I spent about a 18 months building a new platform for peer-to-peer betting a while back. The business started out with a sports focus but later pivoted to gaming, so I’ve been where you’re going. I’ll just throw a few of the questions and challenges that you’ll spend a lot of time thinking about in a business like this:
Licensing: Expensive and time-consuming. Where you choose to license is important because different jurisdictions have different requirements and different waiting times, but the time to collect all the due diligence and administrative waiting will be months or years.
Administration: Because of the level of regulation, you’ll have lots of eyes outside the company peeking into your operations. I spent months working on reporting and accounting support between the up-front development and chasing ghostly bugs.
Fraud: If you’re not from the gambling industry, find someone who is to lead this. I’ve heard horror stories, and it’s not something for newbies to attempt without guidance. At a minimum, you’ll need to engage with a payment processor (possibly several) who will work with betting companies and a company that can help you verify the identities of your customers (KYC).
Marketing - In sports betting at least, the sums spent on advertising and player incentives are astronomical. In effect, you buy players at a premium and hope that you’re able to lock them into your site enough to earn back your CAC.
Based on my experience, you simply can’t bootstrap a business in this industry. The inflated costs of operations (due to regulation), marketing (due to competition), and expert personnel (because there’s always someone out there with deeper pockets) just puts this out of reach for most founders who’d rather not take funding.
I will admit though that betting on eSports is relatively new on the scene, so it falls into a gray legal area right now - especially with respect to the US. You might have a temporary opportunity to side-step some of what I’ve said above, but that won’t last forever.
Drop me a PM if you want to talk any further. Happy to tell you what I know.