Party Foul? Soliciting Refer A Friend Bonuses At Super Bowl Parties

Written By Dann Stupp on February 11, 2022
refer a friend

Before you head to your Super Bowl party, we need to have a frank discussion about refer a friend bonuses.

You’ve probably heard of refer-a-friend promotions. If you have an account at a sportsbook in Virginia, you’ve probably seen the pitches nearly every time you sign in.

So what is a refer a friend bonus? As the name suggests, the sportsbook will pay a bonus to you, an existing customer, if you refer your friends to the site and they also become customers.

And ahead of Super Bowl LVI on this Sunday, February 13, VA sportsbooks have an array of refer-a-friend promos for current customers. But, before you start hitting up your buds at Super Bowl parties this weekend, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Namely? No one likes a salesperson.

The art of refer a friend bonuses

It was September of last year, and two longtime friends were visiting me in Virginia. With COVID keeping us from our usual Las Vegas get-together, we decided to have a smaller shindig here in Old Dominion. After all, why not take advantage of the Virginia’s vast online-sports-betting market?

It was NFL Week 1. College football was underway. The MLB pennant races were heating up. Even NASCAR had set up down the road at Richmond Raceway for a three-day series.

It was a glorious weekend for sports, and accordingly, for sports viewing and sports betting. My friends and I were ready to fire off wagers throughout it all.

Then, my buddy Tony, who lives in a state without legal sports betting (Missouri), asked the obvious: “What sportsbook should I use here?

As someone who’s test-run every VA sportsbook that’s launched, I had plenty of thoughts on the matter.

And sure, it would’ve been easy to steer him to the site that would’ve gotten me the biggest kickback. But more than anything, I wanted Tony to enjoy his VA sports-betting experience.

I wanted it to be a win-win situation. And I knew just the deal for him.

Sharing refer-a-friend promo dollars

At the time, Caesars Sportsbook in Virginia was offering the best promo of the year. If bettors cumulatively wagered at least $100 on NFL games, Caesars would give them a free authentic NFL jersey. (Technically, it was a $150 gift card for the NFL Team Shop, but I digress.)

Caesars was already one of my go-to sportsbooks. After all, it has the best lineup of regular promotions and a vast array of betting options, as well as the Caesars Rewards program.

I knew Tony would easily meet the wagering requirements for the free NFL jersey. I also knew that Caesars would give me a $100 refer-a-friend free bet if he signed up and deposited at least $50. Tony did, and a few days later, $100 showed up in my account.

It was a win-win, for sure. I got $100, and Tony got a free NFL jersey with his new sportsbook home. And since I basically got something for nothing, I took a portion of my new fortune and treated everyone to lunch at the local brewery.

Before Tony had even placed a bet, he had a full belly, a decent IPA buzz, and he was on his way to an authentic Patrick Mahomes jersey.

Do I do know how to roll out the welcome wagon or what?

Should you refer your friends during Super Bowl Sunday?

Tony was looking for a sportsbook, so it made sense to pitch him on the benefits of Caesars.

But come Super Bowl Sunday, tread lightly. Especially if you’re in mixed company with friends of friends, acquittances and even strangers.

Everyone will be at the party to watch the game (and a Bengals victory, natch). Some may be interested in placing a wager. But many won’t be. So don’t push it.

If you have sports-betting experience and someone wants a recommendation, sure, fire away. Otherwise, don’t be the salesman at a social gathering.

Years ago, I remember attending a home poker game that quickly diverged into a pitch for a high-yield investment scam. A festive night of cards had quickly become a drudge as we were all forced to side-eye each other the rest of the night.

I also remember a night out while some folks from work back in Ohio, and a coworker spent the evening trying to scalp a pair of Ohio State vs. Michigan basketball tickets – for a game the following morning in Ann Arbor, four hours away.

Don’t be that guy.

If I were looking to get scammed? If I wanted to be courtside for the Buckeyes vs. Wolverines in 10 hours? Well, then, fire away.

Otherwise, as with the refer-a-friend bonuses, it’s best to wait until you already have an interested buyer.

Photo by AP / Jeff Dean
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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