That is an interesting question. I know the main theme surrounding Hotei is that he and its representation is people orientated. He does run around in the spiritual essence of Happiness and removing UnHappiness through the granting of wishes. So, one may infer he should face 'people'.
As far as a compass heading that is related to Feng Shui and not the buddha. Also, as bethperry shared the representative statue or figurine may have attributes like children sitting at his feet, his sack, and even the crystal or material he is made of affecting its placement.
For instance if children are at his feet, then there is a great influence of benevolence with children. So, where children are most and Hotei as the overseer of children may be taken into consideration. Then again at what age does being a child end . . . hopefully, IMHO, never in many ways.
He has many 'powers' or purposes of which merriment is one, wealth another, and of course he is known as the laughing buddha. I have three in different rooms and they all are in different corners with regard to the compass and Feng Shui rules. They are all of different crystal material - Rose Quartz for Love, Quartz for the Master Crystal, and Jade for Dreams and emotions.
The Rose Quartz figurine is in my family area. Even though I am single that family area, which is correct for Feng Shui is where my family and intimate friendships are displayed such as pictures and items. The Quartz figurine is in the living area. And, the jade figurine is in my office / writing area. Again, the rooms are configured to rules of Feng Shui.
One of the buddhas is in the Southwest corner - love, relationship, marriage, and trust - Rose Quartz. The quartz is in the East - family, ancestry, and elders. The other - Jade, is the Northwest - Helpful Friends, journeys, and travel (hopeful celestial travel with creativity and inspiration with writing :) They are facing inward to where there is the most presence of life - me, social interactions, and plants.
That by no means says that is the correct way to display Hotei. Its is how Hotei spoke to me. With the knowledge and research I did for myself, the meanings for myself and the life I live, and the significance with relationships both tangible and intangible is the choices I made. However, others may differ and possibly vastly :)