In the case of these two gambling firms, their names are indeed suggestive--although not in an immediately desirable way for one firm. Betfair seems like a pretty damn good name for an online gambling firm. There is a fad in the marketing discipline known as "integrated marketing communications." That is, a product or service provider ought to provide a consistent theme in its marketing message; say, from the product packaging seen on store shelves to customer support. From what I can ascertain so far from Betfair, they do a relatively good job in this respect. Their brand emphasizes procedural fairness in determining odds and in placing bets. Whether this rings true is another matter, but the message is pretty consistent.
Next we have one of Britain's three largest bookies: Ladbrokes. Not being English, I have always been perplexed that one of the major gambling firms in the UK is named after an outcome I'm sure all betting lads [and "ladettes"?] would prefer to avoid: going broke. I am not exactly sure if the continued success of Ladbrokes is due to or has been hampered by its colourful name, but it's surely an attention-getter for a gambling company. Attention marketing scholars: there might be some sort of "reverse psychology" thing going on here that may be worthwhile to imitate. Should the latter possibility hold, maybe we'll see hospitals named "Blokecomatose"; cars such as the "Ford Crash" or "Volkswagen Lemon"; and supermarkets like "Poisonproduce." Before getting too carried away, though, note that the Ladbrokes site gives a perfectly good explanation why the firm is named as such:
Betting shops began to spring up around the country but were quickly outlawed by the Betting Act of 1853. Despite the legislation, around two hundred men are thought to have been running books at the time, mostly on course. In 1886 a certain Mr Schwind and Mr Pennington went into partnership as commission agents, principally with the object of backing horses trained by the former at Ladbroke Hall in Worcestershire.