of WLA from 1999, finally to stand down is credit to her incredible commitment to her own organisation and to the global lottery industry. Thirty six years of service to Loto-Québec and twenty four years to the international association is a remarkable record that is likely to stand unchallenged for many years and may never be surpassed in this age of rapid career changes.
Others I am confident will write about her professional achievements in this time, but my tribute is a personal one to Lynne, the warm, intuitive, kind friend as I regarded her in the years in which I was privileged to work with her as member of the Board of WLA. Lynne was always more than a colleague to me. Despite the workload associated with the ExCo meetings and the many WLA conferences and seminars we attended, Lynne always had time for others. She made people feel valued and included. Lynne was one of the people whose comradeship I missed greatly when my own time in the Lottery industry came to an end.
I offer my congratulations to Lynne on a stellar career. I hope she will look back with pride on what she has achieved and know she will embrace this new phase of her life with the same enthusiasm and grace as she has done in every aspect of life.
Executive Director, Customer and Marketing, HKJC Lotteries Limited, Hong Kong and WLA Vice President
Lynne has been world class leader in the lottery and her contribution to the industry is hard to summarize in a few words. I am especially impressed by her passion where it comes to WLA matters in the past decades. Even though we are 12 hours apart, I always find her extremely forthcoming in extending help needed by Asian members of the WLA. When I joined the WLA Exco six years ago, she was very helpful in bringing up new Exco members like me to get up to speed on the historic context and ongoing challenges. She is really one of the very critical key-persons that bonds everyone together in the WLA community.
Hats off to Lynne!
Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Pollard Banknote
Lynne’s commitment to, and passion for, the lottery industry has underpinned the growth of the worldwide lottery community for her entire career in lottery. She was always the quiet, steady voice committed to finding a way forward, and working for the good of all of us involved. She has always been incredibly modest about what she has done for the industry and the scope of her impact, and sometimes one has had to look carefully to see her fingerprints. These fingerprints will be indelible on Loto-Québec, the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation, and the WLA. What really separated her though was her authenticity, her one-and-only personality and perhaps most importantly, her sense of humor. She always had a way of making me laugh, even in the most serious discussions. I will miss her professionalism immensely, but will always be grateful for her friendship.
CEO of Nationale Loterij, Belgium and member of the WLA Executive Committee
For 22 years, Lynne served as General Secretary of the WLA. With good reason: her leadership and dedication, her knowledge of the gaming business, and her ability to find common ground between all the different actors in the WLA were qualities that were indispensable to the association. She managed every file with great precision, which is of course due to her solid legal experience. She also became the first woman to occupy the function of President and CEO of Loto-Québec. This accomplishment is a great example for other women.
Next to these professional qualities, Lynne is also a very human and helpful person, as testified by one of my staff members: “After my wife was diagnosed with a serious illness, we had the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial in Montreal. Jannie contacted Lynne to see if it would be possible to arrange something so that I could have a working space and could exchange know-how with Loto-Québec. She and her team immediately looked into the immigration issues and drafted an exchange agreement. This was a big worry taken off our shoulders in the hustle of this overwhelming move to Canada.”
It is the combination of great expertise and professionalism on the one hand and a very warm personality on the other that makes Lynne such a unique person.
Thank you for everything, Lynne, and let’s stay in touch!
CEO of Lottotech Ltd, and former member of the WLA Executive Committee
All the Very Best for the Future Lynne!!
Lynne Roiter has been a great friend to the lottery and to me personally for the better part of four decades. Throughout her career there were a few turbulent times at the interprovincial level in Canada and on the international lottery stage. Lynne was the voice of reason throughout, offering sage advice to the leadership at Loto-Québec, the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation and the World Lottery Association (WLA). A loyal and steadfast leader in her own right Lynne counseled eight Presidents at Loto-Québec before assuming the well-deserved title herself. She helped to bring the right amount of diplomacy to create the smooth merger of the two international lottery associations which ultimately formed the WLA in the late nineties. Lynne then successfully counseled six WLA Presidents over two decades. Lynne is a colleague and friend that one could always depend upon and trust. She is passionate about our business albeit in a very quiet way. She is also passionate about family and friends and I am so happy that she will now have the time to spend more time with them. Time that she has definitely earned! I feel lucky to have been a colleague of Lynne’s and luckier to be able to call her a friend.
President and CEO of la Française des Jeux, France, and member of the WLA Executive Committee
At the end of the month, our dear friend Lynne Roiter will retire from her position as CEO and President of Loto-Québec. Lynne has been, without a doubt, a cornerstone of the World Lottery Association with her role of General Secretary, Member of the WLA Executive Committee, and Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.
Lynne has consistently demonstrated strong leadership. She has done a remarkable job throughout her career and has contributed to the great success of Loto-Québec. She is an example of integrity and dedication and has established best practices in governance and compliance.
I know that Lynne and I share many important values. At the head of Loto-Québec and in her role of Chair of the WLA Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, she has been keen to put forward the topics of Responsible Gaming and CSR.
Lynne has also been active in the WILL initiative, stressing her wish to see more and more women rise to senior positions in the lottery industry worldwide. She has always brought an inspiring and relevant point of view, participating with others in creating an environment that celebrates diversity.
As a fellow member of WLA Executive Committee, I would like to sincerely thank Lynne for all the work she has done as a General Secretary of the association. In addition to her crucial role in the creation of the WLA, she has always fulfilled her many responsibilities with a lot of talent and has enthusiastically contributed to the evolution of the association.
I wish you, Dear Lynne, all the best for this new chapter.
President and CEO of Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE), Spain and member of the WLA Executive Committee
When the retirement of a colleague as endearing as Lynne occurs, memories come to mind spontaneously and naturally. Such memories are most often of the unique traits and characteristics that define this person as a unique individual.
The first thing I remember about Lynne is her smile. I remember how she approached me at my first meeting of the WLA Executive Committee, showing appreciation for my attendance – even though the meeting was to be held in a language other than my native tongue – and thanked me for SELAE’s position on a sensitive issue. From that moment on, Lynne became a welcoming, approachable, and trustworthy person for me. I came to know her as a professional, well versed in the issues facing the world lottery community, and a person who shares her knowledge with others humbly yet confidently.
As a natural team player, Lynne has always been attentive to making everyone feel at ease and has always created a close familiar atmosphere among the members of the Executive Committee. This is a quality we must endeavor to preserve among us, once she is gone.
Today, with great joy and appreciation, we wish Lynne all the best for the next phase in her life.
CEO of Westdeutsche Lotterie, Germany and member of the WLA Executive Committee
Thank you Lynne. You are a key person in guiding people smart into the global environment of lotteries. Since knowing you through the WLA Executive Committee, I noticed that you´re investing a great amount of time and effort and taking over a lot of responsibilities for the association, always handling it in a smooth and diplomatic way. You realized the threat of illegal operators very early and initiated the first strategic steps for WLA, followed by the commitment of resources from your company. That led to the first global evidence about illegal operators in the lottery market. When we built the Illegal Lotteries and Betting Committee it was clear that your knowledge, the understanding of cultures, people and markets is essential to form a successful global team with a strategy that fits to WLA. I wish you all the best for your retirement and hope to meet again in person very soon.