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Billionaire Graf Seeks Gamblers Abroad as Rules Pinch

Johann Graf, who’s Austria’s fourth-richest man and whose employees call him “Deus ex Automatica” or “God of the Slot Machine,” is finding that his business is becoming less welcome at home.

Vienna lawmakers reined in Graf’s Novomatic, the world’s second-biggest slot-machine maker, ruling in September to block the company from renewing its betting-café permits when they expire in 2015. Politicians say the 55 million euros ($76 million) in annual taxes the government collects from the operations aren’t enough to make up for the social ills from gambling addictions.