Not really. ALP operators are (partially) replaced with NuBot operators.
Most importantly and you already named it: the magnitude of funds.
Back then there was basically one big operation (with hundreds of thousand USD value at a few exchanges) handled by @KTm and a much smaller operation by @jmiller.
Both operators did a hell of a job ramping up the liquidity, but without having searched for numbers, of the top off my head they earned quite some fee for it.
The future gateway model will be cheap in terms of operator fees.
At the moment there are for Poloniex alone 3 NuBots ready from different operators (active NuBot by @zoro, standby NuBot by @Nagalim, emegency NuBot by me).
This spreads the risk if one operator goes rogue and increases the availability/reliability of the operation.
Sure, you can collateralize it (which costs Nu money) or have an operator use own funds (which costs Nu even more money).
Doing it without Nu funds will be very likely more costly in the end for Nu as I have explained numerous times.
Practical example for an operation with “gateway manager owned money”:
until recently I operated a NuBot at hitBTC (for 3 months in total) with total liquidty of at least $1,500 in total for 225 NBT per month. I wouldn’t do it for less, if I were to continue that.
With Nu funds, I can imagine running a NuBot at 50 NBT per month (per exchange or even for less depending on the terms).
Speaking of the hitBTC example: from month 9 on Nu is at break even by having saved 175 NBT each month (1,500 / 175 = 8.57). If the funds are lost after month 9 it has been cheaper operating with Nu funds (assuming the total liqudity is at the same level).