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Geoff Hogg: How rolling the dice on a temporary gig paved the way for an executive career

Dominica Czaczka | September 17, 2020

“If you’d asked me if I’d be an executive in a casino or tourism business the answer would be absolutely no,” recalls Geoff Hogg, Chief Casino Officer Queensland at The Star Entertainment Group.

As a young man Hogg fantasised of carving out a career as a teacher, joining the police force or as most young boys dream, of becoming a professional sportsperson. A twist of fate instead led Hogg to his current leadership role within The Star Entertainment Group’s respected executive team.

“I had some setbacks as a teenager. The careers I thought I would do all sort of got closed,” he explains.

At crossroads and unsure of what direction to take after completing his studies, Hogg decided to apply for a job at the local casino in Christchurch as a game machine attendant.

“Some doors shut, some doors open. For me it was about going in with an open mind.

“I had no idea what a casino was. It was a filler job,” he admits.

“While it was planned to be short-term, it wasn’t until three or four years later I realised there’s a real opportunity here for a career in tourism.”

Hogg swiftly went from a frontline employee to taking on a number of senior management roles across SKYCITY Entertainment Group’s New Zealand properties before heading across the Tasman Sea to join The Star Entertainment Group in 2008.

Although his current role oversees various properties across Queensland, Hogg says the Gold Coast holds a unique business environment which is unlike other major cities.

“There’s this broad leadership structure which is really fantastic and available on the Gold Coast and quite different to other cities you operate in. It’s a real positive,” he remarks.

“I work in a field that is primarily tourism and I know there are so many support structures here on the Gold Coast and other leaders I can go to that have that same vision.

“We all know the more successful tourism is on the Gold Coast is, the more successful our businesses are,” he said.

An active member of the Queensland business community, Hogg has some parting advice to businesses weighing up their next move.

“To organisations that haven’t questioned the opportunity to develop their business on the Gold Coast – if you haven’t been here post the Commonwealth Games you really are out of date,” declares Hogg.

“The reality is the city has evolved so quickly and fast; one of the attractions of being in a city that is growing is the fact it evolves and evolves very quickly…we’re not the Gold Coast of 10 or 20 years ago.

“Today we’re a growing economy, we’ve got more people moving here to live and develop careers. Our universities are strong. We’re developing unbelievable talent right here in the city. You get to come and set up a business in an area where the talent pool is unbelievable.

“If you haven’t looked at how businesses operate here today and you don’t see the opportunity to develop, then you are obviously missing out because it is really strong.

“It’s the right time to come to the Gold Coast and you’ll see so many organisations have already picked that up.”